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Asia, China, Mallory and Irvine Second-Step Clues

Mallory and Irvine Second-Step Clues. When honorary member, Shi Zhan Chun, of the Chinese Mountaineering Association spoke at the Annual Meeting of the American Alpine Club in Los Angeles in December 1981, he revealed that the Chinese Everest Expedition of 1960 had discovered much evidence of the British pre-World War II north-face attempts. During an interview of Mr. Shi, many people in the audience understood his interpreter to say that a hank of manila rope and a short pole were discovered above the Second Step (28,480 feet). This evidence would prove that Mallory and Irvine had indeed surmounted this severe obstacle. If true, it advances dramatically the possibility that the pair actually reached the summit in 1924. Yet, Mr. Shi gave altitudes of those 1960 discoveries and they were all below the First Step near or at the site of the 1933 Camp VI. Many attempts to ascertain the exact location of the find were made. Finally Chris Bonington met with Mr. Shi. He writes that he asked Mr. Shi about this find and had its location pointed out to him on a photograph. The location was below the First Step in line with the altitudes Mr. Shi originally gave. The working oxygen system the Chinese found with 20 atmospheres of gas remaining was also not that of Mallory and Irvine (as reported in Outside Magazine) but the set abandoned by Peter Lloyd during his descent from 27,300 feet in the British expedition of 1938.

Thomas Holzel