Cover image for Ghosts of Everest : the search for Mallory & Irvine : from the expedition that discovered Mallory's body
Ghosts of Everest : the search for Mallory & Irvine : from the expedition that discovered Mallory's body
Hemmleb, Jochen, 1971-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Seattle, WA : Mountaineers Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
205 pages : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV199.44.E85 H46 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
GV199.44.E85 H46 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The dramatic account of the search for the bodies of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine on Everest.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

One of the great mysteries of modern exploration and adventure is whether British climbers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine reached Mount Everest's summit on their pioneering 1924 expedition in which both men vanished. Were they the first to scale the world's highest spot, decades before Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made their successful ascent in 1953? On the 75th anniversary of the ill-fated duo's disappearance, a 1999 Everest expeditionÄwith Simonson as team leader, Hemmleb as historical adviser and Johnson as team coordinatorÄattempted to retrace Mallory and Irvine's probable route and solve the mystery. Incredibly, they discovered Mallory's bodyÄremarkably intact, badly bruised and with a broken legÄfrozen in the snow. In a taut narrative that skillfully jump-cuts between the 1924 Mallory/Irvine expedition and their own, the authors make a compelling case that Mallory fell to his death and that he appears to have been roped to Irvine, who also fell and was injured. (Irvine's body was reportedly sighted by a Chinese climber in 1975, but this awaits further proof.) Did Mallory and Irvine make it to Everest's summit? "It is more likely than had previously been thought that they did make itÄbut it is still far from certain," conclude the authors. They base their analysis on their findings atop Everest, including personal letters and an inventory of oxygen tanks they found in Mallory's pockets. Their report, a work of historic importance that reads like a detective thriller, includes a moving foreword by Mallory's daughter, Clare Mallory Millikan, plus 100 photographs (80 in color, 20 sepia) illustrating both the 1999 search expedition and Mallory's 1924 attempt. First serial to Outside; author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This is a truly amazing account of how a group of well-prepared modern mountain climbers made an effort to solve the mystery of a 75-year-old attempt to summit Mt. Everest. Others had tried and failed to locate the frozen remains of English mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine. The two perished atop the mountain in 1924, but their bodies were never recovered, leaving it unclear whether or not they had reached the top nearly three decades before Sir Edmund Hillary. While the recent team never solved the question of Mallory and Irvine's summiting, in May they did discover Mallory's frozen body on the North Col in an amazing state of preservation. Along with describing the preparations and personnel of their own team, the authors provide a detailed account of the activities of the 1924 expedition. The new group (which included Larry Johnson, who gave up his publicity job at Stackpole Books to make the climb) was astounded at what Mallory and Irvine were able to accomplish with what by today's standards seemed like very primitive equipment. A good read for adventure lovers and a historical standout among the escalating numbers of Everest climbing books. [With accompanying articles in Outside, New York Times, and Vanity Fair.--Ed.]--Robert F. Greenfield, formerly with Baltimore Cty. P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-Here is the inside story of the search for the long-lost British mountaineer. Mallory, one of the most accomplished high-altitude climbers of his time, and his companion disappeared from the slopes of Mount Everest in 1924 when they were close to becoming the first humans to reach the highest spot on Earth. In this skillfully crafted story, readers learn how Hemmleb, the young German graduate student and historiographer of Everest expeditions, linked up with Larry Johnson, another Everest enthusiast, and high-altitude expedition leader Eric Simonson in 1999 to put to rest the mystery of what became of Mallory. Stories of the original trek are intertwined with details of the modern research expedition. This beautifully composed, slightly oversized volume with heavy glossy pages has copious, lustrous photographs, including many from the earlier expedition, and several maps that perfectly support the text. This absorbing book evokes a reverence for Mallory and all those high-altitude mountaineers who have succeeded him in the climb to the roof of the world.-Cynthia J. Rieben, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 6
Forewordp. 7
A Note to Readersp. 9
Prologue: Last Attemptp. 11
Chapter 1 The Detective and the Mysteryp. 21
Chapter 2 More Like War Than Adventurep. 31
Chapter 3 About to Walk Off the Mapp. 49
Chapter 4 The Whole Bandobastp. 71
Chapter 5 An Infernal Mountainp. 91
Chapter 6 The "English Dead"p. 109
Chapter 7 The Final Pyramidp. 131
Chapter 8 Notes on an Envelopep. 159
Epilogue: Because it's Therep. 181
Notesp. 185
Appendix 1 Everest North Side: Resolved and Unresolved Mysteriesp. 191
Appendix 2 Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition Statisticsp. 195
Selected Referencesp. 199
Indexp. 203