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Mount Everest's Mystery: Should We Solve It?

Two British adventurers may have climbed it first
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2011 7:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – A long-frozen roll of film may solve one of Mount Everest's most enduring mysteries. England has long been caught in the romance of two British adventurers who scaled the mountain with a team in 1924 and were last seen a few hundred yards from the peak. Did George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine reach the summit, three decades before Everest was officially climbed? To the trepidation of some history lovers, an upcoming expedition may soon find out, the BBC reports.

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Mallory's body was found in 1999, and some say a camera on Irvine's body would reveal how far the pair had reached. But Julie Summers, Irvine's great-niece and biographer, loves the romance of literary Mallory teaming up with fearless Irvine and disappearing into the mountain fog. "I like the idea of it being one of our great enduring mysteries," she says. But filmmaker Graham Hoyland, for one, vows to settle the mystery, saying "we should historicize it rather than mythologize it ... there's more value in getting the truth out." (Click through to see why China and Nepal are arguing about another Everest mystery.)

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