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Ghosts of Everest: The Search for Mallory & Irvine

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  873 ratings  ·  55 reviews

Did Mallory and Irvine reach Everest's summit 30 years before Hillary and Tenzing? Until now, clues about what happened to these two Everest pioneers had been scant and misleading. Until now, no one has known whether they reached the summit. Until now, no one has known where or how they perished.

This is a detective story of the first order. It is the story not just of M

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Paperback, 205 pages
Published December 3rd 2005 by Mountaineers Books (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

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Aldi
Oh, this book was amazing. AMAZING. Brilliant in its structure paralleling the stages of progress of the 1924 expedition and the 1999 research expedition; dispassionate and fascinating in laying out the evidence and eliminating impossibilities; heartbreaking in actually delving into the characters of Mallory & Irvine and producing several convincing and well-researched reconstructive accounts of what most likely happened. It was the perfect blend of objectivity in research and emotional invo ...more
Dagny
The subtitle of Ghosts of Everest, The Search for Mallory & Irvine, tells the subject of the book. It is the story of the 1999 expedition that discovered Mallory's body and began to unravel a mystery that has been plaguing mountaineers since the disappearance of Mallory and Irvine in 1924. Mallory and Irvine were last seen "going strong for the summit" on June 6, 1924. Mallory's body was discovered in a remarkably well-preserved condition by the 1999 expedition on May 1, 1999. The book was w ...more
Kim
Jan 03, 2008 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Armchair mountaineers
I've had this book on my shelf for a while and idly picked it up on New Year's Day--and finished reading it within 24 hours. It's a very brisk, engaging account of the 1999 Everest expedition that located the long-lost body of pioneering mountaineer George Mallory, who disappeared along with Sandy Irvine during a 1924 summit attempt. If they succeeded (and some say they very well may have, although no one knows for sure), they would have been the first men to top the world's highest mountain, th ...more
Chet Herbert
I find it inexplicable that the 1999 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition stopped searching for Andrew Irvine's body once they stumbled across George Mallory, a bit after half an hour on the first day of their investigation, and, instead, decided to summit Everest themselves a few days later. The reason for searching the area was because members of the 1975 Chinese expedition claimed they found a body of an Englishman. Why not continue to search for Irvine as well since they found a differen ...more
Richard Duerden
I loved this book for a number of reasons. That I like mountaineering albeit vicariously as I do suffer more and more from vertigo, I have always been fascinated by Mallory and Irvine and my granny used to live with the sister of one of the members of their Everest expeditions.

The book tells of how (in 1999 I think) this team of modern day explorers and mountaineers and the Sherpas of course set out to find the bodies of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine last seen only a few hundred metres from E
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Natalie
This book was fascinating. I must confess that I've always been attracted to books with real-life mysteries. Preferrably ones that don't deal with murders. This was a detailed and captivating account. I loved the fact that it was able to answer some questions about George Mallory. Naturally not all questions were answered and probably never will be, but it brings closure to so many lives.

I want to say that I didn't know who George Mallory was before reading the book. However, I became so caught
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Alex
Feb 19, 2014 Alex rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Alex by: Matt Hytch
An account of the expedition which went up Everest looking for bodies and evidence of Mallory and Irvine - which they found early on.
It's a well written book and strikes a good balance between historical aspects and the narrative of the climbing expedition itself. Also interesting is the way it considers the build-up to the expedition in much greater detail than normal books.
I like the way on some occasions that there's the connections between the original 1924 expedition log of a particular asp
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Eric_W
Really good companion to Dark Summit The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season and High Crimes CD The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed.

In 1924, two climbers, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, left on their third attempt to climb Everest. They were never seen again. A couple of blacks specks had been seen through a scope making their way toward the summit, but no confirmation was ever received or discovered that it had been reached.

This book describes the expedition that discovere
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Shellys♥ Journal
In 1999 the Irvine/Mallory expedistion (including a camera crew from the BBC) headed to Mt. Everest to retrace the step of Andrew Irvine and George Mallory on their summit expedition from June 8, 1924. Mallory and Irvine were reportedly spotted from camp at 12:50 PM that day, not far from the summit. That was the last time anyone would see them. They disappeared into legend. But the question remains, did they make the summit?

The team takes the reader down the road from the conception of the idea
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Maribel
This nonfiction adventure book can be considered not only 2 mountain climbing adventures set three quater of a century apart, but a detective story.For one side we have the story of the expedition of 1924 by two british climbers, Mallory & Irvine that attempted to climb Mount Everest.The interesting part of this expedition was that they all disappeared, but the last time they were seen they were very near the summit and they had very good weather. So for years in the world of exploration and ...more
Sara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary E
I knew there was a group of climbers that attempted and nearly succeeded in reaching the summit of Everest way before Hillary and Norgay, but I didn't know how close they came or under what extraordinary circumstances. Whether or not they made it remains a mystery. This book looks at their extraordinary quest through the eyes of the team of men who climbed in 1999 and finally discovered Charles Mallory's body. The book includes beautiful photographs, some of them from the 1924 expedition.
Catherine
I read this book as a companion to Jeffrey Archer's "Paths of Glory." One of the tasks in the book challenge I'm doing this spring is to read a fiction and a non-fiction book on the same subject. There are quite a few non-fiction books about George Mallory and the Everest expeditions in the 1920's. But, this was the only one my library had. It got off to a slow start with a lot of detail about the back-and-forth between various sponsors and interested parties in mounting the 1999 expedition, but ...more
Stevecrandell
There’s a lot of logistics in this adventure. And a lot of reasons to dislike the BBC. And a lot of glowing descriptions of Mount Everest majesty. All that may be necessary, but none of it gets to the core: what happened to George Mallory and Andrew Irvine on Everest in 1924? How did they die, and did they make it to the summit? The authors put together an expedition in the late 1990s to find out. They’ve made some amazing discoveries, enough to make it worth sifting through all the background n ...more
Jerry Smith
Story of the successful attempt to find the bodies of Mallory and Irvine who died attempting to summit Everest in 1924. The mystery of what happened to them is compelling, and the finding of Mallory in 1999 shed some light on what happened although the mystery of whether they made it remains intact.

Takes a little time to get going with the story of the difficulties in getting the expedition together but it is gripping when they make the discovery and well told in it's summary of what seemed to h
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Corrina
This book is fascinating. I LOVED how it parallels the two expeditions- the 1924 English Expedition and the 1994 search! I also loved how each member of the team (except the BBC, evidently) truly contributes to the search - from going to verify viewpoints to going to verify a free climb up the second step. The pictures were stunning, the maps and landmarks very educational! The book is a wonderfully fascinating tale, woven very skillfully by Bill Nothdurft from the expedition records and journal ...more
Michael Brady
I happen to think climbing 8000 meter peaks is a foolhardy undertaking. I offer as proof this story which started with the death of two climbers attempting to be the first reach the summit of Mt Everest in 1924. Mallory and Irvine were last seen "climbing with alacrity" toward the peak...and were never seen or heard from again. Their fate was unknown, until a 1999 expedition was mounted to solve the mystery, find the climbers' bodies, and determine if they reached the summit. The 1999 expedition ...more
Caroline
It's a touching story, the fate of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine and the authors enthusiam and expertise shows vivedly and gripps you. You really can't believe the determination of these men!
Cathy
Good follow up to "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer which I read for book group, this chronicles a team climbing the North side of Everest in search for clues about the 1924 expedition where Mallory and Irvine were lost. Interesting because they find Mallory's body and discover how he died, they also encounter other clues which give them reason to hypothesize whether he may have actually been the first to reach the summit of Everest. I would have liked the authors to spend more time on the mysteri ...more
Kathy
good to read something by the climbers themselves. I see now how the Mallory mystery is sorta like the Amelia Earhart mystery....
Gwnhwyfer
Wow...I can't image anyone wanting to do this (especially with the threat of death at pretty much every turn - and not just from the mountain herself, but also from your own body) but then again, seeing the pictures of both the mountains and the men (especially the early ones), I can totally understand the appeal. It must just take your breath away!

Each chapter starts off with the 1924 expedition, then goes to the 1999; I found both riviting, and the evidence to whether Mallory and Irvine made i
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Will White
A good book about Everest. The pictures make it worth the read. I enjoyed Mallory's biography more.
Cynthia
I've been kind of an Everest kick lately, I think partly because I can't believe that people actually want to climb this mountain after so many people have died here. This book was one of my favorites. It was a little slow in the beginning, but the action quickly picked up. The photographs in the book are really remarkable, and the story of the discovery of Mallory's body is compelling. Although we'll probably never know for sure whether Mallory and Irvine summited in 1924, the evidence that was ...more
Pancha
An account of the 1999 expedition to find Mallory and Irvine. Conrad Anker's account, The Lost Explorer, is a lot more personal, but this one has some good info and lots of color picture. Be warned, it contains pictures of Mallory's remains, which could be disturbing. I recommend not reading the last chapter before bed, as it also contains a very vivid description about how Mallory and Irvine likely died. Dark Summit by Nick Heil is another good book on Everest, about the disastrous 1996 season.
Daniel
This was a captivating side-by-side account of the 1924 British expedition and the 1999 research expedition.
Andrea
I’m a sucker for adventure stories when it comes to the world’s highest peaks. This book details the 1999 Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition and their attempt to find substantive proof as to whether or not George Mallory and Andrew Irvine reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1924. The most fascinating part of the story is the discovery of George Mallory’s body. I really enjoyed this book and the many theories proffered within.
Marcus
Wishing to change my literary diet, I've selected this book, as it at first glance shared some traits with superb 'Shadow Divers'. Topic is very similar, a historal and obscure mystery is finally being resolved. It's a good, fast read and the story in itself did grab my interest. At the same time, the book failed to transfer the grandiosity and immense difficulties of alpinistics on this very highest level.
Monique
A very interesting book. I found the pictures of Mallory's body really shocking, but the fact that the team found him very moving. I would love to believe that he and Andrew Irvine were the first man on Mount Everest. It would be fantastic if one day the body of Irvine would also be found, because I think he's has the camera with all the pictures on it to prove that Mallory and he were the first ones on the top.
Parker
Did Mallory and Irvine make it to the summit in May of 1924 or was Sir Edmund Hillary the first to summint more than 25 years later? This is a very informativer book written by some of the most knowledgable climbers in the world. George Mallory was an amazing avant garde climber with big'ol balls! In my opinion, they made the summit and died during the descent. If only someone could find Noel's kodak!
Aljan
The only reason that I didn't give this one five stars is purely technical. Although I loved the coffee table approach and the beautiful color photos, the size is a bit awkward for holding and the glossy pages are a bit difficult for reading. That's really just a technicality though. I found it to be a great read! Highly recommended.
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