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The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory On Mount Everest

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  623 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
This is the adventure story of the year -- how Conrad Anker found the body of George Mallory on Mount Everest, casting an entirely new light on the mystery of the explorer who may have conquered Everest seventy-five years ago.
On June 8, 1924, George Leigh Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine were last seen climbing toward the summit of Mount Everest. Clouds soon closed arou
ebook, 192 pages
Published December 22nd 1999 by Simon Schuster (first published 1999)
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Blue Jello Elf
The story of the discovery of Mallory's body was interesting, but by the time I was halfway through the book I was ready to push Conrad Anker off the mountain, and David Roberts with him. They needed an editor who was willing to delete all of Anker's musings on his own awesomeness, as well as Roberts's worshipful agreement.
Jun 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys stories of real heroes
This is one of the best books I've read since Edmund Hillary's. One writer is a historian; the other a mountain climber on the expedition that found George Mallory's body in 1999. The mountain climber, Conrad Anker, is contemplative and humble, and he climbs mountains because he loves them. He pieces together what might have happened in 1924 in chapters alternating with a recounting of Mallory's several expeditions. A most excellent book that left me humbled and happy despite the fact that it co ...more
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good book. Wanted a little more information after reading Into the Silence. Conrad Anker is good writer and one of the finest climbers in the world. Still I am not sure of his conclusions. I think we often forget the in the past people found amazing ways to use the equipment they had on hand. Still a very good book.
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auto-bio
I knew nothing about George Leigh Mallory before reading this book (I wasn't aware that it was he who said the famous line "Because it's there"). I only remember his name because I had written a poem about him once. I was in high school then when the news of his body being found briefly appeared on TV. The image of the body at the foot of a long snowy slope with the summit behind me. The image struck me enough to write a quick poem about it, and that ten years after I remember the name and bough ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is somewhat ironic how this excursion and discovery brought Conrad Anker into the spotlight globally, when in fact he was already one of the best, renowned climbers in the world. Nevertheless, I thought he did a fantastic job describing not only the process and importance of finding Mallory, but upholding the ultimate respect for the sanctity of what it all meant. He goes into great detail in the latter chapters detailing his evidence and opinions on why he believes Mallory did not make the ...more
James Christensen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liz Nutting
Jul 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why go climb a mountain?
Because it's there.

That zen koan-like exchange has for decades resonated as a profound statement on the nature of humanity's desire for exploration and discovery. The response was uttered by George Leigh Mallory, one of Britain's great adventurers and mountaineers, who three times attempted to be the first to summit Mt. Everest, almost 30 years before Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay finally reached the top of the world.

On his third attempt in 1924, Mallory and his
David Ward
The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mount Everest by Conrad Anker and David Roberts (Simon & Schuster 1999) (796.522). This is one of the most exciting books I've read about Mount Everest. Conrad Anker is a legendary Alpine climber. This is the story of an expedition to Everest in 1999 for the express purpose of attempting to find the body of George Mallory, a British climber who with his climbing partner Sandy Irvine, disappeared in 1924 while attempting to become the first humans to stan ...more
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am completely blown away by the achievements of this great mountaineer. This is an account of extreme bravery, fortitude, and mettle that most ordinary people cannot even fathom. I am mystified by what drives some humans to such levels of obsession for a prize that is so abstract. Was it really just "Because, it's there" or was there a fierce ambition and arrogance beneath the calm and genteel exterior of Mallory or was it sheer passion?

It was fascinating to read this as the writing of the pe
Nov 26, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty interesting book about the expedition that found the remains of George Mallory, a man who vanished along with Sandy Irvine in 1924 attempting the first summit of Everest. It was a good accompaniment to the slightly creepy NOVA special I rented about the expedition.

It's worth reading from a scientific, mystery, and historical point of view, but I found the climbers' actions to be somewhat disturbing in light of the sensational pictures of the body that were published in the news press at
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An engaging, enjoyable read, with balanced accounts of Mallory's summit attempt in 1924 and Anker's discovery of Mallory in 1999. Anker presents a solid case for why he believes Mallory and Irvine did not reach the summit (lack of proper equipment and clothing, likely dehydration, and slow rate of ascent). My one complaint is the repeated jab that Anker was the only "real" (63) or "true" (99) climber on the 1999 team. (Apparently, guiding clients for a living is "sell[ing] out.") When two of his ...more
Charles Miske
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was interesting how Anker and Roberts flipped back and forth in the book, between the events in the past and the events in the "present day" as they told the story of finding the body of Mallory, the ultimate Lost Explorer.

I've met Conrad at ice climbing festivals and speaking events, and he's a pretty mellow down-to-earth guy. I appreciated his simple no-nonsense approach to this discovery. I really enjoyed the passages in his voice, from his perspective.

I read this as my "bathtub
Lindsay Anne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mountains
I read this after Ghosts of Everest, which left me with the impression that it was quite possible for Mallory & Irvine to reach the summit. However this left me with the opposite impression. Mostly because of Conrad Anker's observations about timings and climbing the Second Step. In GofE it implied he freeclimbed the SS with one step onto the Chinese ladder because it was in the way of a vital foothold, but here he says he had to step onto the ladder as he was tired. If only Noel Odell had b ...more
Conrad Anker signed my copy as my wife met in him in Seattle. I had met Conrad at a previous mountaineering society event. Having been to Everest, I have always enjoyed well written histories of Mt. Everest and mountaineering. A great read. Mallory, for the uninitiated, was an early Mt. Everest explorer and during the 1920's attempted to climb (without oxygen or down parkas or what I call even, decent boots) and was seen near the summit, and then disappeared. Conrad and his team located Mallory' ...more
Mina MacLeod
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm an armchair mountaineering enthusiast--I could ever actually climb because of my asthma. While I have as many misgivings about the commercialization of Everest as the next concerned individual, George Mallory's story has always fascinated me. He was a man with unbridled charisma and determination.

Did he truly reach the summit? The romantic in me wants to think yes, but realistically the odds were against him. Hearing how he was found first-hand was haunting. The book was rather short, with f
Jan 28, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was drawn to this book after reading the superior "Ghosts of Everest," which covers basically the same story of the search for George Mallory on Everest. This slight book is authored by Conrad Anker, the esteemed climber who actually found the long-lost explorer's body. While his report has a gripping, you-are-there feel to it, supplemented with historical accounts by co-author David Roberts, it can't quite compare with the excellent photography and writing of "Ghosts of Everest."
Ted Haussman
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Really awesome and fascinating book about the discovery of Mallory, the mysteries that remain, and the challenges that Everest ever poses. Loved it.
This was written by one of the members of the team that discovered George Mallory's body up on Everest (I heard one of his teammates speak at an "inspirational" Welcome Back Mtg. in January - What is Your Everest?) Really interesting and covers a lot of information. A little tangential and of course no exact resolution but a lot of good evidence on whether or not Mallory and Irvine summited Everest in 1924.
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of mountaineering books,
This book is co-written with David Roberts, who is a favorite mountaineering writer of mine. I vaguely remembered seeing something on Nova about the search for Mallory on Everest so when I ran across this while looking at David Roberts' books on Amazon I bought it.

Anker writes sections about the actual expedition and Roberts fills in the history of Mallory's life and his expeditions to Everest. Both authors are excellent writers and I enjoyed it a lot.
May 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Half biography, half journal of an Everest expedition, The Lost Explorer tells about George Mallory last climb on Earth's highest mountain in 1924 and the following discovery of his body in 1999.
This book isn't thrilling as Into Thin Air, but if you are interested in mountaineering tragedies you shouldn't miss it.
Oct 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book alot. The fact that it is written by two authors actually works pretty well. One author gives a first hand perspective on Everest and the other gives more of a third person narrative of possible events. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys mountaineering or survival stories.
Sep 25, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
the best parts of the book are Anker's observations when he finds Mallory's body and his conclusions about why he doesn't think Mallory and Irvine could have reached the summit. There's also some good details from the historical accounts of the 1920s expeditions. The rest of the book is a bunch of fawning over how great Anker is, which is annoying
Richard Deutsch
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good and quick read. I started with watching MERU about a week ago. Acker figures prominently in the film as the climbing mentor. The challenges he and his fellow climbers face parallel my own day to day challenges. Making rent = running out of food. This book tells the story of Mallery and of Acker's first ascent of Everest. Inspiring story!
Janet C.
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody.
Recommended to Janet C. by: n/a
I had to listen to this book once I started it because I had to find out what happened. The information about mountain climbing in general and some of the differences between how things were done in the 1920's versus modern times was fascinating. An excellent read for anyone. The true story is better than fiction!
Linda Robinson
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"On June 8, 1924, George Leigh Mallory and Andrew Irvine disappeared somewhere near the summit of Mount Everest, leaving open the tantalizing question of whether they had reached the summit of Everest twenty-nine years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay."

This is as action/adventure as I want to ever get. I read it in 2002, and I'm still cold. Bundle up, and start climbing!
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrific first-person account of Conrad Anker (a mountaineering legend himself. Check out "Meru" on Blu-ray) and his discovery of George Mallory's body on Mt. Everest 76 years after he went missing. The co-writer, David Roberts, adds a lot of very interesting background information and details as well.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Interesting book about the stories and backstories associated with expedition with the objective of finding George Mallory's body on Mount Everest, and whether or not he successfully climbed to the summit.
This is a great story from a very incredible local Bozeman climber. I got a chance to belay him a few times in the gym and it was pretty fun.

Just casual chat, I'm sure he would never remember me, but oh well.
Coleman Ross
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A year or so ago, I read a much more in-depth book on George Mallory. This book is shorter and also pulls in a bit of what it's like to climb Everest today and whether or not Mallory made it to the summit. I recommend it for my friends who enjoy such stories.
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-¿Por qué vá a subir al Everest?
-Porque está ahí.”
“Looking out of a tent door into a world of snow and vanishing hopes. ~George Mallory” 1 likes
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