The Second Death of George Mallory
The Enigma and Spirit of Mount EverestBook - 2001
When George Mallory and Andrew Irvine disappeared in June 1924, during what would have been the first ascent to the top of Mount Everest, they left behind a seemingly unfathomable mystery. The discovery and identification of Mallory's body by an American-led team three-quarters of a century later literally laid to rest one element of that mystery. The question of whether or not he and Irvine made it to the top, however, rests unanswered. The camera that might have recorded that historic event has never been found and is the object of an intense search. Reinhold Messner believes that we are looking for the wrong thing. A legendary climber in his own right-the first to solo-climb Everest, and the first to do so without use of oxygen-Messner argues that we should be trying to recapture what drove Mallory in the first place: the idealism of amateur adventure. In its sheer, almost nave, audacity, Mallory's last climb, though tragic, was a masterpiece in the annals of high-altitude mountaineering. Whether or not it was successful is beside the point. Today. Everest is open to anyone who can afford it, and who will ascend it at any cost-human or otherwise. Tweed coats and hobnailed boots have been replaced by lightweight, high-tech equipment coated with corporate logos. The glorious solitude of Everest has been compromised by catering to the immediate gratification of an audience watching via satellite or the Internet. We may have found Mallory's body, in other words, but we have killed off his spirit. In The Second Death of George Mallory, Messner thrillingly recreates Mallory's three assaults on Everest by using the British climber's own journals and letters. But, he also gives us Mallory's voice, speaking from beyond the icy tomb, commenting on his fate and measuring the achievements of later climbers. Here is both an investigation into the death of George Mallory and a deeply felt homage-to a mountain, to the spirit of an age, and to the man who inspired those who followed in his footsteps.AUTHORBIO: One of history's greatest Himalayan mountaineers, Reinhold Messner has also crossed Antarctica and Greenland on foot. He is the author of more than 30 books, published in eighteen languages, including Everest, The Crystal Horizon, Free Spirit, and My Quest for the Yeti. He lives in a castle in the Italian Alps.Tim Carruthers has studied in Vienna and Sheffield and climbs extensively throughout Europe and the United States.He currently lives with his family on a farm in Cumbria.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2001
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
Characteristics: 205 p. : ill., map (lining papers) ; 22 cm