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Subject: Recovering film from Mount Everest

Recovering film from Mount Everest

From: Morten Ryhl-Svendsen <morten.ryhl>
Date: Monday, May 3, 1999
In November last year we had a few postings regarding an attempt to
recover photographic films from The Mallory and Irvine Research
Expedition on Mt. Everest in 1924. If these films are found in good
shape, images could prove if the Everest top actually were reached
during this 1924 expedition or not.

Today I saw the following story at the BBC World News:

    World: South Asia: Everest pioneer's body found More than 750
    climbers have reached summit; 150 have died trying

    An expedition to Nepal may be on the brink of discovering
    whether Mount Everest was conquered 30 years earlier than
    previously thought.

    New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and his Nepalese guide Sherpa
    Tenzing are universally accredited with reaching the summit
    first, in 1953.

    But the discovery of the body of an English climber, George
    Mallory, who disappeared in 1924 while trying to conquer the
    summit with fellow Briton Andrew Irvine, is set to reopen the
    question: Did they or didn't they?

    Mallory and Irvine were last seen on the North Side--apparently
    within 2,000ft of the world's highest peak. But they never

    Now a party of climbers say they have found the body of Mallory
    at about 27,000ft--roughly 2,000ft short of the summit.

    It is not clear whether Mallory and Irvine died on their way up
    or down from the summit.

    The search is now on for Mallory's Kodak camera--which he kept
    in his knapsack--which could prove whether the pair reached "the
    top of the world".

    Photographic experts say if the camera is found it is likely the
    extreme cold would have preserved the film.  > The progress of
    the eight climbers who found the body has been relayed back to
    their site on the Internet,

Full story + more (links, audio) can be found on BBC World News:

    **** Moderator's comments: This URL has been wrapped for email.
    There is of course no newline in it.

This is really exciting, if they actually finds the camera and
manages to develop the films afterwards. This is similar to the case
of the Swedish expedition lead by Salomon A. Andree, who in 1897
tried to reach the North Pole in a hot air balloon, but failed; all
three participants died. The remains of the three, and their camp
was accidentally recovered 33 years later, as Norwegian hunters
found it north-east of Svaldbard. Also some exposed photographic
plates were recovered and successfully developed, why we today have
pictures from this expedition.

Morten Ryhl-Svendsen
Konservatorskolen (The School of Conservation)
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:84
                   Distributed: Tuesday, May 4, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-84-004
Received on Monday, 3 May, 1999

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