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Gripping and sumptuous, this is the definitive book on the history, mystique, and science of Mount Everest, including how climate change is impacting the world's tallest mountain. In 1963, the American Mount Everest Expedition made mountaineering history. It was the first American venture to successfully scale the legendary peak and the first successful climb up the hazardous West Ridge (a climb so difficult no one has yet repeated it). In 2012, adventurer Conrad Anker led a National Geographic/The North Face team up the mountain to enact a legacy climb. Environmental changes and overcrowding led to challenges and disappointments, but yet the mountain maintains its allure. Now, steely-eyed Anker leads a team of writers in a book designed to celebrate the world's most famous mountain, to look back over the years of climbing triumphs and tragedies, and to spotlight what has changed--and what remains eternal--on Mount Everest. Telltale signs of Everest's current state, never-before-published photography, and cutting-edge science expose the world's tallest peak--its ancient meaning, its ever-present challenges, and its future in a world of disappearing ice.From the Hardcover edition.
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 around them, and they vanished into history. Ever since, mountaineers have wondered whether they reached the summit twenty-nine years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. On May 1, 1999, Conrad Anker, one of the world's strongest mountaineers, discovered Mallory's body lying facedown, frozen into the scree and naturally mummified at 27,000 feet on Everest's north face. The condition of the body, as well as the artifacts found with Mallory, including goggles, an altimeter, and a carefully wrapped bundle of personal letters, are important clues in determining his fate. Seventeen days later, Anker free-climbed the Second Step, a 90-foot sheer cliff that is the single hardest obstacle on the north ridge. The first expedition known to have conquered the Second Step, a Chinese team in 1975, had tied a ladder to the cliff, leaving unanswered the question of whether Mallory could have climbed it in 1924. Anker's climb was the first test since Mallory's of the cliff's true difficulty. In treacherous conditions, Anker led teammate Dave Hahn from the Second Step to the summit. Reflecting on the climb, Anker explains why he thinks Mallory and Irvine failed to make the summit, but at the same time, he expresses his awe at Mallory's achievement with the primitive equipment of the time. Stunningly handsome and charismatic, Mallory charmed everyone who met him during his lifetime and continues to fascinate mountaineers today. He was an able writer, a favorite of the Bloomsbury circle, and a climber of legendary gracefulness. The Lost Exploreris the remarkable story of this extraordinarily talented man and of the equally talented modern climber who spearheaded a discovery that may ultimately help solve the mystery of Mallory's disappearance.
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