Letters From Readers Website Visitors - Cyberspace Thu, April 26, 2001 11:00AM
I applaud your efforts, I thank you for your spirit, I appreciate your sponsors and will use their products, I log in daily to read your news, I think the critics are simply jealous of your success and your courage. I thought the photos from 1999 that you have shared with the world were incredibly powerful and told a story that I and many, many of my friends and co-workers found scientifically interesting and spiritually moving. We know you are about doing right by Mallory and Irvine and paying homage to the great endeavors of past heroes. The May issue of Men's Journal is right on, you are a modern day hero in an era where so few role models of honesty and diligence exist for us to share with our children. Godspeed.
Thank You For "Essay: Taking The Heat" I just read your essay "Taking The Heat" and I wanted to acknowledge you for what you have done - and, what you are now doing. I also wanted to say that there is a difference between Desecration versus Honoring or Memorializing. And you appear to be Honoring and Memorializing. The fact that you take pictures, find artifacts, and are using your considerable talents and resources to recreate the events from many years ago, seems to me to be clearly out of your intention to honor very brave people who have gone before you. What seems to matter most is your intention - your statement of honor and dignity not only for Messrs. Mallory and Irvine but their entire expedition and what they attempted. I acknowledge you for the financial and personal risk you are taking and wish you continued good luck.
Hi Eric Simonson and Team Members,
I have been faithfully and avidly following all of your Mt. Everest expedition dispatches and have saved several of your photos to use as "wallpaper". This trip is so exciting and exhilarating for me, as well as being so historically significant, I feel like I am climbing that awesome peak with you. This, despite the fact that I had my 62nd birthday last week and have never climbed more than a tall hill in my life (though I'd like to). The team's essays about how Mallory's body was found and how it was treated in 1999, brought tears to my eyes also. Keep up the good work. As far as I'm concerned, the answer "Because it's there" is the best reason in the world to climb a mountain. We can worry about what's for dinner in between times. Thanks for the uplift.
This is in response to your essay "Taking the Heat" - It's difficult for me to explain why I was so inspired by the 1999 expedition. I am not a climber. I do not personally know any climbers. I've never understood the allure. I may have heard or read of George Mallory somewhere in the course of my life, but it wasn't knowledge that impacted me at all. Yet when word came that his body had been discovered and the story of his last climb was retold, I was utterly fascinated. I logged on to MountainZone.com and eagerly awaited every new dispatch. I read other sources and checked out books from the local library. I searched the web for more information on Mallory and Irvine. I bought Ghosts of Everest: The Search for Mallory & Irvine when it came out and stayed up one night to read it through. The sections on finding Mallory's body and the reverence and respect expressed by the members of your group moved me. Mallory's vision and tenacity were vividly brought to life for me. What an invincible spirit! What an incredible story! It transcends the sport and reaches out to everyone everywhere. When I caught a news story saying you were attempting another research expedition this spring, I counted the days until I thought you'd reach base camp and begin the daily dispatches. The greed, pettiness and ill-founded criticism directed toward you and your colleagues astound me. Please know that there are people who understand and support your quest and agree with you that Mallory and Irvine would appreciate and applaud your efforts. Safe journey back.
Dear Eric and the Team,
I am following your progress on Everest daily, and wanted to let you know that you are an inspiration to every one of us who are interested in the Mallory and Irvine saga. I'm glad to see that in spite of setbacks you were determined to go ahead with your expedition, and now we are anxiously awaiting your findings. No matter what the outcome of your search reveals, I think that you and your team represent the true spirit of great mountaineers and researchers, and I know that George Mallory and Andrew Irvine would feel the same. Best of luck to you all. Sincerely, Dianne Benson
don't let the critics grind you down. i liked your essay and it made the essential point that the truth about what happened to mallory and irvine transcends national borders, petty personal concerns and the predictable host of trash-talking back-benchers. there are many many of us minor league climbers and amateur historians that are hanging on every dispatch hoping that your courageous expedition unravels more of the most compelling mystery in all mountaineering .. but even if you do not find one shred of evidence that furthers our knowledge about mallory and irvine .. your venture was worth the effort, because extraordinary "effort" in pursuit of a worthy goal is at the center of it all, and you and your team deserve the respect of those that value such things. know for sure that we are "on your shoulder", roped in, doing the coughing and hard breathing every step of the way, even if only in our minds. good luck, god speed, and above all, come back alive. best wishes.
I have watched & waited for your expedition for the last two years. Naturally I had no idea of the difficulties you experienced during "dark December". There are many thousands of us who open your site each day to read the dispatches. Interesting these are not super-hype videos of the 21st century, but "old-fashioned" word dispatches, much the same of those sent by and eagerly awaited from the 1924 expedition. It seems somehow very appropriate that we learn of your work each day in that manner. Please keep the cold, tired fingers at the keyboard, as the words you all write are very important. I also did not know of the "struggle" brewing for the search evidence you are hoping to find. Nor the very controversy regarding your searching at all. One can only imagine what the fading thoughts of those lost in 1924 might have been. It is possible that they held out hope until the end that Odell was near. But, I believe any of those who laid lost for so many years would want the world to know their final resting place. We may never know if they made it to the top of the third pole or not. But, now the entire world knows of their fantastic effort. Of course you must go on, to paraphrase; "because they are there!"
Dear Mr. Simonson,
Thanks for your essay on the problems and politics associated with your Mallory/Irvine expedition. Regardless of the armchair nay-sayers, I feel certain that Mallory and Irvine would want their story told. So would Amelia Earhart and other frontline pioneers whose story is incomplete. Unlike Earhart, however, we know that the possibility exists to write the final chapter in the Mallory/Irvine mystery. We'll never know how they perished but, if the camera they carried can be located and the film developed, the world will know whether they stood atop the summit of Everest nearly thirty years before Hillary/Norgay. It is inconceivable they would not have taken photos to prove their accomplishment and, with Irvine's well documented ability to repair anything mechanical, he would almost certainly been capable of getting the somewhat complicated camera to function properly. Your expedition is seeking the final answer on behalf of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine. That there are those who would lay claim to photo rights and artifacts is understandable - our planet is well populated with people of small vision and great avarice. But we have had a handful of courageous visionaries and your expedition may well vindicate the sacrifice of Mallory and Irvine. I am no climber but I plan to purchase the products of your sponsors and donate them to climbing clubs who can put them to use. Best wishes for success and a safe return.