The 2001 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition team believes that the
greatest mystery in mountaineering can be solved. Were Mallory and Irvine the first to reach the
summit of the world's highest mountain? If not, how high were they able to climb? When and why
did they turn back? Under what conditions did they perish? The answers are high on the North
Face of Mt. Everest waiting for discovery by those committed to uncovering the truth and willing
to meet the challenge of the mountain in order to find it. This team shares that commitment and
accepts that challenge.
Building on the work begun in 1999, the 2001 team will search for cameras
with photographic images that, if recoverable, could positively identify the elevation achieved
by Mallory and Irvine. The team will search for oxygen cylinders and apparatus discarded by
Mallory and Irvine during their 1924 summit bid, the location of which will serve to further
prove these climbers' high point. The team will attempt to relocate the 1924 and 1933 high camps
for a revealing look at what was left behind by the early British summit teams, including
diaries, journals or other written accounts.
Expedition leader Eric Simonson has assembled one of the strongest teams
ever to assault Everest's Northeast Ridge under his direction. 1999 search team members Andy
Politz, Dave Hahn, Jake Norton, and Tap Richards will be joined in 2001 by friends and veteran
climbers and guides Brent Okita and John Race. Collectively, this team represents 21 previous
Everest expeditions. They will partner with 18 professional climbing Sherpas to put in place a
platform from which to mount multiple climbs into the target search area.
The team recognizes that their own passion for knowledge and
understanding is not universally shared, that there are those that would prefer the search not
mounted, the past not disturbed, the history books not reopened. Certainly that path would be
the least difficult, the least controversial and the least costly. But would it be the right
path? For some, perhaps, but this team believes that the central characters in this mystery,
George Leigh Mallory and Andrew Comyn Irvine, were men of such great courage and determination
that their inspiring story should be known and their accomplishments fully credited. It is in
their honor and in that spirit that this team will take the more difficult path in 2001.