Mt Everest and Surroundings in 3D Form: Thank Nat. Geo’s Failed Attempt To Recover 1924 Explorer

Rouchelle Gilmore | ClimbingClimbing
Mark Synnott climbing Everest in 2019. Credit: Renan Ozturk, Facebook.

National Geographic has shared a 360-degree view of the world’s tallest mountain, Mt Everest, and the surrounding peaks. The photographer Renan Ozark captured the panoramic images using specially modified drones. The images were captured as part of a 2019 expedition which had a twist.

The expedition’s primary objective was to search for British Climber Sandy Irvine, who disappeared in 1924 attempting to be the first to summit Everest. The story of what happened to Irvine has been a mystery, as his body has never been recovered and it is not known whether he and his partner George Mallory did make the top of the mountain. Mallory’s body was recovered in 1999. Though it was thought Irvine was in possession of a camera which could prove if they were, in fact, the first people to successfully summit Everest.

In the story published by National Geographic, ‘Our team climbed Everest to try to solve its greatest mystery’, by Mark Synnott captures the journey in which they use the photos, originally. The photos were used to help look for where it had been hypothesized Irvine’s body could have been located, based on a historical account that claimed could have been the body.

Behind the Scenes on the National Geographic 2019 trip, rough weather at camp. Credit: Renan Ozturk, Facebook.

The expedition team included 6 other climbers, 12 Sherpas, plus Ozturk the photographer, and many others to help with cooking, cleaning, and trip logistics. The team followed the route established in the 1920s by Mallory’s expeditions, it goes along the East Rongbuk Glacier toward Everest. They summited Everest on May 30, 2019. 

Synnott ends his recount of the whole journey with a thought-provoking statement about the obsession with Mount Everest for adventurers who try to tackle the mountain.

“To all of these questions, I had no answers. But I had learned something about the pull of Mount Everest that drives people to push themselves so hard, because if I hadn’t walked in Sandy Irvine’s footsteps, I never would have felt it myself. The only thing I could now say for sure was that the mystery of Mallory and Irvine would endure—perhaps forever. And that was OK.”

– Mark Synnott, Alpine Climber.

So, make yourself a cup of tea, sit and relax as you can look at the Nepalese monster mountains without falling in a crevasse or fighting the elements. Or use the photos to plan which route to take when Everest opens to be summited again. Summiting Everest was canceled for the 2020 season.


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