An expert mountaineer cracks Everest’s most intriguing mystery - did Mallory and Irvine reach the summit before they perished on its slopes?
On the 6th June 1924, mountaineers George Mallory and Sandy Irvine perished in their attempt to reach the summit of Everest.
Obsessed by uncovering what happened, in 1993 Graham Hoyland became the 15th Englishman to climb Everest. His investigations led to the finding of Mallory’s body; it will be his evidence that will recover Irvine’s.
‘Last Hours on Everest’ meticulously reconstructs that fateful day. Combining his own expert insight with the clues they left behind, Graham Hoyland at last answers the most intriguing of questions – did the two men actually reach the top of Everest?
‘You have never read a book like Last Hours on Everest … Graham Hoyland has created a towering work full of twists and turns, like the backdrop’ Independent
About the author
Climber, author and film director Graham Hoyland was the 15th Briton to climb Everest and during one of his nine expeditions to the mountain was responsible for the discovery of George Mallory’s body. He writes for the Independent newspaper and worked as a BBC director on programmes such as Dragons’ Den, the Today programme and Around the World in 80 Faiths.
Hoyland, a longtime climber and BBC filmmaker, has spent much of his career sorting through details of the 1924 Mount Everest trek that took the lives of fellow Britons George Mallory and Sandy Irvine. In this adventure-filled volume, Hoyland sets out to convey "a personal story, a detective thriller, a biography and a history book." He recalls his own growing interest in mountaineering and early affini-ty for Everest, where "the extremes of human experience played out in the most dramatic surround-ings." Hoyland meticulously re-creates Mallory and Irvine's ill-fated climb, describing the work they did ahead of time, the equipment they used, and the clothes they wore. "His upper layers started with a silk wool vest next to the skin, then a beige silk shirt, a Shetland-wool pullover, then another silk shirt, green this time, then a flannel shirt." Readers will appreciate the background Hoyland provides on surveying techniques, British love for alpinism (a leisure activity for many beneficiaries of the Indus-trial Revolution), and the motivations behind many major ascents. This is a thorough investigation into Mallory and Irvine's 1924 climb and an engaging look at the psychology that draws us to our planet's highest peak.