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Author Topic: Conrad Anker climbs second step clean and summits Everest. Like Mallory?  (Read 19680 times)

7summits

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Conrad Anker was on the summit of Everest a few days ago, not only breaking the record for latest pre-monsoon summit ever, but also fueling the discussion about whether mallory could have climbed  to the summit in 1924. Anker showed (again) that the infamous Second Step can be climbed without the ladders - they removed them first - and then went on to the summit!

The radio conversation about the 2nd Step:
[youtube=425,350]http://youtube.com/watch?v=-WSCrapkXmE[/youtube]

Summit!

[youtube=425,350]http://youtube.com/watch?v=Phs9KbR-tNs[/youtube]

Here is a report from Superclimb
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Climbers Conrad Anker and Leo Houlding have free climbed Everest’s north ridge. Apart from possibility that Mallory and Irvine may had done the same 83 years ago, the two climbers are the first people to have free climbed the notorious second step.

They did this feat on an expedition centred around learning more about the conditions Mallory and Irvine would have faced in 1924.

The fabled pair were last seen at one of the three steps on the ridge, moving towards the summit in early June of 1924. If they summited the peak, their feat would make them the first persons to climb the world’s highest mountain, some 29 years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay completed the climb in 1953.

Anker, who found Mallory’s remains in 1999, conceived the idea to try and summit the mountain in the same fashion as Mallory and Irvine. Renewed debate around the pair’s last day out and the mystery of if they summited or not has sparked up since the discovery of Mallory’s body.

One of the key issues in the debate is whether Mallory could have led the second step, a difficult corner-crack that has always been climbed using a ladder. With Anker and Houlding removing the ladder and free climbing the pitch, the likelihood in favour of Mallory and Irvine being able to overcome the obstacle is more feasible.

Still, the feat would have been a stretch for Mallory, as the grade of the climb would have been at the limit of any climber’s ability in the 1920s. It’s rather like saying the pitch would be a grade 39 today, at 8000 metres. Mallory was one of the greatest climbers of his time, and climbed grades similar to the second step at sea level, but could he have done it on top of the world, in cotton, tweed and leather-hobnailed boots?

The 2007 team waited for the bulk of the pre monsoon Everest climbers to finish in May before starting their ascent, as they filmed the climb for a feature length documentary and did not want contemporary climbers in the footage. In certain scenes they dressed in the same gear as Mallory and Irvine, Anker and Houlding playing these character's roles respectively.

The team reported that using equipment that the two Englishmen used 80 years ago - woolly jumpers and leather boots, was a major challenge.

"Got dressed in period (costume). Walked around corner onto North Face in hobnail-less boots - Did one take and nearly froze," Houlding noted in the expedition's online diary.

Anker and Houlding summited Everest on June 14, at 10 45 am. Their expedition, ‘The Altitude Everest Expedition’, were the last climbers on the mountain.

Source article: Replica climb deepens Everest mystery (The Peninsula), Web posted at: 6/15/2007 (Source ::: AFP)
« Last Edit: Jun 16 2007, 23:48 by 7summits »
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"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Bill

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Spectacular. But I read that they did not climb in period clothes but wore modern equipment. Is that true? If so i wonder what kind of debate that will add to the mystery.
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7summits

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Hey world's smallest Bill! Looking at the footage, I think they used new clothing, but maybe they wore some antiques below. In the end there might be only 10 minutes of that section in the movie..

Anyway, until Irvine's camera is found the debate will never stop and expeditions like these - however I admire them for doing it, I really think it is great - will not solve anything. It's like democrats vs republicans or Catholics vs Protestants, Christians vs Atheists... you cannot change core beliefs until you have hard proof. And then still many will not change views  8)
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"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Bill

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Haha, nice. I am now the worlds smallest bill!!! Hear ye, hear ye!

I agree, although I personnally think, having been there (like you!) that they did not make it. The second step, and the whole route above the ridge for that matter, would have been extremely difficult in those clothes and without fixed lines. There are so many places that I would step and the snow would crumble away and without the rope to steady myself I would have been gone in a second.

What is your opinion? I want to belive they made it but I just can't having seen it.
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