What became of Mallory and Irvine, was and still is the greatest mountaineering mystery.
I, Noel Odell, was positioned high on the North ridge of Everest, my eyes fixed on a pair of dots moving along the North East ridge.
One was George Mallory, the other Sandy Irvine.
Mallory and Irvine were making good progress along the ridge.
At one point, the latter ascended a feature, known as the Second Step. The former followed.
Beyond that, there was another step, followed by a snow slope. The Summit was hidden by a hump at the top of the snow slope.
It didn’t look difficult, that stretch of terrain be Second Step.
I could see no reason why Mallory and Irvine couldn’t reach the top. After all, they appeared to be going very strong.
Then something unexpected happened.
A mass of cloud engulfed the upper parts of the mountain.
Mallory and Irvine were lost from sight.
I was led to question whether or not they would be able to reach the Summit. If not, then the only option would be to descend.
I then thought about how difficult it would be to descend in those clouds. One could easily become disorientated and fall.
When the clouds disappeared, I examined the ridge.
Neither Mallory, nor Irvine were to be seen.
Maybe, they were making the last final push to the Summit. Maybe they were at the top already. Maybe they were beginning the descent from the top.
I waited and waited, but in vain.
It dawned on me then, that they may not return.
Had they fallen? Were they lying somewhere on the upper slopes of Everest’s North West face? Were they lost on those slopes? Were they even still alive?
I waited a while longer, but still in vain.
By then, I knew that neither of them was coming back.
However, there is one big question, that still remains unanswered.
Did Mallory and Irvine reach the Summit?
Author Notes: Noel Odell was the last person to see Mallory and Irvine alive.