Mallory reached Mt Everest before Hillary

Climbers have wondered whether George Mallory did reach the Mt Everest before Edmund Hillary.

Updated: Sep 12, 2010, 17:25 PM IST

London: Climbers have for decades
wondered whether British national George Mallory did reach the
summit of Mount Everest with his partner Sandy Irvine in 1929,
almost 25 years before Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing.

Now, it seems that the Mount Everest`s biggest mystery
has been solved, after US climber Conrad Anker, who discovered
Mallory`s body on Mount Everest in 1999, re-traced the doomed
explorer`s footsteps on the mountain.

With British partner Leo Houlding, 47-year-old
Anker used 1920s clothing and equipment to see if, in theory
at least, Mallory and Irvine could have beaten Hillary.

A documentary film, The Wildest Dream: Conquest Of
Everest, shows they succeeded.

"It was harder than I expected, but it`s possible
Mallory and Irvine could have done it," the `Sunday Express`
quoted Anker as saying.

Mallory and Irvine died on the mountain after being
seen 800ft from the summit.

In re-tracing Mallory`s footsteps Anker was honouring
the man he had idolised since childhood and whose immaculately
preserved body he had found on the mountain as part of the
Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition.

It was a discovery, he confesses, that haunted
him for some time. "Had I broken some taboo? Had I overstepped
something? It was pretty heavy stuff. It weighed on me," he
was quoted as saying.

PTI