Mt. Everest - Extreme weather caused British mountain pioneers Mallory and Irvine's death

Mountaineering legends George Mallory and Sandy Irvine Shropshire Star
Above image: Legendary British mountaineer Andrew "Sandy" Irvine died aged 22 when taking part in explorer George Mallory's third and final attempt to become the first men to scale Mt. Everest.
When it comes to high altitude mountaineering, no persons have attracted more enthusiasm and excitement than George Mallory and Andrew Irvine who have become legends and immortal figures. Roughly 88 years ago when they were on the verge of standing atop the roof of the world - Mt. Everest, luck ran out on them and they disappeared on the high mountain  in a jiff for good.  Their bodies hidden in the thick sheet of ice had not been discovered after  several decades of their fatal death. Till this day nobody knows whether Mallory and Irvine trod the highest peak 30 years ahead of Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing Norgay. Nor is their any accurate scientific evidence available  as to their sudden disappearance from the face of the mountain slope close to the summit. The clues to the mystery are frozen  in the Sommervell's camera borrowed by Mallory that still lies buried in the thick sheet of ice on the high slope of the Himalayas. If discovered, it might throw light on the mystery behind this expedition: whether they made it to the summit on that fatal day or died valiantly or having nearly missed the chance of standing atop the roof of the world. This intriguing mystery is wrapped around with layers of riddle!! The conclusion is in your endeavor, regardless of  toil and dedication you positively need the help of ''Dame Luck''
Mallory Expedition - Mount Everest
Since their ill-fated attempt to climb Everest, their legend has become a subject of  animated  discussion among mountaineers world over, besides it has inspired generations of mountaineering freaks.  A recent study by a  team of scientists has solved a part of the Jigsaw puzzle  as to what prevented  both  George Mallory and Andrew Irvine from  returning  from their pioneering expedition.
Mt. Everest. Secrets Of The Ice

George Mallory and Andrew 'Sandy' Irvine  were on a significant expedition in 1924 to Mt. Everest, that had not been scaled before; a dangerous adventure complicated by poor mountaineering gear available then and lack of knowledge of safe mountain routes to be followed to the summit;  Surmounting all the hurdles on the way close to the summit, they were ready for the final assault. The pair were last seen on June 8th on Everest's Northeast Ridge, In a matter of minutes they vanished into the clouds  and became heroes  in the history books. For decades their pioneering expedition became a subject of serious debate with respect to their  climb up to the North Ridge, their  sudden disappearance and if they were successful in reaching the summit.
part of British team 1924 Mt, Everest expedition; Mallory is highlighted wikipefia
Prof. G.W.K Moore of the Physics Department at the University of Toronto said,  "The disappearance of Mallory and Irvine is one of the most enduring mysteries of the 20th century, yet throughout the debates surrounding their disappearance the issue of the weather has never really been addressed," It is to be noted here that Noel Odell, who was climbing behind Mallory and Irvine, claimed that a blizzard occurred on the afternoon that they disappeared . This is the only reliable information available from a man who was right there on the high mountains." However, many writers never paid to the observation made by fellowman Odell and were doubtful about the major impact of the blizzard on them.

Addition research was focused on the  meteorological measurements from the 1924 expedition recorded by the Royal Geographical Society library in London. On the day Mallory and Irvine were trying to summit Mt. Everest there was a drop in barometric pressure at base camp of approximately 18 mbar. ''This is quite a large drop, in comparison the deadly 1996 'Into Thin Air' storm had a pressure drop at the summit of approximately 8 mbar'', according to Moore.  "We concluded that Mallory and Irvine most likely encountered a very intense storm as they made their way towards the summit."

Dr. John Semple, an experienced mountaineer and the Chief of Surgery at Women's College Hospital in Toronto is of the opinion,
''a drop of pressure of 4 mbar at the summit is sufficient to drive individuals into a hypoxic state'' in an oxygen-starved environment.

 Mallory and Irving's death was caused by a stressful extreme cold condition, high chilly wind, uncertainty of their route, Barometric pressure drop and consequent hypoxia, the researchers concluded.
This important  study is quite useful to the modern mountain climbers because, when they stand on high mountains above 18000 feet, they may encounter  the same types of storms and hypoxic stresses that continue to confront them  who take on the world's tallest peaks.
Among the risks involved in high mountain climbing, we may take precaution to tackle many of them, but not of weather. "The weather is perhaps the greatest unknown and we hope that this line of research will help educate modern climbers as to the risks that they face.", says Prof. Moore.

Moore G.W.K., Semple J.L., Sikka D.R. Mallory and Irvine on Mount Everest: Did extreme weather play a role in their disappearance? Weather, 2010; DOI: 10.1002/wea.590
Source:Wiley - Blackwell