Irvine update: rich Saudi Prince unfound - Everest expedition postponed

Posted: Feb 22, 2010 03:08 pm EST

The deadline for obtaining funding for a 2010 mini search expedition to Everest North side has passed, and we have only succeeded in obtaining a small portion of the pledges necessary to pull the trigger, Historian Tom Holzel wrote in an email to friends and members in the Andrew Irvine's Search Committee last week.

Branson doesn't want to play

The London Sunday Times even put in a query to Richard Branson but that didn't pan out. Nor have two other nibbles, one to a Russian climber and one to a Middle-Eeastern summiter.

"We knew it was an almost impossible task to raise so much money in so short a time--but almost impossible never stops the true explorer," Tom Holzel reported." And, to quote Hillary: "Nothing ventured, nothing win."

And now - what?

As it seems, "Sandy" Irvine will have to wait for one more year - unless someone else finds him. Tom openly published all research so it's not unlikely that some Everest climber and/or Sherpa will take a look at the area, around 8,425m.

"Because the putative location of Irvine has been so widely publicized, we shall wait until after this spring climbing season before considering a more traditional attempt to fund-raise for a concerted effort in 2011," Holzel stated.

"Suggestions are welcome on what form this should take," he said. "I favor some type of non-profit approach. Consideration must also be kept in mind of the rapacious demands of legal ownership of the numerous parties connected with the loss of the camera in 1924."

After detailed studies of high-res aerial images from Everest Yellow Band, the Everest researcher Tom Holzel is positive about having spotted Irvines remains at 8,425m on the mountains north face. The signs are very good, he told ExplorersWeb. Now all we need is some boots on the ground to prove it - and bring back Irvine's folding Kodak camera." They also need $200K and this is where you could be part of history.

Tom appointed professional Everest climbers and film-makers Thom Pollard and Jake Norton to launch a searching expedition - but to go for it in spring, 2010 the team also needed to gather up to $200K in barely two weeks time. A media campaign looking for someone ready to foot the bill in exchange of Everest fame and glory didn't pay off - Irvine will have to wait for one more year, unless someone else find him in the meantime.

Some background:

"First on Everest - The mystery of Mallory and Irvine," Tom Holzel set out to find Mallory's camera. In addition, Tom was the one to track down Zhang Junyan and corroborated the late Chinese mountaineer Wang's story about the discovery of an "English body" on the mountain.

In his popular Tracking truth-in-evidence on Mount Everest, published at ExWeb in 2008 (check the links section), the American historian explained how he had arrived to the conclusion that Mallory and Irvine did not summit Mount Everest back in 1924. To confirm Tom's theory that the climbers fell while descending after an aborted summit push; finding Irvine and the camera is crucial.

Mallorys remains were found at 8,200 meters on Everest in 1999. Severe rope-jerk injuries around the bodys waist suggested that he could have fallen to his death while roped-up with climbing mate Andrew Irvine. No trace of Irvine was to be found though; or the camera the two carried on their last climb. Those who have searched the barren slopes of Everest North face since all returned empty-handed.

In a three-part series on The Search for Andrew Irvine published at ExplorersWeb in April, 2009 Tom Holzel thoroughly analyzed all clues, testimonies and high-resolution orthophotographic prints, to come up with a probable location of Irvines body.

In 2010, Holzel announced that strong clues pointed to a location at 8,425m on Everest north side.





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Tom Holzel's 4 rows of 12 Swissphoto AG (Zurich) images from the Yellow Band. After studying aerial pictures taken at 8200m, Tom believed he had spotted Mallory's climbing partner.
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