After reading Jeffery Archer’s latest novel,’Paths of Glory’, I had thought this was just another fictional story,but not until I googled for ‘George Mallory’ and bumped myself onto the Wikipedia webpage containing the details of George Mallory!
I was really amazed to read the same sequence of events,incidents,characters pertaining to the life of George Mallory like his ambitions,his family,his school life,his marriage life,his expeditions,his cimbling crew,his conquest etc mentioned in Wikipedia in comparison with Jeffery Archer’s ‘Paths of Glory’!! Then I realised that ‘Paths of Glory’ is based on real life story of George Mallory!!
According to Wikipedia sources and Jeffery Archer’s novel ‘Paths of Glory’, George Mallory,an English Mountaineer,along with his climbing partner Andrew Irvine are believed to have reached the summit of Mt Everest,(the highest peak in the world which is 27000 feet) on June 24th 1924 on their third expedition to conquer Mt Everest. This pair disappeared somewhere on the North East ridge during their attempt to make the first ascent on world’s highest mountain. They were last seen by their climbing partners about few hundred meters from the summit.
George Mallory’s body was found 75 years after his expedition in 1999. There are huge amount of research,speculation,contradicting theories doing its rounds on whether George Mallory and Andrew Irvine had actually reached the summit of Mt Everest in 1924,before their death on Mt Everest in this expedition!
George Mallory was a passionate mountaineer who had great passion for conquering the Mt Everest.Once when some reporter asked him as to why he wanted to conquer the Everest,he is believed to have told,”Because its there”!!
There are few speculations that George Mallory had actually reached the summit of Mt Everest
1>George Mallory had plans of placing his wife’s Ruth’s photograph on the summit of Mt Everest. When his body was found, all the items including his clothes,wallet,documents were intact but Ruth’s photograph was missing. So the researchers believe that he must have reached the summit and must have deposited her photo there.
But subsequent mountaineers who reached the summit report no evidence of any photograph on the summit.
2>George Mallory’s snow goggles were found in his pocket suggesting that they had reached the summit and were descending after sunset. A few days earlier,his climbing partner Norton had suffered serious snow blindness when he had not worn the snow goggles in this expedition on his way up the mountain. So few theories states that George Mallory would not have removed his goggles on his way to the summit,but must have removed his goggles on their way back down.
But few contradicting theories states that George Mallory must have carried an extra pair of snow goggles.
Jeffery Archer’s novel ‘Paths of Glory’ sparked controversies in New Zealand with New Zealanders calling this novel an insult to Sir Edmund Hillary who is considered as the First man to set his foot on the summit of Mt Everest in 1953!
Despite all these controversies, Jeffery Archer’s ‘Paths of Glory’ is an Interesting Read!
Further details on George Mallory can be found on Wikipedia!