How George Mallory’s body was discovered on Everest
George Mallory's body

The discovery of George Mallory’s body on Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain raised more questions than answers about the legendary pioneering alpinist. George Mallory, a legendary mountaineer, and explorer from Great Britain, participated in a daring expedition to Mount Everest long before Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made their historical ascent to the summit. Mallory was 37 years old at the time, and he eagerly seized the opportunity to take part in such an exhilarating adventure, realizing that his age might render him incapable of doing so in the future. The 1924 expedition was one of three expeditions that took place in the early 1920s, beginning in 1922. The team encountered no significant issues in reaching the campsites above 20,000 feet by the end of May.

On June 4, 1924, Mallory and his climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, departed from the Advanced Base Camp and embarked on their own journey. According to the porters who remained behind at the camp, Mallory was confident that they would summit the mountain and return to the camp before nightfall. Sadly, Mallory was mistaken. The two mountaineers vanished that day, and their remains were not discovered for more than 70 years.

In 1999, a team of climbers working on the BBC’s “Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition” arrived at Mount Everest with the sole purpose of locating Mallory and Irvine. Despite the 75 years that had passed since the pair disappeared, the chances of finding them were relatively high. The freezing temperatures and permanent layer of permafrost on Everest preserve the bodies of climbers who perish on its slopes almost perfectly.

George Mallory's body
A picture of George mallory’s body as it was found in 1999

Who discovered George Mallory’s body?

On May 1, 1999 Conrad Anker noticed a large, flat, white rock on the northern slopes of the mountain. Upon closer inspection, he realized that he was not looking at a rock, but the bare back of George Mallory. Most of Mallory’s clothing had deteriorated due to the passage of time, but the parts of his body that had been covered were still well-preserved.

Irvine’s body was never found, but his climbing axe was located approximately 800 feet above Mallory’s body. Researchers concluded that Mallory had likely been tied to Irvine, and either fell, dragging Irvine with him, or cut himself free before doing so, based on the position of the rope found around Mallory’s waist and the location of the axe. The pair’s death was attributed to a fall.

It remains unclear whether Mallory and Irvine ever reached the summit. Experts have speculated that the location of Mallory’s body suggests he was descending the mountain rather than climbing up it. Mallory was supposedly carrying a camera to document his and Irvine’s success, but the camera has never been found. Even experts from Kodak have stated that if the camera was ever found, the film could likely still be developed, but several recent expeditions to locate the film have proven to be fruitless.

Mallory’s body remained missing for over 75 years until it was discovered by a team of climbers led by Conrad Anker in 1999.

The discovery of Mallory’s body sparked renewed interest in his life and legacy, as well as the mystery of what happened on that fateful day. The condition of the body suggested that Mallory had fallen from a great height, and it was unclear whether he had reached the summit before he died. A camera that Mallory was known to have carried with him was not found, leaving open the possibility that he had taken a photograph of the summit before his death.

Where was George Mallory’s body found?

On 1 May 1999, at a height of 8200 meters (almost 27,000 feet), George Mallory’s body was located on the north slope of Mount Everest at the foot of the Northeast Ridge, Northface in Tibet, well preserved and frozen solid. George mallory body found here

George Mallory’s Final Resting Place

He is buried near the base of the Scree Slope, right below the Yellow Band, a layer of metamorphosed limestone visible from the North Base Camp just below the summit. The discovery of Mallory’s body raised more questions than answers, particularly regarding his final resting place on the mountain where it was buried with stones and debris at the same place it was found. His body was found at an altitude of over 26,000 feet, which was higher than where he was believed to have fallen. This led to speculation that his body had been moved by other climbers or by the shifting of ice and snow.

The GPS coordinates of the burial site are known but not publicized in order to prevent grave robbing. As a result, it is even more puzzling that Mallory’s body has yet to be discovered by those who know where it should be.

Was Mallory’s Body Recovered and/or Removed?

A dead corpse being found at a high altitude on Mount Everest is extremely unusual. Despite his popularity and importance, Mallory’s body is no exception. At that altitude, it’s simply too impossible to retrieve a body.
It is usually far too perilous to endanger the lives of the Sherpas (who do all of the hard labor) by dragging a dead weight down the slope. Why bother with a dead climber when it generally takes six Sherpas to rescue an injured one? The majority of bodies are found where they breathed their last.

Some guides will tip bodies over the edge to “clean up,” and any corpses left hanging on the ropes are cut away to clear the route. Everyday courtesy is quickly abandoned at high altitudes. This explains why Mallory’s body was never found in 1999.

Related: Who is Green Boots the famous body on Everest?


Q: Was George Mallory the first person to climb Mount Everest? A: No, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.

Q: Did George Mallory reach the summit of Mount Everest? A: It is unclear whether Mallory reached the summit before his death, as his body was found at a lower altitude than where he was believed to have fallen.

Q: Why is George Mallory’s story important? A: George Mallory’s legacy as a pioneering mountaineer and adventurer continues to inspire generations of climbers and adventurers.


The story of George Mallory’s body and the mystery surrounding his final resting place on Mount Everest is one that continues to capture the imagination of adventurers and mountaineers around the world. Despite the passage of time and the efforts of countless researchers and climbers, the mystery remains unsolved. However, Mallory’s legacy as a pioneering mountaineer and adventurer continues to inspire and captivate, reminding us of the enduring human spirit of exploration and adventure.

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Aug 16, 2023
Didn’t you mean to say it is puzzling that Sandy Irving’s body has yet to be found? I enjoyed the article.

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