Finding Mallory's camera may reveal whether he was first to climb Mount Everest

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Washington, March 13 (ANI): Reports indicate that a veteran Everest researcher is trying to find George Mallory's camera, which may contain photographic evidence of whether he and Andrew Irvine were the first to summit Mount Everest.

According to a report in Discovery News, the lost camera that researcher Tom Holzel wants to find, is a Vestpocket Kodak that belonged to George Mallory, the climber who died just 2,030 feet below Everest's summit in 1924.

If the camera is intact, there is a possibility its photographic film is still recoverable and could contain vital images that could settle one of the great unsolved exploration mysteries of the 20th century, namely, were Mallory and Andrew Irvine the first to summit Everest or did they die painfully close to the top?

When Mallory's body was recovered in 1999, his camera was not among the artifacts found on his remains.

This has caused veteran Everest researcher Holzel and others to speculate that the camera was being carried by his climbing partner.

Irvine's body has not been recovered, but Holzel is pretty certain he knows where it is.

"Two people have seen the body and it's near where they were," said Holzel, referring to a possible body he has spotted in survey photographs of the same part of the mountain. "I'm about 85 percent confident in this one," he added.

If Holzel can get an expedition funded and on Everest next year, he's hoping to find the body.

If it's actually Irvine, they'll need a bit more luck to find the camera.

Even then, their hard work will be only half over.

The camera has to be recovered without ruining what images might exist on the film. ust how to do that has been studied exhaustively by Eastman Kodak experts, who have provided Holzel with a series detailed procedures to follow.

The good news is that Everest's frozen, dry conditions are the best for preserving film.

The bad news is that depending on how the camera is protected, the images may have been degraded over the years by cosmic rays.

"At the end of the day, there's going to have to be a lot of luck," said Everest climber and guide Eric Simonson. "The stars are going to have to line up," he added. (ANI)

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