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"Because it is there"
George Leigh Mallory's reported explanation of why he wanted to conquer Mount Everest is the most succinct -- and maybe the most famous -- remark in the history of mountaineering. And when he vanished into the clouds on June 8, 1924, near the summit of the highest peak on Earth, he became a legendary figure -- and the leading actor in one of the most compelling mysteries in the annals of 20th-century exploration.
Did Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew Irvine, reach their exalted goal before they died? When a research expedition found Mallory's body in May 1999, new clues emerged to help in determining whether they did in fact succeed, 29 years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made the first documented ascent. "Last Climb" is the spellbinding tale of what is known of Mallory's final attempt on Everest, but it's much more as well: an account of his two earlier expeditions to the Himalayan giant and a fascinating, evocative, superbly illustrated portrait of a daring era, when gentleman mountaineers climbed in leather boots and tweeds.
Everest veteran and renowned filmmaker, David Breashears, and Audrey Salkeld, one of mountaineering's preeminent historians, make expert guides to this riveting story, highlighted by spectacular vintage photographs taken by Mallory and members of the British Mount Everest expeditions of the 1920s, as well as others culled from the archives of the Royal Geographical Society.
In addition, the book boasts breathtaking, full-color photography of the high Himalaya, along with dramatic shots from the 1999 Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition.
A book in the finest tradition of National Geographic, "LastClimb" is at once a thrilling narrative of challenge and courage; a treasury of rare historical images; and an unforgettable panorama of a forbidden, almost medieval world, the forbidding mountain at its heart, and the indomitable men who were willing to pay with their lives to master it -- and win immortality in return.
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