George Leigh Mallory was a skilled English mountain climber who decided to attempt the “Third Pole”, Mount Everest in the Himalaya Mountains, at 29,028 feet, the highest mountain in the world.
When asked repeatedly why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, Mallory answered, “Because it’s there.” In June 1924, Mallory, 38, and a companion, 22year-old Andrew Irvine, using oxygen bottles to breathe in the thin air at that high elevation, approached the summit.
Noel Odell, a geologist, stayed in a lower camp and watched them climb higher up the mountain. Shortly after noon on June 8, Odell glimpsed them, just specks now, climbing when a bank of clouds swirled in.
A sudden storm covered the peak in snow, and Odell waited vainly for their return. Mallory and Irvine were never heard from again.