Many believe that it was not Edmund Hillary from New Zealand who was the first to scale the mighty Everest. They believe it may have been his skilled Sherpa - Tenzing who actually was the first to climb on. But not many people know that long before 1953 when 'Sir' Hillary climbed to the top of the world, another man had in all probability already conquered the Everest.
George Mallory started climbing rocks even before he could walk. His one dream in life was to climb Mount Everest and be the first person ever to do so. He made 3 attempts over the years in this regard, each without maps, venturing into land that no human had ever seen, temperatures that no one had ever experienced and no knowledge of how the body would react at that height. In 1924, when he left the last camp with his climbing partner Irving, many believe he managed to reach the summit.
The truth about Mallory's success remains a mystery. Both climbers failed to return back to safe grounds and it was only 75 years later that his body was finally discovered. Besides his skill and determination, one of the reasons that the myth of his success remains alive is that he always carried a photograph of his wife Ruth in his pocket when he climbed with his ambition to leave it on the top of the highest peak in the world. When his body was found 75 years later, perfectly preserved in the ice with his garments in good condition, the photograph was not on his person. It is believed that he left it on the peak when he and Irvin climbed atop and became the first ever humans to see the world from that height.
29 years later, with better technology and knowhow at hand, Edmund Hillary made history by being the first person to reach the pinnacle of Everest with Tenzing. They spent only about 15 minutes at the summit. Hillary has been quoted as saying that 'They looked for evidence of the 1924 Mallory expedition, but found none'. They said that they searched for Ruth's photograph on the peak but there was none. Hillary also later claimed that even if subsequent explorations discovered that Mallory and Irvin has indeed been the first people to reach the peak, historians should not allow his name to be changed or removed as a successful climb also means getting back alive.
Believe what you will.
Photographs taken of the Mallory expedition by his climber friend Noel - Click here
Years later, Mallory's grandson, also called George Mallory, reached the summit of Everest in 1995 via the North Ridge with six other climbers as part of the American Everest Expedition. He left a picture of his grandparents, Ruth and George, at the summit citing 'Unfinished business'.
If this post piqued your curiosity, read the account as told by Jeffrey Archer in "Paths of Glory"
Or else, just read the bible called Wikipedia here