Who was the first to conquer Everest?

George Mallory, back row second  left and Andrew Irvine, back row first  left.
George Mallory, back row second left and Andrew Irvine, back row first left.
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WAS it a British man who first scaled Everest?

A community talk on Wearside will look at the facts behind the myths.

Bernard Hope

Bernard Hope

Former teacher, Bernard Hope, will give his talk, George Mallory - Conqueror of Everest?, at the University of Sunderland next month.

New Zealander Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing are hailed with being the first pair to conquer Mount Everest in 1953, but question marks hang over this feat.

Nearly 90 years ago George Mallory and Andrew Irvine attempted to climb the largest mountain in the world, but were never seen again.

No one knew whether they had reached the top or when they’d died. George Mallory’s body was discovered years later and Andrew Irvine’s body has never been found and as he was carrying a camera, which could have held the vital evidence they reached the top.

It was widely believed they failed in their attempt, but experts have posed the question whether the last known sighting of the pair near the top was on their way up the mountain or on their way down.

In the first of the University of Sunderland’s Community Lectures, Mr Hope will examine the myths, facts and secrets of George Mallory’s expedition.

He said: “The lecture is called ‘George Mallory - Conqueror of Everest?’ and the question mark is extremely important as there is no sure answer as to whether he reached the summit ninety years ago this June.

“I’ve been interested in Mallory and Mount Everest since I was a schoolboy and in my career as a teacher I had links with the latter day climbers, Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay and Colonel Hunt.

“I will discuss many events that took place and enlighten an important topic in the history of the world.”

The free community lecture will be held on Wednesday, May 7, at the university’s Sir Tom Cowie Campus and people are asked to arrive between 2pm and 2.30pm so they can register before the start of the session.

Another five community lectures, 
covering a variety of topics, will take place during the summer. For more information contact events@sunderland.ac.uk, or call 0191 515 3169.