8.1.12

George Mallory - Gay Mountaineer?

Sir George Mallory




George Herbert Leigh Mallory was an English mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s.
During the 1924 British Mount Everest Expedition, Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew "Sandy" Irvine both disappeared somewhere high on the North-East ridge during their attempt to make the first ascent of the world's highest mountain. The pair's last known sighting was only a few hundred metres from the summit.
Mallory's ultimate fate was unknown for 75 years, until his body was discovered in 1999 by an expedition that had set out to search for the climbers' remains. Whether or not Mallory and Irvine reached the summit before they died remains a subject of speculation and continuing research.

Andrew Irvine
 
NZ mountaineer Graeme Dingle has highlighted occasional speculation that doomed 1920s British climber George Mallory was gay and that his attempt to summit Mt Everest was doomed because he chose a companion climber because of an attachment between the two rather than on mountaineering expertise. Dingle notes speculation that the maried Mallory, whose body was found on Everest only in recent years, was gay and had a romantic relaitonship with climbing partner Andrew Irvine.
 Dingle defends Sir Edmund Hillary's eventual conquest of Everest, adding that "Some have said the flaw of Mallory's character was he chose Irvine because of a possible gay relationship, an not based on good, sound mountaineering judgement."

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