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Lost Explorer Asia Nepal Conrad Anker Robinson Publishing MD

18th December 2012 History Books 11 Comments

Galen Rowell photographer, writer, and mountaineer An enigma for seventy-five years, George Leigh Mallory comes alive through the very separate personal connections of Conrad Anker and David Roberts, great mountaineers in their own right, who weave a spellbinding tale. –This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

David Roberts worked in publishing for over thirty years, most recently as a director, before devoting his energies to writing full time. He is married and divides his time between London and Wiltshire. Conrad Anker is a professional mountaineer who has made breakthrough first ascents around the world, from the Himalayas to Antarctica and Patagonia. Conrad Anker is a professional mountaineer who has made breakthrough first ascents around the world, from the Himalayas to Antarctica and Patagonia. David Roberts, a mountaineer with extensive Alaskan experience, is the author of many books.

In 1999, Conrad Anker found the body of George Mallory on Mount Everest, casting an entirely new light on the mystery of the lost explorer. On 8 June 1924, George Leigh Mallory and Andrew ‘Sandy’ Irvine were last seen climbing towards the summit of Everest. The clouds closed around them and they were lost to history, leaving the world to wonder whether or not they actually reached the summit – some 29 years before Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay. On 1 May 1999, Conrad Anker, one of the world’s foremost mountaineers, made the momentous discovery – Mallory’s body, lying frozen into the scree at 27,000 feet on Everest’s north face. Recounting this day, the authors go on to assess the clues provided by the body, its position, and the possibility that Mallory had successfully climbed the Second Step, a 90-foot sheer cliff that is the single hardest obstacle on the north face. This is a remarkable story of a charming and immensely able man, told by an equally talented modern climber.

Galen Rowell photographer, writer, and mountaineer An enigma for seventy-five years, George Leigh Mallory comes alive through the very separate personal connections of Conrad Anker and David Roberts, great mountaineers in their own right, who weave a spellbinding tale. –This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

Lost Explorer

The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory

In 1924, a 37-year-old English schoolmaster and war veteran named George Mallory bid farewell to his beloved wife and children and went off to Tibet, where he intended to climb the north face of Mount Everest, a feat that had never been achieved. He was warned that the approach might not be attainable–and that, in any event, humans might not be able to survive at such altitudes without oxygen. But in that fine British spirit of dauntlessness, Mallory pressed on all the same, and he and his novice companion Andrew Irvine did not survive.

When Mallory’s frozen body was found on the high slopes of Everest in 1999, it touched off a wave of interest in the question of whether he had reached the top before falling to his death–which, if so, would unseat Edmund Hillary’s 1953 expedition as the first to summit. Peter and Leni Gillman, themselves mountaineers, hint that he did, drawing on evidence that is at best circumstantial but compelling all the same. Their interest in this biography, however, is to provide a more complete picture of Mallory as a man of his time, who was a familiar among the Bloomsbury set of writers, a loving husband and father, an accomplished scholar and teacher, and a modest hero who, though not technically the best climber of his time, never refused a challenge. The Gillmans acquit themselves in this task very well, and they offer a fascinating reconstruction of what they imagine to be Mallory’s last moments on earth. Their book makes a fine companion to Conrad Anker and David Roberts’s The Lost Explorer and David Breashears and Audrey Salkeld’s Last Climb. –Gregory McNamee –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Chronicles all three of Mallory’s Everest expeditionsIlluminates how Mallory reconciled his ambitions on Everest with his unquestioned love for his wife and family

Since the discovery in 1999 of George Mallory’s body on Everest, controversy has raged over whether Mallory and Andrew Irvine could have summitted the mountain. Every detail of the climb has been dissected and Mallory’s skill as a mountaineer has been hotly debated. Observing the debate, Peter and Leni Gillman felt that the essence of who Mallory was as an individual had been lost. In The Wildest Dream they offer the most comprehensive biography ever written about one of the twentieth century’s most intriguing personalities.

Exploring Mallory’s early years, the Gillman’s take the reader to Cambridge and Bloomsbury where Mallory consorted with some of the most colorful literary and artistic figures of Edwardian England: Rupert Brooke, James and Lytton Strachey, Maynard and Geoffrey Keynes, and Duncan Grant, among others. The Wildest Dream moves on to examine exactly what Mallory accomplished as a climber, evaluating the quality of his routes and skills within the context of climbing in the early 1900s.

At the heart of this biography, and of Mallory’s life, is his wife, Ruth. The letters they exchanged during the many separations caused by World War I and three Everest expeditions reveal the depth of their commitment to each other and the unwavering support and strength Ruth offered George. The Everest expeditions are also insightfully rendered, offering perspective on criticisms levied at Mallory after the 1921 and 1922 attempts. The authors examine how Mallory, a dedicated husband and father, arrived at his fateful decision to participate in the doomed 1924 expedition and why he continued to press for a summit attempt when the odds seemed stacked against him. As Mallory once declared, a climber was what he was, and this is what climbers did; this was how they fulfilled their wildest dreams.

The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory

  • 11 responses to "Lost Explorer Asia Nepal Conrad Anker Robinson Publishing MD"

    5:26 on December 18th, 2012
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    This book chronicles the expedition that went to Mount Everest to find answers to the mystery of early climber George Mallory. It is a refreshingly different book about Mount Everest as most people climb it for themselves and the top of the world reasons.

  • Spierdalaj
    8:16 on December 18th, 2012
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    This is a great book. Really enjoyed the Mallory saga plus it does a good job showing the difficulties and obstacles in mountaineering both then and now. I recommend highly.

  • Mark Riffey
    14:55 on December 18th, 2012
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    This biography of George Mallory written by Peter and Leni Gillman is excellent. It is exactly what it claims to be, so while climbing must be a part of any book about Mr. Mallory, this really is about the person who was a climber. This book ranges over his whole life; this is not an “Everest Book”. The book does extensively document an enormous number of climbs he made, the first ascents, and of course the years he spent in his attempt to conquer Everest. The book does explore the question of whether or not he and his climbing partner Sandy Irvine were the first to Summit Everest, however like all other positions, the final proof is lacking and may or may not ever be found.

    If you are looking for a great book on its own, or as a companion to this work, “Ghosts of Everest: The Search For Mallory And Irvine”, is excellent. This second book is a documentary of the expedition for the answers to the fate of the two climbers, and it is extremely well done. “The Wildest Dream” also does much to clarify the rock climbing abilities of Mr. Mallory, which some historians have called into question, and have used as a basis for their position he never made it. Both these books (for this non-climber) put this issue to rest.

    This book explores Mr. Mallory as a Family man, a Father, a Soldier, as well as the skills for which History remembers him. The Biography explored the vast differences between climbing as a sport today, and climbing as an activity dominated by a class system, that at times increased the danger of their activities. With any comparison today, the equipment, the risks that were taken, and the weather they survived with their primitive clothing, is nearly beyond belief. That Mallory, Irvine, and others reached such heights on Everest is nothing short of a type, effort, and endurance that put one in awe of these men.

    The book also deals with those who coped with the extremely long absences these attempts required. Mallory’s Wife and Family played a large if intermittent role in his shortened life, they stood by and waited for him through World War I, and his Mountaineering. We gain insight into Mallory the Professor, and other aspects of his life that were unknown to me.

    After all the reading I have done it has become less an issue for me of whether the final piece of that last climb was completed. It is likely we may never know. But what Mallory and his friends did was so extraordinary, and so many years prior to the summit being reached, in many ways the final mystery may be more of a curiosity for the ages. For I believe what they did do, secures their place in History as extraordinary people.

    An extremely interesting, and well-documented Biography.

  • SteveAdmirer
    21:22 on December 18th, 2012
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    Being someone with no interest in rock climbing, I doubted that I’d enjoy this book. Thank goodness I took the plunge anyway. Even if you have never seen a rock, this biography on George Mallory is a riviting read. Much emphasis is given to his early life as a school teacher, feminist, and friend to such luminaries as Duncan Grant, Robert Frost and Maynard Keynes. I cannot say enough about this lovely book.

  • Paul Jones
    9:37 on December 19th, 2012
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    After viewing “The Wildest Dream”, Conrad Anker’s docu-drama about the whether or not George Mallory might have summmited Mt. Everest in 1924, I became fascinated by both men. In “Lost Explorer” both Mallory and Anker’s lives are examined. Mallory is a child of privilleged upbring; still he is clearly a man of passion, remarkable talent, and blind ambition that likely cost him his life. Conrad Anker comes from a middle class home and is a climber nearly four generations removed from Mallory; a professional climber, Bhuddhist, environmentalist and modern day adventurer who is cut from a cloth not altogether different than that of George Mallory. The Lost Explorer details both men’s lives with a focus on the elder adventurer and the speculation of whether or not he was the first to summit the world’s tallest mountain.

  • Renee Kelly
    16:36 on December 19th, 2012
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    The subtitle bills this book as “THE” Biography of Mallory, implying that it’s intended to be definitive, and it is. The authors are especially thorough in their discussion of Mallory’s sexuality, a subject that other biographies either ignore (like the proverbial elephant in the living room) or equivocate on. Their study of letters of the Bloomsbury set (including Mallory’s own) pretty much settles the issue: the cover photograph is perhaps a hint of the revelations to come. The book concentrates on Mallory’s personal life more than on the details of his last climb (readers interested in the vexed debate over whether he made the summit or not will be better served by Anker and Robert’s or Hemmleb’s books), but one couldn’t ask for a better treatment of Mallory’s character. One oddity: the index entries relating to pages 20-40 are jumbled (see, e.g. the entry for Graham Irving), perhaps indicating that major changes were made in this section after the book was in page proof? A puzzlement!

  • MiniMe
    2:13 on December 20th, 2012
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    I absolutely loved this book. It was wonderful to read about the whole man, from his childhood to his young years, his family, his marriage and finally his travels and climbs to Everest and of course the times in which this happened. The title is so poetic and wonderfully fitting. He was not an obsessed loner but someone who shared many interests with other great women and men of his time. As a mother of children who are just starting out in school, I was surprised and interested in his teaching methods and musings about education and schooling. Some of his thoughts are mine exactly and this is almost 100 years later. He was a great writer and reading his letters is a pleasure in itself. I wish there would be a publication of all this writings. While his homosexual exploration certainly belongs to a full bio, I find the whole sexuality discussion rather unnecessary. I think his marriage and more so his and Ruth’s relationship in itself is proof – at least to me – that George Leigh Mallory was not homosexual. I feel very sad for Ruth as her life turned out to be one of suffering. She lost her mother so early, then her husband and finally, just when she found happiness again, she does not get to live it out.

    I am puzzled by how easily the authors dismiss Mallory’s technical abilities as insufficient for having made it to the top. While these first climbers may have certainly been inadequately dressed for the environment, I don’t believe for a minute that these men were not fit or accomplished enough compared to today’s climbers. Weeks on a boat, then travelling essentially on foot and horses made them fit enough (probably also by being able to acclimatize themselves for a much longer period than today)for any crack at the summit. This is a book about a man who dared to live his wildest dream against – finally – all odds and this story is worth being told.

  • J.R. Wirth
    8:43 on December 20th, 2012
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    I have always enjoyed reading non-fiction and especially those concerning exploration. I found “The Lost Explorer” exactly as I anticipated. It was full of information and anticipation, even though I read it many years after George Mallory was found, I still was spellbound on every page. Well written and well researched by the actual finder of George Mallory!

  • Joseph A. Satto
    13:26 on December 20th, 2012
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    An exquisitely sensitive and delicate account of the life of an extraordinary man and his times, written with grace, precision, and elegance.

    I have read many climbing books, but to me the least captivating – although always interesting and well written – parts of this book were about the expeditions – the accounts of which you can find in numerous other books.

    I knew Mallory the mountaineer, the legendary hero. I met Mallory the man, sensitive, curious, passionate, bold, idealistic, intellectually and morally honest. Mallory was an explorer of mountains, but most of all of life. I delighted in reading about Mallory’s political and social ideas, his passion for literature, education, the arts, nature, and of course climbing; his bold adventures in human relationships; his genuine love for and curiosity about people; his struggle to balance his dreams with his love for his family.

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