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Lost on Everest

Program Overview


NOVA follows an expedition trying to determine whether British climbers George Leigh Mallory and Andrew Irvine ever reached the top of Mt. Everest during their 1924 summit attempt.

The program:

  • reviews what climbing was like in 1924, when mountaineers climbed without the assistance of today's maps, high-tech clothing and equipment, or fixed guide trails.

  • tracks a team of climbers who search for Irvine's body, last thought to be seen in 1975 by a Chinese climber.

  • captures the moment the team finds a body, later identified as Mallory.

  • presents items found on Mallory's body, including an altimeter, knife, pencil, snow goggles, and notes from others.

  • chronicles climbers' attempts to recreate Mallory and Irvine's ascent using only the equipment available at the time.

  • records the climbers who, at 1,000 feet below the summit, consider what Mallory and Irvine's decisions may have been at that same point where they were last seen alive.

  • concludes with team members giving their opinions about whether they believe Mallory and Irvine ever reached the summit.

Teacher's Guide
Lost on Everest
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