A Colour Atlas of Plant Structure by Bryan B. Bowes

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By Bryan B. Bowes

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That was the last time anyone saw Mallory and Irvine alive. The other expeditioners waited for hours, then Odell went searching for them. At their highest camp he discovered that forgetful Mallory had left his torch in his tent. After two days, Odell laid the camp blankets out in a cross to send a message to Base Camp that Mallory and Irvine were dead. DID MALLORY AND IRVINE MAKE IT? The question is: did Mallory and Irvine reach the summit before they died? No one is really sure. Odell saw them on a ridge called Second Step, which isn’t far from the summit.

He was also a little eccentric, sometimes striding around the lower altitudes stark naked, wearing only his boots and backpack! Image rights unavailable Mallory and his team-mates found a route up the mountain and in 1921 reached a record height of 7010 metres. In 1922 they made it even higher, 28 to 8170 metres, just 680 metres below the summit. It was an epic day in which they climbed in the dark, carrying candles to avoid crevasses. Mallory’s team reached these incredible heights without modern oxygen tanks or climbing equipment, and wearing very basic clothing.

When he got down from the summit, he had to have five fingers amputated. 49 Image rights unavailable 5 THE RACE TO THE SUMMIT After Mallory and Norton and the other heroes of the 1920s got so close, it took almost 30 years for the race to the summit to finally be won. Why so long? Well, there was the huge cost of expeditions, and the difficulty of getting permission to enter from the Nepalese king. Also, many of the best young climbers were killed (or at least busy fighting) in World War II. The British, in particular, were desperate to be first to climb the highest mountain on Earth.

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