Mount Everest Pioneer George Mallory’s Last Letter Revealed After Being Held Secret for Over 100 Years

Legendary Mount Everest pioneer George Mallory’s final letter to his wife has been published after being held secret for over 100 years.

The letter from Mallory, published by his alma mater, Cambridge University, expressed the difficulties he faced during his final expedition.

In the letter, Mallory told his wife, “Darling, I wish you the best I can – that your anxiety will be at an end before you get this – with the best news, which will also be the quickest.”

“It is 50-to-one against us, but we’ll have a whack yet and do ourselves proud. Great love to you. Ever your loving, George,” added Mallory.

Mallory concluded his letter to his wife by writing, “The candle is burning out, and I must stop.”

Mallory disappeared in 1924 along with his climbing partner Andrew Irvine, 22, during their expedition to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

In 1999, Mallory’s body was discovered below the peak, but it’s unknown whether he died before or after he reached the summit.

Irvine’s body has never been discovered.

More from CBS:

BBC World Service news report from May 4, 1999 stated: “An expedition to Mount Everest has found the body of the famous British climber, George Mallory, who disappeared 75 years ago a short distance from the summit. The team said they spotted the corpse protruding from the snow about 600m below the top of Everest. Mallory’s name tag was on the clothing and a rope was still round his waist.”

The first documented ascent came nearly three decades later when New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay scaled the mountain on May 29, 1953.  In 1963, Jim Whittaker became the first American to reach the summit.  “There was no feeling of exhilaration, no feeling of ‘Boy, we pulled it off.’ We were just hanging on to life,” Whittaker told CBS News on the 50th anniversary of his ascent. “And I knew we were out of oxygen. You’re in the death zone. If you don’t get down, you die.”

Magdalene College posted Mallory’s letters online to mark the centenary of his ill-fated attempt to stand atop the world. The collection, which had previously been available to researchers, also includes letters he wrote from the battlefront in World War I and correspondence he received from others, including his wife.

The only surviving letter his wife wrote from England during the expedition was sent as his party sailed toward Bombay. It recounts a recent snowstorm, how her bank account was overdrawn and how she fell off a ladder before telling him how much she missed him.

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