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Tuesday, 19 April 2022


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You climbed a 1,829m peak? If you visited me in my living room, you'd be at 2,292m.

[If you Google "Gonzen mountain" and hit images, you'll see it's a respectable little rock. It makes a nice day hike, with some climbing involved, in particular a ledge across a cliff with a wire handhold to keep you from falling, and a ladder bolted into a sheer rock face. It's the only time I've seen the architect's rendering view of pine trees, i.e. from directly above them. --Mike]

Is there any evidence of what the Chinese climbers, technicians, and government did or did not? Or it's pure speculation? Do you believe if some Chinese climbers indeed found the camera, or some Western climbers found it, they would have the tendency to behave the same, or differently? As a long subscriber of your rss feed, I find it unwise for a reputable blog to spread such pure speculations. Regardless of your intention, it reads like an insult to Chinese climbers and their colleagues.

[It looks like most of the testimony came *from* the Chinese climbers. But I'm just reporting; I don't know anything myself. I would suggest you read at least the article, if not the book, before jumping to conclusions. --Mike]

Hillary and Norgay first summited Everest on 29th May 1953. The news broke on the day of Queen Elizabeth's coronation, 2nd June 1953.

"Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary did it in 1956" The date I am familiar with is May 29, 1953.

I tend to avoid conspiracy theories. OTOH, I also have worked hard to avoid having to deal with the government of the People's Republic. My son was adopted from Vietnam and in the process of choosing them over China I learned far more than I cared too about that government and the various levels of corruption (China = high, Vietnam = low) so I find the idea that they would destroy (not hide, if they got it, it's gone now) that camera and film very easy to believe. That is only my experience; trust yours over mine.


The Salon article is a good read. Thanks for the link.

At one point in my life I aspired to climb Everest. I have settled for knowing people that have done so.

Wow. What a story.

I may not be the first to mention this but the current first ascent was May 29, 1953.

Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary did it in 1956...

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Everest on the 29th of May, 1953. The news reached Britain just in time for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, adding to the good cheer in the UK.


I'm holding out hope! After all, the DID eventually find the Mexican Suitcase!

There's a really good manga called "The Summit of the Gods" by Yumemakura Baku and Jiro Taniguichi where a Japanese photojournalist finds what may be Mallory & Irvine's Vest Pocket Kodak in a Kathmandu bazaar, which leads him into intrigue and his own attempt to conquer Everest.

There's also a (highly abridged) French animated movie based on it which is on Netflix and well worth a watch.

Did Donald Trump write the foreword, LOL.

There is a very good manga on this camera (not the Chinese thing): Summit of the Gods. It has been made into at least two films: the recent animated film (is in French) which is wonderful.

Occams Razor

Mike said "I'm "scared of heights" and the highest mountain I've climbed is The Gonzen at 1,829m"
You did good Mike! Elevation is relative.
Point Imperial is at 2,683m, but you can drive there.

Yes it would glorious- finding the VPK intact with film. The chance of that fades with each passing year.
I'v read that a climb is only successful if the climbers make it up and down. Down safely. So yes, if we ever find that climbers made it up before 1953 it is only half way.

This is feeling a bit "academic" to me. Suppose I quickly swallow 77 hot dogs at Nathan's on a bright summer day, cheered on by an onlooking crowd of Coney Islanders. Suppose then I clutch my heart and suffer a coronary immediately after. Well I just happen to think maybe Joey Chestnut should be given that year's prize. I'm not saying that y'all shouldn't be astonished by my final performance. I'm just saying...

And, hey, my name *would* get in the papers that day, I would think. I stuffed too may franks down my throat, then died.

The limit in my analogy here is that Hillary and Norgay very likely could have died, with any other attempt, as well. Whereas Joey C can just keep climbing his Nathan's Everest year after year after year. Amazing.

The article reminds me of the early 1980s song that begins, "Heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend, who heard it from another..." The article contains so much conjecture and speculation that it reads like the kind of tall tale one might hear around a campfire after a few beers. Color me skeptical.

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