We supplied many prestigious explorers and mountaineers. Our next few posts will cover just a few of our surprising clients.
George Herbert Leigh Mallory (1886 – 1924) was an English mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s. His dissappearance on the North Face became one of the longest running mysteries in British history.
He was born in Cheshire and went to school in Eastbourne before gaining a mathematics scholarship to study at Winchester College where he was introduced to rock climbing by R G L Irvin who was a member of the Alpine Club. In 1905 he entered Magdalene College, Cambridge to study history. It was at Cambridge where he met members of the Bloomsbury Group including Rupert Brooke. After Cambridge he secured a teaching job at Charterhouse School where he met Robert Graves who was a pupil at the time. They often climbed together in the Lake District where there is a route named after him.
During the first world war he fought in the Battle of the Somme. After the war he resigned from Charterhouse to join the first Everest Expedition in 1921. Famously when asked "Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?" he is rumoured to have said - "Because it's there"
There were three Everest Expedition in the 1920’s. Much useful mapping was carried out and new possible routes were opened up. Mallory managed to climb to an altitude of 27,300 feet by using oxygen which was frowned upon by the purist climbers. The group picture shows Mallory seated far left.
Arthur Beale probably supplied our famous Alpine Club Rope for these expeditions. This is one of our many printing blocks in our archive.
We certainly supplied the ice axes as the receipt shows!
Mallory joined the 1924 British Mount Everest Expedition. He was sure he would be able to summit the mountain during this trip. Unfortunately, he never returned to the base camp and it is assumed he and his climbing partner Irvine died during an attempt to summit the mountain on 9th June 1924. Some theories suppose that he made it to the summit.
Irvine’s ice axe was found in 1933. Three years later Frank Smythe, another of our clients, believed he spotted Mallory's body just below where the ice was discovered.
In 2014 an Ice Axe believed the one Mallory used in 1922 was sold at auction for $250,000.00. Strangely the ice axe seems to be Austrian, whereas the axes that we supplied to the Expedition Organisers were from Chamonix in France.
Arthur Beales Ice Axes were normally stamped with our name.
It would be interesting to see the provenance of the axe that was sold as being from Mallory.