So, what’s your wildest dream? Mine always takes place every year around the same date. While you are sitting watching a certain TV show event I am out on the front porch, waiting. I have on my best white shirt that I rewashed trying to remove the mustard stains for the 74th time. I am wearing my black Levis which look like dress pants. Kind of. I even put on a bow tie (clip on style) that gives me a natty Fred Astaire look. Kind of. I have on my lap a beautifully lettered sign I hand printed on a piece of cardboard box. It says “Welcome Publisher Clearing House Prize Patrol Wagon”.
George Mallory died on June 8th, 1924 along with his climbing companion Sandy Irvine. He was way up on the highest mountain on earth and may have been the first to stand on the summit. There are certain facts learned in 1999 which point to this conclusion.
Conrad Anker, American climber, was on an Everest expedition in 1999 and was the first to see G. Mallory since that fateful day in 1924. He found the body face down on the side of the mountain. Sandy Irvine is still missing. Also missing was the picture of Mallory’s wife Ruth which he carried with him and had promised her he would leave on the summit. Also in support of the theory that he made it is the fact that his body was found in a place down and well away from the last place he was seen climbing, about 600 ft. from the top before he and Irvine disappeared into the clouds.
In 2007 Conrad Anker and another climber attempted to summit Everest using the basic equipment carried by Mallory and Irvine. They attempted to make it over the 2nd Step, a challenging element of the climb right before the summit. This was key in the Mallory/Irvine attempt in 1924.
National Geographic released this film in 2010 featuring the two climbers, Mallory and Anker, and their attempts to summit Everest. Using archival footage, modern re-creations, computer models and the awesome scenery, they have given us a gem of a story. They use history, drama and ice cold weather to tell the story of the two men fated to meet in 1999. Kind of. Liam Neeson narrates and his late wife, Natasha Richardson, provides the voice of Mallory’s wife Ruth. It was her last dramatic performance and the film is dedicated to her memory. Did Mallory and Irvine reach the summit decades ahead of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay who are the first credited with the climb? Unless further evidence turns up the answer is, maybe. Is this film now on DVD and BluRay worth seeing? For sure. Will the Prize Patrol Wagon show up next year? I’ve got a better chance of making it up Everest.
Rated 4.0 out of 4.0 reasons to have a bottle of oxygen handy when you watch The Wildest Dream. And some warm gloves.