One hundred years ago, two men set out to summit Mount Everest. Neither of them returned.

British explorers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine tried to be the first to reach the top of Everest, the world’s tallest mountain. In 1924, they began their climb and later disappeared on the mountain’s northeast ridge.

Mallory’s body was found in 1999. Irvine’s body has yet to be found.

Smithsonian Books’ newest release, Everest 24: New Views on the 1924 Mount Everest Expedition, focuses on this expedition and others, with rare and never-before-published images. The book examines the meanings and mysteries of Everest mountaineering, while telling the stories of the Indigenous Himalayans who help the many Everest explorers, who are often overlooked and overshadowed.

Everest 24’s foreword was written by Norbu Tenzing—son of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, who was the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, along with Edmund Hillary, in 1953.

The featured photographs are part of the Royal Geographical Society’s collections and were taken by John Noel, the expedition’s official photographer and cinematographer; Bentley Beetham; and various other team members.

The photographs reveal more about the mountaineers behind these expeditions and the striking natural landscapes of the mountain itself.

Everest Image 1
Members of the 1924 expedition, including Sherpas, rest in the snow during their climb of the North Col, the lowest point of one of the three ridges that lead to Everest’s summit. John Noel / © Royal Geographical Society
East Rongbuk Glacier
A member of the 1924 expedition explores the ice pinnacles of East Rongbuk Glacier. This photograph was taken looking north toward Kellas Rock Peak and shows a frozen lake where the expedition rested for half an hour on their trek through the glacier. John Noel / © Royal Geographical Society
The last image taken of George Mallory (left)
The last image taken of Mallory (left) and Irvine as they were about to leave Camp IV on the morning of June 6, 1924, for their summit attempt. Edward Norton lies in one of the tents in the background suffering with severe snow blindness. Noel Odell / © Royal Geographical Society
Members of the 1922 Mount Everest Expedition
Members of the 1922 Mount Everest expedition, including George Mallory and Sherpas, rest during the ascent of the North Col. John Noel / © Royal Geographical Society
"Camp IV on the North Col"
Camp IV, on the North Col, was used by a support party of two climbers during the 1924 summit attempts. John Noel / © Royal Geographical Society
Everest Image 71
Members of the 1924 British Mount Everest expedition are shown in a hand-tinted photograph. Back row (left to right): Andrew Irvine, George Mallory, Edward Norton, Noel Odell and John Macdonald. Front row (left to right): Edward O. Shebbeare, Geoffrey Bruce, T. Howard Somervell and Bentley Beetham. John Noel / © Royal Geographical Society
1924 expedition team
A hand-tinted photograph shows Norton and Somervell with the three high-altitude porters who climbed with them to Camp VI: Norbu Yishe, Lhakpa Chedi and Semchumbi. John Noel / © Royal Geographical Society
1921 Mount Everest Reconnaissance Expedition
Edward O. Wheeler’s photographic survey party are pictured during the 1921 Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition. Using photo-topographical surveying mechanisms, Wheeler and his three Tibetan assistants, Gorang, Lagay and Ang Pasang, methodically photo-surveyed and mapped the immediate area around the approaches to Mount Everest. A. F. R. Wollaston / © Royal Geographical Society
Everest Image 157
A group of Tibetans look at the camera. Beetham’s photographs during the expedition leave an invaluable record of Tibetan life in the 1920s. Bentley Beetham / © Royal Geographical Society
Everest Image 81
An expedition member examines a steep crevasse as the party moves up the East Rongbuk Glacier. John Noel / © Royal Geographical Society
Everest Image 76
A group gather in the town of Shekar, including Mallory (third from left); Norton (fourth from left); the dzongpen, or governor, of Shekar (second from right); and Bruce (far right). John Noel / © Royal Geographical Society
Everest Image 55
A group of porters on the North Col during the 1922 expedition. John Noel / © Royal Geographical Society

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