“Climbing Mount Everest is work for supermen”

On March 18, 1923, an article in the New York Times headlined “Climbing Mount Everest is work for supermen.”

Specifically, the article asked what was the reason for climbing it, given also the failed attempts in 1921 and 1922. The question was posed to George Mallory, who had participated in both expeditions and was preparing to be part of the group that would make a third attempt in 1924. The answer given by the explorer became famous and continues to be famous today exactly 100 years later. In fact, Mallory replied, “Because it’s there.” He was also asked, if the scientific results obtained were not enough. “Yes … but do you think Schackelton went to the South Pole to make scientific observations? He used the observations he made to finance the next trip. Sometimes scientific research is an excuse for exploration. I think it is rarely the reason. Everest is the highest mountain in the world, and no man has ever made it to the top. Its existence is a challenge. The response is instinctive and I think it is part of man’s desire to conquer the universe.”

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