The Andy Politz Q&A with Questions from the readers of

Question: Can you summarize the finds from this year and integrate them into the story?

Andy: There were finds from several different events. Essentially, the importance of the finds are in their location. Certainly, the items are a fascinating insight into long ago climbs, times and a golden age. The food labels are precious in their wording and art.  The quality of the workmanship and materials are inspiring; back in a time when the human hand did most of the work in production. 

Jake and Brent found a high camp of the 1933 expedition. No M&I leads here, but for those of us who love the style of Shipton and Tilman, to have touched gear ES used is humbling in it’s simplicity and lightness. Convenience was not a high priority. Weight and simplicity are factors affecting whether the trip can happen at all. Ultimate convenience is of little importance in an item that gets little use. Better to keep the pack weight down.

Shipton and Tilman were legendary in their willingness to launch out on complex trips, having organized them on the back of an envelope. 

1960 and 75 Chinese high camps were found. Great stuff, but of little value in the mystery of M&I. This would be from where Wong Hong Bao (?) would have started his 20 minute walk from, when he spotted Irvine in 1975.

1922 ABC. Again, no value in the mystery, yet still intriguing. Four oxygen bottles were found and I believe some cans and batteries from the era.

1924 Camp 6. Disappointingly sparse. One place we know M&I spent some time.

A mitten found up in the Yellow Band. Could this have been Mallory or Irvine’s? It is a beautiful piece. I believe the fabric, pattern and construction place it as 1930’s or earlier. It is too classic and traditional for 1980 when Tibet opened it’s borders again. Prior to WW2, someone would use the Arctic  (Inuit) pattern. The fabric is odd- a little thin for such an important layer as an overmitt, yet beautiful. For these reasons, I believe it came from the 1924 trip. Several people were up that high, especially if we allow the wind to blow a mitt uphill from highcamp. I would think that by 1933, folks would realize how exhausting the cold is up there and would be suitably outfitted.

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