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 Ballooning over Everest

Graham Hoyland left on Wednesday for Kathmandu again. This will be his 6th expedition to Everest. Graham Hoyland is returning to Everest this Autumn 2001 in search of the clues to resolve the Mystery of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine and to support balloon pilot David Hempleman-Adams who plans to fly over Everest. Graham is the great nephew of legendary climber Howard Somervell. Somervell and Mallory were dear friends and one-time climbing partners. They crossed paths on Everest in June 1924, as Mallory and Irvine were making their ill fated attempt at the Summit of Everest. Somervell lent Mallory his Kodak camera in hopes that Mallory and Irvine would succeed in obtaining the Summit. Mallory and Irvine disappeared into the clouds above camp 6 never to be seen alive again. Somervell's camera became a tantalizing clue to one of the enduring mysteries on our age. Did Mallory or Irvine actually reach the Summit of Everest ?

Graham will be joining up with balloon pilot David Hempleman-Adams, who climbed Everest in 1993. David, a famous explorer in his own right, is inspired by a flight over Everest in the 30's by two airmen. David Hempleman-Adams has completed the seven summits and the Adventure Grand Slam, (the 7 Summits and both poles).

The flight is expected to last 20 minutes and land in Nepal. There are several very experienced team members (technical balloon people) on the expedition. The take-off point is Rongbuk valley with a take off date of date around 20th Sept expected. Graham told us earlier that "David will be flying more than half the flight solo. Cameras will be mounted to the basket." This is a very high tech expedition with the best weather reports from the UK, satellite phone communications, and all the goodies. 

David is an experienced balloonist and was the first person to fly solo across the Arctic Ocean and has set the UK record for solo ballooning. He will be wearing a special suit designed by NASA ! It is a very risky plan, with the main risk begin the balloon could crash into the mountain and he would have to climb down, if possible.

To quote Graham, "It's fairly risky." 

On Irvine, the "Whole thing is dependent upon weather and visibility."

We are unclear on the current status on Graham's plans to go up in the balloon. He is planning to send us reports every 4-5 days. Stay Tuned...

You can support Graham's Quest to solve the Mallory or Irvine mystery by purchasing his book "DEATH ON EVEREST" today !!!

Dispatches >>>>

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