I watch a lot of adventure shows on cable TV and this past Sunday evening Discovery Channel had a 2 hour long one titled "Everest's Greatest Mystery".
To set the background for this post, in 1924 two British climbers (one quite experienced -- George Mallory, and a novice climber -- Andrew Irvine) disappeared from the view of others (below) within a few hundred meters of the summit, never to be heard from again. It took 29 years until Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay accomplished and documented the supposed first human conquest of the summit, but questions remained. Did Mallory and Irvine actually reach the summit and succumb in their descent? In 1999 an expedition went to find Irvine, who carried the camera for the 1924 attempt, to hopefully determine if his photos would show that they reached the top. That expedition ironically failed to find Irvine's body, but Mallory's instead.
Four experienced (each with multiple Everest trips) climbers from the USA were filmed in a spring 2019 expedition for this program. Their goal once again was to find Irvine and his camera. The weather in 2019 was particularly bad (12 climbers perished) and they spent over a month at base camp (17,000 ft = 5200 m) or above. Their ultimate trip lasted 3 consecutive days above 27,000 ft (8200 m), apparently shattering a record for most time consecutively at or above that altitude on Everest. Although they carried supplemental oxygen, for most of that time they had to conserve it and breathe the 33% (relative to sea level) dense air. At night the temperatures dipped to -20 F (-29 C) and although I don't recall the daytime temps I doubt they were much above 0 F (-18 C). Those are air temps, not windchills. (BTW, their high camps were set up by local guides who departed as soon as their task was complete.)
I noticed a metal detector in the backpack of one of the expedition members, and he carried it all three days they searched near the summit. That's pretty amazing when you consider the conditions:
1) With so little oxygen, weight is critical. Even carrying an extra pound matters a lot;
2) At these temperatures I'm surprised a metal detector will even function;
3) The setup and operation had to be simple and any searching looking for just metal signal or not. The brain doesn't work well with low oxygen.
As it turns out I never saw the detector being used, and I doubt it was. The climbers wore ice crampons but much of the terrain was windblown and thus rocky, not icy. Movement had to be delicate and anything held/carried in hand made it that much more dangerous. Also, without snow/ice cover there was nowhere for metal to hide. But that didn't stop the climber with the detector to bring it along every one of the three days they searched. He had to have considered it quite important.
Oh, you may be wondering which detector he had with him: Garrett AT/Pro.
Here is a good article in the Bendigo Advisor about two of the Aussie Gold Hunters on the show.
The Poseidon Crew joined the main cast of Aussie Gold Hunters this year.
"It took a bit of convincing to be part of the show," Mr Shannon said. "Most prospectors don't generally like to divulge their finds freely, for obvious reasons.
"What convinced me was to try help raise profile of prospecting in Victoria. We're in a bit of a struggle with regulations and in the industry is gradually being reduced. Hopefully being a part of show, showcases Victoria and what we can produce in terms of gold finds."
Friday night I stayed up until 11 PM to watch the second episode of Aussie Gold Hunters. I had to watch it with mostly volume off because of others sleeping but I'm glad I saw it. I had seen an ad during Parker's show that it was going to be on but I didn't see the first episode.
It has been a rather hard show to track down but now I've found a link.
When I put this link up it says 2015! I thought it looked old.
Here is a teaser for the new show:
I guess I'll need to have Netflix, YouTube premium to see the new show.
The famous Meteorite Men are together again! A new short film series starring Steve Arnold and produced by Geoffrey Notkin.
Meet expert meteorite hunter Steve Arnold, one of the stars of TV's multi-award-winning Discovery Science series "Meteorite Men." In this exclusive YouTube series, Steve teaches you how to find fallen space rocks, and what equipment you will need out there in the field. Learn more by visiting Steve's official website: https://www.fireballsteve.com