Leo Houlding, Kevin Thaw, Gerry Moffat, Conrad Anker summit Everest

by Mick Ryan In a media extravaganza and with all the associated Hollywood hype, The Altitude Everest Expedition 2007 team reached the summit of Everest this morning at 7am. From the press release, “Early this morning the expedition team removed the ladder which was bolted to the Second Step, allowing Anker and Houlding to free-climb this 100-foot rock wall, the last obstacle blocking their route to the summit. In this way the climbers confronted the Second Step very much as Mallory and Irvine might have done 83 years ago. Their success at the summit, without the use of the ladder, adds weight to the theory that George Mallory and Sandy Irvine may have made it to the summit in 1924, 29 years before Hillary and Tenzing.” Leo called his Mum from the summit, and was joined there by the UK´s Kevin Thaw and Gerry Moffatt (not the Jerry Moffatt from Sheffield). You can read and see all about it here at www.ueverest.com But make sure that you read between the lines. According to a reliable source, the Second Step has been free climbed before and the boys were wearing modern clothes to the summit, not silks, wool and leather. In fact you may find this article at www.mounteverest.net interesting claiming that Catalan climber, Oscar Cadiach free´d the Second Step and later attempted the route in in Mallory-style clothing saying that, ?They probably died of cold up there??When I climbed with the clothes they wore, in the same conditions, I concluded that Mallory and Irivine probably died of cold on the North side. In my opinion, one could actually summit with that equipment on a good day ? we turned round due to bad weather.”