Although finding Irvine without his camera (or finding a camera that is too badly damaged to produce pictures) would shed little light on whether he and Mallory succeeded, “we have good reason to think that [Irvine] had a camera,” Simonson says. “That’s why we went back in 2001, to find the camera.” (Howard Somervell, who was part of the 1924 expedition, has been quoted as saying that he had loaned his Kodak VPK camera to Mallory as they passed each other on the north ridge.)
“It will be a momentous day if that camera is found,” Simonson concludes, a day that could change history.
They are, of course, refering to Andrew Irvine, partner for George Mallory. The duo disappeared during their 1924 Mt. Everest summit attempt. Scientists feel as though they have a legitimate shot at recovering his missing body within a year or two. Their hope is, that they will also discover a camera he was carrying.
The significance probably only matters to the legacies’s of George Mallory, Andrew Irvine, Edmund Hillary, and Tenzing Norgay.