The Mallory replicas challenge the conventional view that Mallory’s clothing and equipment were inadequate for his final 1924 Everest expedition. Based on scientific analysis of textile fragments from the original clothing, recovered on Everest in 1999, the replicas were created to provide a better understanding of the construction of the garments. They demonstrate how effective they would have been at providing protection at altitude, and have been rigorously laboratory-tested for comparison with current mountaineering clothing.
The replicas are the result of a three-year project headed by Professor Mary B. Rose and Mike Parsons both of Lancaster University Management School’s IEED. Research work and replication was undertaken at the Universities of Leeds, Southampton and Derby; the £30,000 project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with added support from the Pasold Research Fund and the Clothing for Extremes conference and under the direction of the Mountain Heritage Trust.
Graham Hoyland, mountaineer and relative of 1924 Everest climber Howard Somervell, field-tested on Everest an exact replica of the clothing worn by George Mallory in 1924. He concluded it was: ‘very pleasant to wear, easy movement, sufficiently warm to summit.’ The replicas also provided the research basis for clothing worn by Leo Houlding and Conrad Anker during the documentary drama The Wildest Dream in which they reconstructed the last climb of Mallory and Irvine.
A copy of the brochure which provides detailed information on the project is available from the Trust, priced £4.95 plus £1.50 postage.