The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest Review

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In 1924, British mountaineer George Mallory disappeared into the clouds below Everest's summit and was never seen again. Anthony Geffen's documentary follows American climber Conrad Anker, the man who discovered Mallory's body, as he seeks to discover his fate.


In 1999, American mountaineer Conrad Anker discovered the frozen body of British climber George Mallory, who vanished 800 feet below the summit of Everest in 1924, and awoke an old mystery: did Mallory summit Everest decades before the official conquering team of Hillary and Tensing? Along with Brit climbing star Leo Houlding he retraces the ascent. Sadly this does little to solve the mystery, attempts to use period equipment seem sporadic and the film is unclear about for how long or where on the mountain this was attempted.

But the tale of Mallory’s fatal ascent is well told, the mountain photography is spectacular and rare archive film recalls a time when the world still had peaks to conquer and, as Houlding winsomely calls it, “Goddess Mother Of The Universe The Mountain We Call Everest” wasn’t a high-end tourist attraction.

With startling high-altitude photography and archive footage there's plenty to appreciate, but the mystery remains shrouded in the mountain mists.