In 1924 Mallory was selected for the third expedition. This was to be the mountaineer’s final outing, as he and fellow climber Andrew Irvine disappeared on the North-East ridge of the mountain on June 8. The particularities of whether Mallory and Irvine had actually reached the summit prior to their disappearance continue to be the subject of numerous studies. In the 1930s Irvine’s ice axe was found at about 27,700 feet (8,440 metres), and in 1975 a Chinese climber discovered a body that he described as being that of an Englishman.
An expedition set out in 1999 to search for the two bodies but only revealed Mallory’s, which was found at 26,760 feet (8,155 metres), determining that he had died after a bad fall. It was initially hoped that the camera which Mallory had with him might reveal if he and Irvine had reached the summit. Possessions such as an altimeter, pocketknife, and letters were found but no camera. His body was buried where it had been discovered.