Explorers George Mallory, Andrew Irvine (pictured)and Cork man Richard William George Hingston are the subject of a new RTÉ Documentary on One. Photo: RTÉ

Mystery of Mount Everest’s lost mountaineers

The phrase 'Because it's there', was famously uttered by the explorer George Mallory in New York in 1922, has long been associated with the spirit of mountaineers.

On June 8, 1924, while scaling Mount Everest, Mallory and Irvine were spotted from below, close to reaching their goal, just hours away from potentially conquering the world's highest peak. Tragically, their companions lost sight of them in the mist, leaving a void in history that has perplexed adventurers for decades.

In mountaineering history, the question has lingered for almost a century: did they conquer Mount Everest's summit almost three decades before Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay's historic ascent in 1953? The disappearance of these mountaineers has been a subject of intrigue, and the RTÉ Documentary on One titled The Lost Mountaineers aims to unearth the truth behind the mystery.

What sets The Lost Mountaineers apart is the perspective of Richard William George Hingston, a native of Passage West in Cork, who accompanied Mallory and Irvine on that fateful expedition. A graduate of University College Cork, Hingston served as the medical officer and naturalist for the Mallory expedition to Mount Everest's summit. Yet, his role goes beyond mere documentation; Hingston's diary, held at Trinity College Dublin and rarely seen by the public until now, offers a unique insight into the events of that day.

The Lost Mountaineers delves into the Mallory expedition, as seen through the eyes of Richard William George Hingston.

Almost a century after George Mallory and Andrew Irvine vanished, it seeks to shine a light on the question whether they reached the summit of Everest, nearly three decades before Hillary and Tenzing.

RTÉ Documentary on One 'The Lost Mountaineers' is available wherever you get your podcasts.