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‘The best Everest book I’ve read since Into Thin Air. Synnott’s climbing skills take you places few will ever dare to tread, but it’s his writing that will keep you turning pages well past bedtime.’ – Mark Adams

Veteran climber Mark Synnott never planned on climbing Mount Everest. But a hundred-year mystery lured him into an expedition where a history of passionate adventure, chilling tragedy, and human aspiration unfolded.

George Mallory and Sandy Irvine were last seen in 1924, eight hundred feet shy of Everest’s summit. A century later, we still don’t know whether they achieved their goal of being first to reach the top, decades before Hillary and Norgay in 1953. Irvine carried a camera with him to record their attempt, but it, along with his body, had never been found. Did Mallory and Irvine reach the summit and take a photograph before they fell to their deaths?

Mark Synnott made his own ascent up the infamous North Face to try and find Irvine’s body and the camera. But during a season described as ‘the one that broke Everest’, an awful traffic jam of climbers at the summit resulted in tragic deaths. Synnott’s quest became something bigger than the original mystery that drew him there – an attempt to understand the madness of the mountain and why it continues to have a magnetic draw on explorers.

Exploring how science, business and politics have changed who climbs Everest, The Third Pole is a thrilling portrait of the mountain spanning a century.

Reviews

The Third Pole is an elegy of extremes, a white-knuckle tale of obsession and survival. From the archives of London's Royal Geographical Society to a tent battered by howling winds in the Death Zone, Mark Synnott puts it all on the line in his quest to solve Mount Everest's most enduring mystery.
Susan Casey, author of The Wave and Voices in the Ocean
A hundred-year-old detective story with a new twist. A high-altitude adventure. The best Everest book I've read since Into Thin Air. Synnott's climbing skills take you places few will ever dare to tread, but it's his writing that will keep you turning pages well past bedtime.
Mark Adams, author of Tip of the Iceberg and Turn Right at Machu Picchu
Join Mark Synnott on a quest for an artifact that could change Everest mountaineering history. Part detective story, part high adventure, Synnott engages obsessed historians, dodges Chinese bureaucrats, and ultimately risks his life high on the mountain's north face. As the tension rises, he discovers astounding strengths in his fellow climbers, tragic frailty, and an ineffable truth he never imagined.
Andy Hall, author of Denali’s Howl