Now, Graham Hoyland, the great nephew of a member of the expedition's members, wants to climb Everest wearing the clothes they wore. He says it's not as ridiculous as it seems because, in fact, as the recently recovered bodies revealed, the men wore a lot of layers:
"The typical myth of Mallory was that he was under-equipped and amateurish," said Mary Rose, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Lancaster University in the UK, who was inspired by the discovery of Mallory's body to attempt a recreation of his wardrobe.Cool project. It reminds me of efforts to recreate the shoes of the 5,300-year-old Iceman:
In fact, she said: "We've found that he understood his clothing probably better than modern climbers.
"It was quite an advanced system; the silk gave wind-proofing, and the silk and woollen layers moved off each other so it was quite easy to climb."...
"I guess I will find it much easier to move across the terrain, but I imagine the wind will be really cutting," [Hoyland] said.
"These shoes are very comfortable. They are perfectly able to protect your feet against hard terrain, against hot temperatures, against cold temperatures," [said Petr Hlavacek, a Czech shoe expert who has created replicas]....
Despite their flimsy leather soles, the shoes offer a good grip and superb shock absorption, and are blister-free, Hlavacek said.
It's like going barefoot, "only better," he said. "In the Oetzi shoes, you feel something like freedom, flexibility."...
[The shoes were tested by Vaclav Patek, a Czech mountaineer ... who owns a firm that makes mountaineering shoes for extreme terrain, has climbed all of Europe's tallest mountains. "I daresay I would manage to climb them all in the Oetzi shoes," he said.
The love of natural fibers. That was a major 1970s cultural trend. Now it's an area of scientific study, but will the fashion trend ever come around again? I remember the reaction to the first wave of polyester clothing, when lots of people made a big point of wearing only natural fibers. Somehow we slid back into polyester (renamed "microfiber") and lost that well-cultivated aversion to the artificial. There are all sorts of high tech fabrics now, and we don't ever bother to shun them. We don't ever talk about the importance of layers anymore.
Now, there's a fashion trend that's got to revive at some point: