This activity was developed for educational outreach around the National Geographic film The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest. George Mallory’s historic 1924 attempt to climb Mount Everest—and vast scientific and technological changes since his death—provide themes for compelling classroom activities in Grades 4-12. Visit the full collection to see all thirteen standards-based activities, as well as maps, videos, a glossary, and other content to help students get the most out of The Wildest Dream.

The Wildest Dream: Film Summary

In 1999, renowned American mountaineer Conrad Anker made a discovery that reverberated around the globe. High in Mount Everest’s “death zone,” he found the body of George Mallory—75 years after the British explorer mysteriously vanished during his attempt to become the first man to summit the world’s tallest peak.

Mallory had risked everything as he set out, dressed in gabardine and hobnailed boots, in pursuit of his dream of reaching the top of Everest—which in 1924 was the last great adventure left to man. He was last spotted alive just 800 feet below the summit. Then the clouds rolled in and Mallory vanished into legend.

After discovering Mallory’s body, Conrad Anker’s life became intertwined with Mallory’s story. Remarkably, Mallory’s body was found with all his belongings intact. The only thing missing was a photograph of Mallory’s wife, Ruth, which he had promised to place on the summit. Haunted by Mallory’s story, Conrad longed to return to Everest to lay Mallory’s ghost to rest.