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A Tale of an Hour The cold gray steel of the axe arced one last time through the air the pick burrowed itself one last time into the frozen blanket of snow and the hand that held it took a final pull to ensure a secure placement After a brief pause George Mallory took a deep breath and pulled himself over the crux and onto the top Slowly shakily he stood up and took a look around the first time American eyes had seen the world from this vantage point This was it He had done it He was the first American to ever climb Everest The sky was a most crystalline blue and clear too except for the small puffy white clouds in the distant East George had the most incredible view ever seen in all directions he could see for hundreds probably even a thousand miles If only others could see this he said to himself If only he had brought a camera not only would he be able to show the human race the true beauty still found in nature he could prove that he had actually accomplished the feat Hopefully his friends down below could see him on the top Mallory briefly thought of waving but the notion quickly passed when he realized the absoluteness of his fatigue He was exhausted plain and simple Even after deciding against bringing a stove or any other nighttime equipment his pack still weighed in at about 40 lbs because of the extra oxygen bottles he picked up from a discarded pile In fact George just wanted to sit down He knew though that if he did he might never again get up He did however remove the cumbersome pack and sling it to the icy ground Digging into the main pouch Georges hand unveiled a small American flag attached to an aluminum pole With the side of his ice axe he
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