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He reconnoitered the base of the climbing crux and decided it was not for him that day.
He returned, picked up Irvine and the two decided to climb the First Step for a look around and to photograph the complex approach to the Second Step.
The second British expedition, under General Charles Granville Bruce and climbing leader Lt-Col.
Edward Lisle Strutt, and containing Mallory, returned for a full-scale attempt on the mountain.
It was when climbing this small promontory that they were spotted from below by Odell, who assumed that, since they were ascending, they must therefore have been on the Second Step, although it is now difficult to believe that the two would still be climbing from so low down at a time—five hours late—that was considered to be the turn-around hour.
It was the last time the two were seen; whether either of them reached the summit remains a question that has reverberated through the decades.It was primarily for mapping and reconnaissance to discover whether a route to the summit could be found from the north side.As the health of Raeburn broke down, Mallory assumed responsibility for most of the exploration to the north and east of the mountain.The third British expedition was led by Brigadier-General Charles Bruce, although becoming indisposed as a result of a flare-up of malaria, he relinquished leadership of the expedition to Lt-Col.Edward Norton, with Mallory promoted to climbing leader.