Breaking New Ground
As they struggled to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine's strength was failing. Here on the world's tallest mountain, a harsh landscape1 of sharp rocks, ice walls, and snowfields surrounded them. Violent winds threatened2 to push the climbers off into oblivion.
George Leigh Mallory never backed down3 from a challenge. Born in 1886, he wanted desperately to become the first person to climb Mt. Everest. Unfortunately, his first two attempts to climb the mountain failed. When asked to join a third expedition in 1924, Mallory ignored an uneasy sense of foreboding and departed for4 Tibet.
In those days, climbing Everest's 8,850 meters was like going to the moon. Climbers' clothing and gear were primitive5 by today's standards, making the journey nearly impossible. On June 8th, Mallory and Irvine were spotted6 disappearing into clouds near the summit, but they were never seen alive again. Whether they attained their goal remains a mystery.
乔治·李·马洛里从不轻易向困难低头。出生于 1886 年的马洛里，一心盼望能成为登上珠穆郎玛峰的第一人。很不幸地，他头两次的登山尝试皆未成功。1924 年，当马洛里获邀参加第三次远征计划时，他不顾一股不祥的预感，毅然出发前往西藏。
在当时，要攀登上 8,850 公尺高的珠穆郎玛峰，就像登陆月球一样困难。以今天的标准来看，当时登山者的衣物和装备可说是相当简陋，这趟珠穆郎玛峰之行几乎不可能成功。六月八日，有人看到马洛里与厄文在山顶附近的云雾中渐渐失去踪影，但从此再也没有人见过他们了。他们是否已如愿征服珠穆郎玛峰，至今仍是一个谜。
1. landscape n. natural scenery of an area of land （陆上的）风景；景色
The landscape of the moon is dry and dusty, and like Earth, it features mountains and plains.
● 2. threaten v. to be likely to cause sth. bad to happen 有 … 的危险；有 … 之虞
The old bridge threatened to collapse beneath the weight of our truck.
3. back down v. phr. to refuse to face a situation 退缩；打退堂鼓
A bully tried to start a fight with Jack, but he backed down when Jack's friends showed up.
● 4. depart for v. phr. to leave a place to go to another place 启程前往
Sam will depart for Japan tomorrow, and he'll return to Taiwan next week.
● 5. primitive adj. old-fashioned and simple in design 旧式简陋的；原始简单的
Scientists say that the primitive tools found in the cave were used by humans about 10,000 years ago.
6. spot v. to see or notice sb./sth. 发现；注意到
Marcus tried to hide in the shadows, but the police easily spotted his bright yellow shirt.
More Information 仅供参考，不须强记
1. summit n. 山顶；山峰
2. oblivion n. 遗忘；湮没（文中指强风似乎要把登山者从高山上吹落至荒渺、无人烟、无人知的地方）
3. expedition n. 探险；远征
4. foreboding n. 不祥的预感