COULD the remains of a Wigan adventurer finally be recovered from the mountain that claimed his life?
Mick Burke was a BBC cameraman who vanished atop Everest during a blizzard in 1975.
At the weekend a team of highly experienced sherpahs embarked on a dangerous expedition to recover some of the scores of bodies known still to lie unclaimed on a particularly inaccessible part of the mountain. Among them could be that of the Abram-born 34-year-old father of one.
But one pal of the intrepid mountaineer today said he hoped that the mission was unsuccessful, at least as far as Burke was concerned.
Jo Moran, from Appley Bridge, who took the young Mick on his first climb, said: “They should leave him be. Where would you prefer your final resting place to be: the highest mountain in the world or a corner of Ince Cemetery?
“I would be very surprised if they did find him, though. There are vast areas of Everest which are completely inaccessible.
“If he had fallen near one of the routes up or down he would have been found long ago.”
Burke, who had climbed many of the world’s highest peaks but had been defeated more than once by Everest, was in a party with Sir Chris Bonnington when tragedy struck.
The last people to see him were fellow climbers Pete Boardman and Sherpah Pertemba who had just conquered the summit and were on their way down.
They met Burke coming up who asked them if they would return to the top to be filmed but they refused because the weather was closing in.
He pressed on alone for the last few hundred metres only for the weather to deteriorate atrociously. He was never seen again and Boardman and Pertemba were lucky to escape with their lives.
Full story in today’s (Tuesday) Wigan Observer ... on sale now