Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On top of the world

Like a great many other New Zealand citizens, I am feeling very proud
of one of our national heroes today.
It is 60 years since Edmund Hillary and his guide, Sherpa Tenzing,
made the first successful ascent of Mt Everest.

"It was from a radio transmitter at Namche that the news of Everest's conquest on 29 May 1953 was sent. It arrived in London in time for the Queen's coronation three days later on 2 June. The British had been trying to climb the mountain since the early 1920s, but competitors were pressing in on what had once been a British-dominated sport. The Swiss had nearly succeeded in 1952. The French looked likely to succeed in 1954. There was much pressure."

Hillary took this photo of Tenzing standing on the summit:

"Mountaineering people will gather in London today to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Hillary's standing "on the top of the world". It will not be the first commemoration, but it is the first at which the man they honour will be missing. Hillary died in 2008.
Also missing will be his Sherpa climbing companion, the late Tensing Norgay. The two men's sons will represent them at the Royal Geographical Society function, in the presence of the Queen."
Marlborough Express

Good on you, Sir Ed!

Glory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal and not in reaching it. 
~ Mahatma Gandhi


  1. It was an incredible achievement and one to be proud of and now, I find myself feeling that Everest should be left in peace. Too many people make the attempt, too many die, and the attempts are trashing the environment. Either stop - or treat the mountain with the respect it is due. If you take things onto it, take them down again. Equipment, food supplies, rubbish and bodies.

    1. Well said, EC - and I couldn't agree more. Have you read "Into Thin Air", by Jon Krakauer? Very sobering. And things have become a lot worse since it was written. I loathe the idea of hordes of people invading the area, polluting the mountain, reaching the top only with the help of cocktails of drugs and over-zealous "guides" who do most of the work, for obscene amounts of money...
      Sorry - one of my bandwagons !

    2. Oh good. I am glad that I didn't tread on your toes and/or sensibilities because I climbed on one of my bandwagons (and had second thoughts after I hit publish). And I haven't read 'Into Thin Air' and now will keep an eye out for it.

  2. Here's his diary entry for the summit day. here
    My FIL knew Ed and spoke not unkindly of him, which was quite something for my FIL.

    1. Thank you Kiwi. It makes great reading. I have never read anything negative about the man.

  3. The sons of both Hillary and Tensing Norgay were just on TV here in Aus.

    1. That's interesting! In our morning paper Norgay's son was reported as saying that his father deserved a knighthood too. A very proud son, and rightly so.


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