June 2002 Contents
Super Achievers & Success
at Every Alien Door'
Page 1 of 4
– celebrating 50th year of conquest
2002 marks the beginning of celebrations of the first conquest of Everest, in May 1953, by Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Edmund Hillary, the two most famous names in mountaineering. A total of 1500 people have since reached Everest's summit (as of May 2001) and more than one-third of these have been Sherpas from Nepal - many among them have scaled the summit multiple times. Sherpa Appa holds the record for the most Everest ascents – he completed 12 ascents to Mt Everest in May 2002. Sherpa Ang Rita climbed Mount Everest 10 times without oxygen – yet another record.
Only six women in the world are repeat Everesters – three are from south Asia – Santosh Yadav from India summited in 1992 and again in 1993; Lakpa from Nepal climbed the mountain in 2000 from the South Col and in 2001 from the North Col; and Pemba Doma of Nepal scaled the peak in 2000 from the North Col and in 2002 from the South Col.
Since 1953, the year in which Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and a New Zealand bee-keeper, Edmund Hillary, scaled Mount Everest, 1500 people (as of May 2001) have stood on top of the mountain and more than 170 people have died trying to climb the slopes that lead to this ultimate goal for many.
At 8850 metres [29,035 feet] Mount Everest is the highest elevation in the world. Called Sagarmatha in Nepal, and Chomo-Lungma [Mother Goddess]in China, Mt. Everest was first scaled on May 29, 1953, when Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary stood atop the summit.
Now, almost 50 years after it was first conquered, Hillary and Norgay have climbed the peak again. But there’s a slight difference. The climbers are Sir Edmund Hillary's son Peter and Tenzing Norgay's grandson Tenzing Tashi Norgay, who had planned to meet on the summit through two different expeditions. Weather conditions did not make the party possible. Tashi Tenzing reached the summit on May 22, while Peter Hillary was still climbing. Peter Hillary made his ascent on May 25.
Peter climbed the Everest from its southern face in Nepal - the route his father took in 1953. Tashi Norgay climbed with a Swiss expedition taking a different route. Both were to meet atop the world’s highest peak for " a big 50-year-old birthday bash," as Peter termed it.
Both Tashi and Peter wanted it to be a fitting tribute to the spirit of their grandfather and father respectively, but weather conditions delayed Peter by three days for the party on ‘the top’. Peter and Tashi not only repeated what there seniors did fifty years ago, but also added their name to the long list of people for whom Mount Everest is not just a challenge but also a romance and a triumph of human spirit.
For centuries, climbing Everest has been the biggest test of endurance. Before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquered this peak, it was considered the greatest challenge to mankind.
A year earlier, in 1952, Tenzing Norgay and a Swiss national Raymond Lambert climbed to within 200 meters [660 feet] of the summit without the aid of oxygen. But they failed to reach the top---a feat that the Sherpa would achieve a year later.
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