29th May 2019 marked 66 years since the first successful summit of Mt. Everest. Sir Edmund Hillary & Tenzing Norgay's successful ascent (and return) was a trimuph of human spirit and collaboration. A Kiwi and an Indian of Nepalese origin had climbed the world's highest peak as part of a British expedition - making it a truly global venture.
Mt. Everest has had a special fascination for me. This could be attributed to having read and re-read the autobiographies of Tenzing and Bachendri Pal multiple times. Tenzing's autobiography throws a fascinating insight in Hillary's character. When asked which of them reached the summit first, tenzing clearly says it was Hillary. Meanwhile Hillary always maintained that both of them climbed it together and there was no first. [Aside - In mountaineering, if you are tied to the same rope, you are together, neither is ahead or behind, so technically Hillary was correct].
Also, Hillary had brought a camera with him to record the summit. At the top, he took pictures of the world below and Tenzing's pictures but refused Tenzing's offer to have his own taken. Tenzing's pictures made it to the world press celebrating the first human ascent to Everest. There were other pictures taken on their return to base camp.
|Tenzing on the summit of Mt. Everest|
What a contrast to the modern selfie-addicted us (yous truly is also guilty of the same), for whom taking candid selfie at a location to be shared on social media is more important than taking in the actual sight of the location itself. Definitely, a lesson for the tourist us!
Also, there was a recent news item about deaths on Everest due to excessive climbers going at the same time. There was also a picture of the traffic jam on (ironically) Hillary's Step! We certainly need to take a step back and think if our insatiable appetite for adventure and thrill-seeking is taking a toll on this planet! Can we not destroy the Earth?
Previously on LearnNBlog: Perfect Numbers
Also about Everest, in this blog- Because It's There