Let’s get to know about people who were born on land but aspired to touch the sky. The duo etched their names in the history as the first mountaineers to reach the highest peak of world ‘Mount Everest’.
Any guesses? Whom I’m referring to?
Yes, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary. Edmund Hillary was from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay was from Nepal.
‘Journey of thousand miles begins with a single step’- Lao Tzu
What was their journey like?
A series of camps were settled, the trek pushed its way up the mountain in May 1953. The team fitted out with specially insulated boots and outfit, transportable radio equipment, and open and closed circuit oxygen cylinder.
On the summit of Everest, the oxygen level is very low, and they were treading on an extremely cold and dangerous terrain.
However, before these two men, mountaineers Irvine and Mallory made it to the peak but did not make it back down the mountain alive. They must have been warned about this but the duo nevertheless continued to scale the highest peak.
The mountaineers carried all of their food and supplies with them up the mountain which didn’t last long. Also, food sources at Mt. Everest are fairly missing. To make matters worse, they had an issue with the oxygen pipes. The failure of a number of oxygen pipes and the melting of the oxygen cylinder affected the mission badly. They were heading down the road to death.
That was not all. Among all the climbers, only Tenzing and Edmund tried to get to the top. Remaining were forced to leave as they fell prey to mountain sickness and ended up in suffering from headaches, loss of appetite and unconsciousness. The resolve that Tenzing and Edmund must have had would have been stronger than anything else. Whenever a human being is on an expedition, what matters the most is this moral resolve and in their case, it could have been broken easily when all other team members gave up.
The two climbers spent a lot of their time adapting their bodies to the progressively high altitudes and extreme climatic conditions. In order to prevent the acute symptoms of mountain sickness. They had made 9 camps on their way up the mountain for night stay.
On May 29, 1953, at 4 o’clock in the morning, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary started from the 9th camp, fixed up at 27,900 feet. Suddenly, the boots of Hillary were frozen. It took a couple of hours to unfreeze the boots. Hillary edged himself up first. Hillary threw down a rope, and Norgay followed.
After seven weeks of climbing and years of dreaming about it, at 11:30 a.m., Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, became the first mountaineers in the history of mountain climbing to reach the summit of Mount Everest – the highest point on earth at 29,035 feet above sea level.
Hillary engraved one cross and Norgay left chocolates in the snow. Even though they had achieved their feat, descending down was another challenge. They had to come down alive, back to their loved ones. And they did.
The news of their achievement spread across the globe. Tenzing was also honoured with the George Medal by Britain.
Since Hillary and Norgay’s historic climb, several trips have made their way up to Everest’s summit. Their fame is disseminating even after Hillary and Tenzing left the mountain. It echoes.
Preview Photo: nationalgeographic.com