Saturday, April 4, 2020

Story of Everest (JOSEPH DE SOUZA)

Story of Everest
JOSEPH DE SOUZA

About 140 years ago, the Great Trigonometrical survey of India established that Everest was the
highest mountain in the world. To men who had climbed the greatest peak of the Alps, the Andes, etc., Everest represented the supreme Mt. Everest alt challenge. The Everest mountain lay in almost inaccessible country on the borders  of Nepal and Tibet. The rulers of both countries would not entertain the idea of an expedition when it was first suggested in 1907. In 1921, the first expedition,
explored the approach through Tibet. After that 11 major expeditions eight of them aiming to reach the summit explored Everest before 1953.



On three occasions climbers got within 1000 feet of the top, but they were exhausted and could not
bear the climate. The 1953 expedition was organised and led by John  Hunt, a 43-year-old Brigadier who had climbed his first high Alpine peak at the age of 15. It was Hunt who had to decide on the final composition of the team, taking into account the climbing British Army record, health, and endurance of each member. The team finally chosen consisted of 10 people, with a doctor and several "reserves". They included 33-year-old of Edmund Hillary and 28-year-old, it Tom Bourdillon, both members of 3. the 1951 reconnaissance team;



Wilfred Noyce and Tom Stobart, the film camera man and photographer. Tenzing Norgay joined the
expedition at Kathmandu. Thus the expedition gathered in March,  including 12 porters carrying boxes of local money, set out with 473 packages weighing seven tonnes. Altogether there were nearly 400 people on the march, Tom  Bourdillon and Charles Evans were to be first team and Hillary and Tenzing the second. The parties were to be supported by Hunt and Alfred Gregory. On May 26th,
Evans and Bourdillon with Hunt and Sherpa Da Namgyal were able to climb 1,550 feet, when Hunt and Da Namgyal who had been cutting steps in the ice, had to turn back.  Hillary and Tenzing  were already moving up to


relieve Hunt and try to reach the final summit if Evans and Bourdillon failed.
Anyhow, on 29th May 1953 at 6:30am. , Hillary and Tenžing left their tent and climbed  to the south summit. On a snow ridge where no human foot had trodden before, they cut steps by turns. After an hour, they came to a 40-foot cliff of smooth rock. Still  they kept cutting. Two hours later, Hillary suddenly noticed that the ridge was beginning to drop sharply. A slight turn, a few steps and they were on the very summit of Everest. They both shook hands. Fifteen minutes later they began the descent. It was this way Hillary and Tenzing reached the final summit of the "Goddess Mother  of the World" as Tibetans called the Everest.

Failure is more frequently from want of energy than want of capital.        - Daniel Wabster




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