Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Today's Trivia - On Top Of The World...Literally

On this day at 11:30 AM, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa of Nepal, became the first explorers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which at 29,035 feet above sea level is the highest point on earth.

They set up high camp at 27,900 feet on May 28, and after a freezing, sleepless night the two men plodded on, reaching the summit by 9 AM and a steep rocky step, some 40 feet high, about an hour later. Wedging himself in a crack in the face, Hillary inched himself up what was thereafter known as the Hillary Step. Hillary threw down a rope, and Norgay followed. At about 11:30 AM, the climbers arrived at the top of the world.

Tenzing Norgay on top of the world. Photo from Royal Geographical Society
Mount Everest has two main has two main climbing routes, the southeast ridge from Nepal and the northeast ridge from Tibet, as well as many other less frequently climbed routes. Of the two main routes, the southeast ridge is technically easier and is the more frequently used route. It was the route used by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. This was, however, a route decision dictated more by politics than by design as the Chinese border was closed to the western world in the 1950s after the People's Republic of China invaded Tibet.

[Info above is from here and here.]

13 comments:

  1. I don't know how people manage these feats - I get exhausted just vacuuming the stairs.

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    1. Ha ha ha...yes, I know exactly what you mean! Plus, I can't stand the cold or heights, so you'd never get me up there!

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    2. I also meant to say that I'm so glad you're back :)

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  2. What amazes me is how black the sky looks above in that picture! I guess you're just so high up that you're starting to see outer space more than us further down! Crazy stuff.

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    1. I know, pretty weird, huh? I guess these people have a reason for doing this, but it's definitely not for me!

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  3. Isn't that a wonderful picture! I get him, I just don't get eveyone who came after him.

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    1. I guess they want to conquer it like he did. Who knows... This is certainly not something I'm eager to try.

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  4. A lot of people have lost their lives (including a Canadian woman just recently) to grab this prize. Lol, Sulky - I hear you!!

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    1. I know. I can't imagine risking my life for something like this.

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  5. Breathtaking. Did you know that in the 1953 expedition, Hillary had a near-miss after falling into a crevasse; apparently, he was "saved from hitting the bottom by Tenzing's prompt action in securing the rope using his ice axe, which led Hillary to consider him the climbing partner of choice for any future summit attempt".

    I remember climbing at the Himalayas when I was younger -- much younger -- I was breathless after like ten steps (well, almost lol).

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    1. Oh, I didn't know that. That's really interesting. Boy was he ever fortunate.

      Himalayas? Wow! I don't see myself climbing, but I'd love to see them up close.

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  6. An incredible feat! Not everyone survives these attempts as was the case last week when a Canadian woman did not survive her climb.
    Interesting post Martha.

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    1. Definitely an incredible thing to accomplish -- but not for me! LOL...

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