« This Saturday... | Main | Extra Credit: »



“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things. ”

Sir Edmund Hillary



When Sir Edmond first climbed Everest with Tenzin Norgay (sp?) in the early 50's, they wore 2 layers of thin wool, covered by a layer of leather. Insane by today's standards.

I went to school (college) with Tenzing's son. He had the propensity to climb the walls (literally) when he got drunk.
Hillery was a stand up bloke, ending up doing monumental feats of good after climbing that nasty old rock.

Nice tribute, thanks.

I think their climb was one of the truly monumental feats of the 20th century. When you consider their 50's era gear and the simple fact nobody else had successfully climbed it before. They couldn't rely on following someones previous route to the top. They didn't have fixed lines already placed by other expeditions. It's really hard to even fathom how much harder it was for them than those who summit today. Plus Hillary was a very classy guy. He seemed to truly respect the mountain and the Sherpa people.

In a related vein, I wound up spending a bunch of time lat night reading up on George Mallory's ill-fated efforts. If Hillary and Norgay were bold, Mallory and company were nuts--they started out without even knowing how to get to Everest, much less how to get up. NOVA had a pretty neat comparison of the gear they had vs. modern stuff. [The site also makes for a great Wayback Machine Trip to the Land of Web Design 1999.]

I was reminded somewhat of my reaction when the Mission Control guys broke out their slide rules in Apollo 13: admiration at the lunacy of it all. [Poor choice of words there, perhaps.]

Post a comment

Seriously: If you click "post" more than once, you're going to end up looking really stupid.

If you don't see your comment after it's published, try refreshing your browser.