When Tenzing Norgay grew up in Nepal, the summits of the Himalayas were always present in the background. At an early age he became obsessed with climbing the highest mountain, Chomolungma, or Mount Everest, which an English geographic expedition named it in 1865.Tenzing was employed as a high altitude carrier and guide by different mountaineering expeditions and worked for Englishmen, Germans and Swiss. After some time he became a well-liked leader of the group of sherpas whose profession it was to carry equipment over the mountains, for various expeditions. He was known as one of the best and, in addition to his physical strength, was also sympathetic and humble and had an indomitable will to reach his goal.
First to the summitIn 1953 John Hunt, who led a large English expedition, the aim of which was to be the first to climb Mount Everest, employed Tenzing. Tenzing was chosen, together with Edmund Hillary from New Zealand, to make an attempt to the summit. So, on the morning of 29 May, after a hard battle against the mountain, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing stood on the world’s highest point, 8,848 meters above the sea. Tenzing was then 39 years old.
|The two friends became known worldwide for their accomplishment. Hillary and Hunt were knighted, while Tenzing received the British Empire Medal. Later, Hillary became ambassador in Nepal and Tenzing started the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute which trained mountaineers. The business was later taken over by his son, Jamling, when Tenzing died in 1986, aged 72. |
Renata Chlumska, first Swedish woman to climb to the top of Mount Everest on 5 May 1999.”On that famous day in May 1953 the classic picture of a Western climber and his faithful follower, the Sherpa, was created. Since then, Tenzing has been a symbol of Sherpas and their strength, stamina and humility. I myself would hesitate before departing on an expedition to the Himalayas without a Sherpa, without a Tenzing. Not only because it makes the trip more fun, but with such a team member, the conditions for success are tremendously increased.” (Renata Chlumska)
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