Tenzing Norgay : First Everest Climber

Tenzing Norgay

Tenzing Norgay with Edmund Hillary was the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest (Himalayas), the world’s highest mountain, which is 8848 metres (29,028 feet) in height. With Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand, Tenzing stood on Mount Everest at eleven thirty (11:30 am) on 29 may 1953. They climbed the mountain from the south side which earlier expeditions had failed to do so.

Tenzing Norgay was born in Tsa Chu in Nepal, the Himalayan kingdom, in 1914. He lived his early years in the small village of Thamney in poverty and wants. In his boyhood, tensing wandered off into the jungles and roamed among the hills and trees. He liked the mountains as he grew in age. The stories told by Sherpa porters who went with the mountain climbers aroused the curiosity.

It was the year 1935. A British team was getting ready to climb Mount Everest. They needed Sherpa porters to carry their loads. Tenzing was taken with some of the other Sherpa porters. He carried loads with the team of mountaineers, climbed up to north Col, an important point on the way to Everest peak. After then, Tenzing climbed different mountains with several other teams. He learnt to speak English and other languages as more climbers came to climb the mountains in Nepal. He worked hard in the severe cold on high mountains, took tasks which others found too difficult to perform and became known name as expert climber. He faced hazards as avalanches, blinding storms of wind, and snow and strong winds. When the others had difficulty in breathing in great altitudes, he didn’t feel so.

A Swiss team came to India and made two attempts on the Mount Everest in 1952. Tenzing went with them in both occasions, but those teams failed to reach the top of the world. Tenzing now had the big chance to climb Mount Everest in 1953. He joined a British team led by Col. John Hunt as a climber. With him went Bourdillon, Evans, Hillary and other skilled climbers. The climbers went higher and higher. The higher they went, the thinner the air became. It was more difficult for them to breathe. They had to be alert against deep cracks in the ice. On 28th May, Hillary and tensing reached a height of 27,900 feet. They rested there for a night. Next morning, they continued their journey to the top. After three hours of fighting against stiff – slippery height, thin air and chilling weather, they reached a place 300 feet below the top of Mount Everest where they rested a bit and continued again. At 11:30 am, they set foot on the top Mount Everest. After staying and capturing the moment on the top of the world, they returned back. The news of conquering the top of the world went across the world as storm and the climbers were awarded with various medals and honors.

Tenzing became famous after climbing the peak. Government of Nepal conferred on him the it’s highest decoration “Nepal Tara”. When he went to England, he was received by Queen Elizabeth 2. Then he became director of the Himalayan mountaineering institution of Darjeeling. Later he was called the ‘tiger of the snow’. Tenzing Norgay passed away in 1986.