Edmund Hillary (left) and Tenzing Norgay, his Sherpa guide, after their return from the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. Keystone/Getty Images hide caption
Edmund Hillary (left) and Tenzing Norgay, his Sherpa guide, after their return from the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.Keystone/Getty Images
At the end of the century, I wanted to do a story on Sir Edmund Hillary. All the experts in the United States were carrying on about, essentially, the same characters — Ruth, Jordan, Ali, maybe Jim Thorpe. But I thought that what Hillary had accomplished with the late Tenzing Norgay, his Sherpa guide, was perhaps the single greatest sporting achievement of the 20th century.
In my quest to find Sir Edmund in New Zealand, I called a journalist there. Might he tell me where I could find someone who had Hillary's telephone number? Just a minute, he said. Oh, have you got it, I asked? No, he replied, it's just right here in the phone book. That's right. Anybody could ring up the greatest citizen of the country, the guy on the five-dollar bill, the hero who stood first on the top of the world.
That probably says as much about what Sir Edmund was like as anything does. Well, really, not Sir Edmund. When he found he had to change our appointment, he politely called my house. I was away, so he told my wife it was Ed Hillary calling. "Who?" she asked, struggling with his Kiwi accent. Finally, reluctantly, he acknowledged that he was indeed "Sir Edmund Hillary." He apologized that he had to change our date, but it seemed that President Clinton was going to be in New Zealand and, being a wise politician, wanted Sir Edmund with him. Sorry about that.
My wife said she was sure I'd understand.
In a suburb of Auckland, Hillary lived on a high hill with a vista of the harbor, but significantly, a large Himalayan tree he'd been given, rises higher still over the house on the hill. It's good maybe that you're reminded that no matter how high you go, except maybe on Everest, there is really something always higher.
These latter years, he lived with his second wife, June, and a large tabby cat, Big Red. Both the Hillarys had been widowed. Ed's first wife, Louise, died in a plane crash, along with their daughter, Belinda, when the plane went down leaving Katmandu. He had just put them on it.
The reason the Hillarys were in Katmandu is because after Sir Edmund became famous for conquering the sacred peak that the people there call Chomolungma, he kept coming back to Nepal all his life to help the people and the land. It became his second quest in Nepal.
At first, when he came down from the summit in May of 1953, many Nepalese didn't embrace Hillary, the outsider who had breached their peak. Hillary made sure to say that Norgay had reached the top a few steps before him. Just before he died in 1986, Norgay finally wrote the truth, that Hillary had in fact been first, and Hillary substantiated that.
But, he was quick to tell me, "Believe me, to mountaineers, who's first is not important. We're a team."
In fact, he admitted that he'd felt a little guilty days before when he wasn't sure whether he really wanted his friends, Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, to make it to the top first. They had to turn back barely 300 feet short.
"I wasn't very proud of my feelings," Hillary admitted to me, ruefully patting the old cat in his lap.
Two days later, Hillary and his teammate made it, and all things considered, I'd have to say that I think God picked the right guy to first stand so close to heaven on earth.
Mount Everest Hillary and Tenzing Contrast Essay
691 WordsMay 4th, 20133 Pages
Hillary vs. Tenzing: To the top of Mount. Everest!
Sir Edmund Hillary’s, View from the Summit and Tenzing Norgay’s, The Dream Comes True were very interesting articles on Mount Everest. Climbing though the chilling Himalayas, they had to overcome difficult obstacles. In each of their essays, they have some things they agreed upon, and some they did not. Each perspective brings out a sharp contrast in the personality of both of these men. They did share several similarities like a few of the obstacles they had to overcome. Two of these obstacles were the navigation of the steep section also known as a crag and the clotting of ice around oxygen equipment.
Each of the authors had their own reasons for writing…show more content…
In Tenzing’s account it was as if he had 2 different works in the one story. For a few paragraphs he would talk about the climb with a voice filled with awe and respect for the place he was blessed to walk through. He would then talk about a fact that Hillary wrongfully stated like the height of the crag and in one instance where he got into talking about who got to the top first his tone became very annoyed. Hillary’s account was filled with excitement and daring moments of heroism like when the piece of ice slid down and he almost lost is footing and when he helped Tenzing clear the ice out of the oxygen mask and when he supposedly pulled Tenzing up a 40 foot crag which Tenzing considered only a 15 foot crag. Hillary’s account could be described as bragging and exaggeration of events.
Why do fame and fortune cause people to lie about their experiences? Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay both wrote essays containing versions of their journey to the South Summit of Mount Everest. Each author had his own unique point of view. Although the sections were very different, they did share several similarities like a few of the obstacles they had to overcome. In Hillary's View from the Summit, he exaggerates his version of the climb to gain a bigger name for himself. When in actuality, he made himself appear conceited. Norgay, in The Dream Comes True, is very honest. He is a hometown mountain climbing guide who