Farewell to Everest Man


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One half of the Everest conquering duo, Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand, died today of pneumonia. He was 88 years old.

This guy was the stuff of history books. I remember as a child going waa…when reading of his feat of climbing Mount Everest in Nepal with his sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay. Norgay died back in 1986.

The New Zealand government plans a state funeral for their mountaineer hero. Fitting too, I believe. New Zealand has a long tradition of producing hardy sportsmen.

Britain’s Telegraph reports that the sherpas of Nepal mourn the loss of this remarkable man who spent much time helping to improve the life of sherpa guides after his retiring from mountaineering.

May His Soul Rest In Peace.

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4 thoughts on “Farewell to Everest Man

  1. Sir Edmund Hilary was one of my heroes when I was growing up. Another was Neil Amrstrong. And oh, yes, Gordon Banks (he was goalkeeper for Stoke City and England). Also Hang Tuah.

    As I got older, I started wondering more about Tenzing Norgay, who helped Hilary (or guided him) to the highest peak of the world.

    I started wondering if the Moon’s landing was real.

    I grew up to be a goalkeeper for ITM, Mara FC, and an almost- Malaysia team.

    And I ditched Hang Tuah for Hang Jebat, and am still wondering if both of them were Chinese and part of Shao Lin’s export those days! [Needless to say, I watched a lot of Kung Fu movies when the silverscreen god was Fu Shen and not Jacky Chan, and certainly never Jet Li!]

  2. I had the privilege of meeting Sir Edmund Hillary twice, once in Colorado and once in Namche in the Everest region where I used to lead treks to the base camp. He dedicated his life to helping the Sherpas who were such a critical part of his first ascent. Beyond the Summit is the first work to dramatize their lives in fiction. Hillary’s work in the area is mentioned frequently as well as his climbing partner, Tenzing Norgay.
    Details of Sherpa culture and religion are interwoven in a tale of romance and high adventure. The story has something for everyone: a love affair between an American journalist and Sherpa guide, conflict between generations as the modern world challenges centuries of tradition, an expedition from the porter’s point of view.

    Below are selections from reviews. To read the complete ones and excerpts go to [www] beyondthesummit-novel.com

    Beyond the Summit, is the rare gem that shows us the triumphs and challenges of a major climb from the porter’s point of view. The love of two people from diverse cultures is the fiery centerpiece of a novel that leads its readers through harshly beautiful and highly dangerous territory to the roof of the world. Malcolm Campbell, book reviewer

    Conflict and dialog keep this gripping story of destiny, romance and adventure moving from the first page to the last paragraph. LeBlanc has a genius for bonding her readers and her characters. I found I was empathizing in turn with each character as they faced their own personal crisis or trauma.
    Richard Blake for Readers Views.

    A gripping, gut-twisting expedition through the eyes of a porter reveals the heart and soul of Sherpas living in the shadows of Everest. EverestNews.com

    A hard-hitting blend of adventure and romance which deserves a spot in any serious fiction collection. Midwest Book Review

    LeBlanc is equally adept at describing complex, elusive emotions and the beautiful, terrifying aspect of the Himalayan Mountains. Boulder Daily Camera

    LeBlanc’s vivid description of the Himalayas and the climbing culture makes this a powerful read. Rocky Mt News Pick of the Week

    A rich adventure into the heart of the Himalayan Kingdom. Fantastic story-telling from one who has been there. USABookNews.com

    This is the book to read before you embark on your pilgrimage to Nepal. The author knows and loves the people and the country, and makes you feel the cold thin air, the hard rocks of the mountains, the tough life of the Sherpa guides, and you learn to love them too. This is a higly literate, but also very readable book. Highly recommended.”
    – John (college professor)

    Memorable characters and harrowing encounters with the mountains keep the action moving with a vibrant balance of vivid description and dialogue. Literary Cafe Host, Healdsburg, CA

    This superbly-crafted novel will land you in a world of unimaginable beauty, adventure, and romance. The love story will keep you awake at night with its vibrant tension and deep rich longing. Wick Downing, author of nine novels

    Such vividly depicted images of the Everest region and the Sherpa people are the perfect scenario for the romance and adventure feats narrated. It’s a page-turner, so engrossing you end up wanting to visit Nepal! Not just novel, but perfect for those seeking to get acquainted with the culture of this country.
    By Claudia Fournier (América, Bs. As., Argentina)

    Available through Barnes and Noble, Borders, amazon.com, Chesslerbooks.com, and the web site

  3. Hillary often referred to himself as “Ed from the Edge.” Ever self-effacing, he downplayed his first ascent saying many others might have beaten him and Sherpa Tenzing to The Peak. “I was just an average bloke. It was the media that tried to transform me into a heroic figure. But I’ve learned through the years, as long as you don’t believe all that rubbish about yourself, you can’t come to too much harm.”

    He constructed twenty-seven schools, twelve clinics and two airfields for supplies to more easily reach the region, in the four decades after the trip to the top.

    Incidentally, for those interested in real live achievements of ordinary mortals, please to read this book, “Three Cups of Tea” about an American mountaineer who built fifty-five schools – especially for girls – in that same part of the world and in the heart of Taliban territory.

    It’s an extremely inspiring and moving story of the selflessness, kindness and humanity of people like him and those who helped him. Good to keep in mind whenever there is the temptation to make a big deal of the trivialities and tribulations of common lives. Or thump chests over meaningless achievements and imaginary greatness.

    If nothing else, it will be a pleasant distraction from all the depressing doings and happenings in bolehland of late.

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