Sunday, April 25, 2010

Everest et cetera

Plans to scatter the ashes of Edmund Hillary (1919-2008) on Mount Everest have been scrapped. Nepalese climber Apa Sherpa planned to climb the mountain a record 20th time to honor the New Zealand mountaineer, but the expedition has been cancelled by the organizers after meeting with a committee of Sherpas. The Sherpas - many of them Buddhists - felt that it would be bad luck to spread the ashes on the sacred mountain and would also set a precedent that others would want to follow. Instead, Hillary's ashes will be kept at a nearby monastery.

In fact, rather than adding to the human remains on the Nepalese peak, there are plans to recover several of the exposed human bodies. These include the corpse of English mountaineer George Mallory (1886-1924), who lost his life on Everest and has remained unburied ever since. Mallory's route was retraced in person and will now be retraced on film.

Hillary (4th image) and his Sherpa Tenzing Norgay (3rd image) are recognized as having been the 1st to reach the summit of the 29,000' peak, although there is speculation that Mallory (2nd image) and his fellow climber Andrew Irvine (1st image) may deserve the honor. There is now a race between 2 women - one Spanish and the other South Korean - to be the 1st to climb the world's 14 tallest mountains and an attempt by an American teenager to be the youngest climber to summit Mount Everest.

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