Tiger of the Snows: Tenzing Norgay on the Everest Expedition

“The pull of Everest was stronger for me than any force on earth,” Tenzing Norgay writes in his autobiography.

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(This story was first published on 28 May 2017. It is being reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark Tenzing Norgay’s birthday)

Tenzing Norgay may be the world’s best known Sherpa, thanks to the daring Himalayan expedition he undertook with Sir Edmund Hillary under the leadership of Colonel John Hunt.

Norgay was reportedly drawn to the mountains since he was a boy. He is quoted to have said:

I needed to go… the pull of Everest was stronger for me than any force on earth.

For years, nobody knew who was the first among Hillary and Norgay to get on top. Both said that they did it together, until Norgay revealed in his autobiography Tiger of The Snows that he was a few feet behind Hillary.

Norgay had made around six unsuccessful attempts to climb the mountain before the 1953 expedition, each one further fuelled his desire to complete the summit.

In his book, he writes:

We look up. For weeks, for months, that is all we have done. Look up. And there it is – the top of Everest. Only it is different now: so near, so close, only a little more than a thousand feet above us. It is no longer just a dream, a high dream in the sky, but a real and solid thing, a thing of rock and snow, that men can climb. We make ready. We will climb it. This time, with God’s help, we will climb on to the end.

Until his death, Norgay remained the most experienced mountain climber, setting up a path for thousands of others for the decades to come.

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