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« Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos Would Not Violate Relativity (Norman Costa) | Main | Pathological Altruism »

October 03, 2011

Comments

I am not much of a sucker for myths. I say if there was a camera, it will be worthwhile to unearth it. I don't know how well early photographic film is preserved in deep snow and ice for 87 years. But even a faint image should give us an answer.

As for who was there first, it is a bit like asking who "discovered" America or does a tree falling in a lonely forest make a sound. For all we know an intrepid native or two of the region (excellent climbers) may have been there way before the rest of the world knew about the Everest. For them, the great Chomolangma / Sagarmatha" was ALWAYS there. But of course, we will never know. They did not leave a "Kilroy (or Namgyal) was here" plaque atop the mountain and their myths are different from ours.

@ Ruchira:

I am sure you've heard of the famous nineteenth century headlines in a London newspaper, "Fog settles on English Channel. Continent cut off."

There are so many fascinating aspects of the Mallory-Irvine expedition. Among them is the adequacy of their mountaineering clothing. It appears grossly deficient to our eye. Research on Mallory's clothing showed that the fabric, weave, totality of their climbing garb, and equipment were adequate to the task, though far from ideal. A recent expedition, using very similar clothing, showed the climbers could function reasonably well as long as they kept moving. Once they stopped it got very cold.

Hiking in the Himalayas is on my list of things to do before I die. The highest I've been was on The Gornergrat in Zermat, Switzerland, 10,400 ft., about 3,170 m. The last time I was there I got a little light headed. A couple of years ago I read about a religious gathering of Buddhists that meets infrequently (maybe every ten years or so.) The last ceremonial gathering took place at a monastery at 18,000 ft., about 5,500 m. I have trouble envisioning hiking to that altitude, let alone living there.

I understand you can hike to the top of Kilimanjaro, over 20,000 ft., about 6120 m.

Fascinating comments on the article, as well. I never realized that some consider a mountain as having been 'climbed' unless the mountaineer makes it up as well as down from the mountain. Or that 'summit' was used as a verb in mountaineering lingo.
Considering the well-adapted lungs of the natives in the area, they could very well have reached the top years before any 'official' attempts to reach the summit. The question is whether they would have any inclination to do so. The 'Let's climb it because it's there' seems to have started with the likes of the determined dreams of Mallory et al.

The 'Let's climb it because it's there' seems to have started with the likes of the determined dreams of Mallory et al.

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