Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mount Everest


Mount Everest – ‘The Fore-head of the Sky’


Mount Everest image courtsey: acrossthedivide.com


Like beads in a string.


The Himalayan Ranges which bear the tallest peeks in the world and stands as a robust rock-wall that stretches from Afghanistan to Assam. In the western edge it is the Hindu Kush, then towards east The Pamir Mountains, Karakoram and the Proper -Himalayas all like beautiful beads joined in a string to form the great Himalayan Ranges Mount Everest ‘the crown of the Himalaya is nearer to the eastern end. Being in the border between Nepal and Tibet (now part of China) both nations have reasons to boast as the host of the tallest Mountain.


Too many claimants.


Mount Everest image courtsey: presscluboftibet.org


Asians considered it as their god given wealth and accommodated it in their mythologies! Himalaya is considered to be the abode of Lord Siva (Kailasa) and hence Everest being the tallest mount there it is none other than Lord Siva for Hindus. Buddhists already treat it as their god. Government of Nepal to get it established that the peak is their own has came to a decision give it an exclusive Nepali name! After many deliberations the selected one name coined by one Baburam Acharya it was.....’Sagarmatha’ meaning Forehead of the sky (it was fortunate that they did not claim the moon their own and coined it some name).


Gold in dawn, silver in dusk.


A sun-rise at the Mount; a view from nearby hill (Rongbuk Monastery); the ice-clad peak that towers tall and sparkling in the purest golden rays of a fresh rising sun give a coat of gold to the peak that sprinkles it lavishly all around is a vision unparalleled; In the dusk; well adored in the milky moon on its forehead; reflecting its silvery beams all around the dark; it stands tall under the sky that looks as an open umbrella studded with a million stars is an unforgettable spectacle! Anybody who loves god so dearly would be compelled to call this ‘gold bathed peek’ god itself!


Hillary and Tensing.


Hillary and Tensing image courtsey: eb.com


Mount Everest had been there standing tall and challenging all adventurers all over the world, ever since Everest was acclaimed as the tallest peak in the world there had been no dearth for bold men attempting to conquer it. In this attempts of conquering Everest so many had lost their life but people still went on climbing, at last in May 29, 1953 a team of two, Sir Edmund Hillary a New Zealander adventurer and a Sherpa - Tensing Norgay was successful in conquering it. They were actually conquering the pages of history by this great ascend.


Youngest and the oldest.


Of late climbing on Everest has ceased to be a news as about there were more than 3050 ascends in 2006 itself, therefore records were born in different lines like climbing without oxygen, or through different route etc. Later they were followed by many other types of records like the youngest, oldest etc; let us see one or two such cases as a diversion. The youngest who ever climbed its peak is Shambu Tamang a 16 year old Nepali boy while the oldest was Roman Blanco of Spain who was sixty and a half years old.


Himalayan problem of pollution.


The climbing on Everest became a fad people began to flock to it as if in to a tourist spot this phenomenon created severe environmental problems in this high altitude areas which are difficult to be cleaned. As the mountain and the surroundings became polluted with the waste materials the climbers as well as their helpers have left, the government has imposed certain restrictions to climbers.


China and its ‘Everest road’





The recent decision of the Chinese government to build a 108 kilometer road up to the basic camp spending millions of dollars in this ecologically sensitive area also has drawn a lot of flaks from environmentalists. These projects include hotels and resorts intended for the tourism bonanza related with the ensuing 2008 Olympics. Chinese government does not seem to have liberated from the callous approaches of the formal Mao regime otherwise they would not have thought of flooding such an area with tourists and converting Sacred Himalaya in to a garbage bin. The question of a few dollars would have made them greed-struck!


Hefty fees!


Now the government of Nepal has started to charge a hefty fee ($ 25,000) from those who attempt to climb the mountain, yet there are many to do the job and pollute the mountain! Now Mount Everest stands as one of the most polluted Mountain in the world as the Fee collected from the climbers is not spent for the cleaning of the mountain; instead it is spent for meeting government’s own financial requirements.


Highest point on this planet!


Cimbers route Mount Everest image courtsey: alumnus.caltech.edu

There are many ways to calculate the height of a mountain. If the criteria is the height of the peak from sea-level (this is the most common practice) Everest is easily the highest as it is 8848 Meters above sea-level. When the criteria vary (difference from base to peak is taken as height; then Mount Mauna Kea of Hawaii comes first as it is 10200 Meters tall from its base but it only 4205 meters above sea-level. The reason being Mount Mauna Kea is located in the ocean-bed what a misfortune! It can be taken as a ‘locational dis-advantage’. In any case there is no dispute that this peak is the highest point on this planet.


Wow! Indian mathematics.


Mount Everest was named after George Everest the British Surveyor General of India who surveyed the peak first. At that time visiting those areas were forbidden for outsiders yet one Indian mathematician by name Radhanath Sikdar could calculate the height of the peak standing about 150 miles away in India as 29002 feet! Mount Everest has two main climbing routes the main path is through the Nepal route (Katmandu – Lukla – Namache bazar – Base camp is the most popular one. Due to political problems the Tibet route is generally not selected by the climbers.


Base camp.


The climb begins with a trek to base camp (5380 Meters) about two weeks has to be spend in the base-camp at Khumbu Glacier, there while debutants undergo training in various aspects of mountaineering; while they are getting acclimatized. In the mean time seniors with the help of Sherpas (a tribe living in the border between Nepal and Tibet they are famous for mountaineering skills) will be engaged in fixing ropes ladders etc for beginners to enhance progress of the beginners as well as to reduce casualties.


Camp -1 (ABC)


Then they proceed to Camp 1 or the ABC (Advanced Base Camp) in the early morning before the ice loosing its toughness. The ABC is about 6065meters high yaks will be provided to carry luggage like food, water and tents.


Climb via South East ridge, Camp 1 to 4 and then!.


Everest route image courtsey: -t-n.no

From Camp-1 climbers make way for camp 2 to the base of Lhotse (it is the 4th tallest in the world) at 6500 meters which is relatively flat, but gaping crevasses do not let direct pass and have to progress through extreme right. This place lacks the usual whistle of the blowing wind and hence called ‘valley of silence’.


The toughest parts.


Mount Everest climbers route image courtsey: 4to40.com


The journey from camp 2 to camp 3 (it is a small ledge at an altitude of 7470 meters) is tough and have to be done through ropes alone. From camp 3 to camp 4 the journey is a hurdle jumping exercise have to cross the yellow band (a wall of anvil-shaped sedimentary rocks (is another 500 meters altitude) the South Col (7920 meters) Climbers proceed from South Col at midnight towards 8400 meters balcony the South Summit.


Further journey is through a very dangerous and narrow path (Cornice Traverse) with a single misstep one can fall to gorges as deep as thousands of meters. At the end there is the Hillary Step a 12 meter high rock-wall at the height of 8760 meters to receive the climbers.


Top of the world.


Loose and rocky path is in waiting for the climber after the Hillary-Step; paving of fixed ropes is a relief but has to be careful of not getting entangled as he is already at the top of the world but has to return within less than half an hour because they have to reach camp before night. Saying goodbye! To the summit is difficult as there is no body residing not even an insect, as the only insect available was the jumping spider that too about 500 meters below. However Good bye dear Everest! See you later if God so desires!



5 comments:

C ain't Crazy he just Creative said...

thanks for thet love on my page man! do u actually mountain climb urself?

Howard Davis said...

I watched a great documentary the other night about the Himalyan Snow Leapoard. What a beautiful animal, but what a harsh environment to live in. I can't imagine going there for a tourist jaunt.

llama said...

I can't believe China is building the road up the mountain. It seems... like something that would ruin what fantastic nature we have left. And it's so shocking to learn that it's one of the most polluted mountains in the world! Something so beautiful, why would anyone do that?

It must be such an amazing accomplishment for the people who survive the climb and actually get to the top of the world. It's like you can touch the sky with you bare hands. I wonder if they have documentaries of people, day-to-day, reaching that goal.

Addy said...

I hate doing this for my first comment here...
sagarmatha man. Forehead of the Sea - not the sky!

BTW, fantastic blog... All that travelyou do makes me very jealous!

Asha said...

hi addy sagarmatha means forhead of the sky and not the sea the author was probable right. i've got a number of citations on various sites pls check the following link

http://en.tibettour.com.cn/geography/200412006227134857.htm

by the way cool blog i've already added it to my favourites, keep up the good work. lol.

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