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May 29, 2020

The day when man stepped on Mt. Everest


Kathmandu: May 29, 1953 is the world’s special day when the world renowned daring activity was accomplished.

This was the day on which man for the first time stepped on the top of the Mt. Everest which is 8848 meters high-the highest elevation point in the world.

This is the day when Tenzing Norgay of Nepal and Edmund Hillary of New Zealand conquered the Mt. Everest peak for the first time in human history.

Many mountaineers prior to this Everest conquest had made failed attempts. However, this day has become a legacy these days.

To mark this remarkable day –Sagarmatha day-hundreds of domestic and foreigners had queued up to reach the top of the Mt. Everest to observe this day last year across the world.

But today there is no charm of Mt. Everest and even mountaineering due to COVID-19 pandemic, otherwise, at this time the world’s top media would have been carrying headlines about Everest news.

And these news might have been related to success attempts of Mt. Everest followed by several other climbing record narratives.

Covid-19 has mainly ruined the tourism industry. Mountaineering has mainly fallen into the grip of the deadly contagion. International flights are suspended.

Nepal has suspended all kinds of mountaineering too and Mt. Everest could not be an exceptional one. So, is the day of Mt. Everest day or Sagarmatha day celebration.

According to department of tourism, more than 6501 mountaineers have scaled the peak of Mt. Everest of which 3478 were Nepalese following the ascent of Mt. Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay some 67 years ago.

Likewise, tourism industry has contributed substantially to the economy of Nepal as the royalty of mountaineering is directly deposited in the state coffer, which cannot be compared and contrasted with other sources of revenue.

In 2019 alone Rs 500.6 million rupees was raised as mountaineering royalty. Rs 400.5 million alone was collected from Mt Everest climbing and more than 660 mountaineers had climbed the Mt. Everest.

Covid-19 has robbed hundreds and thousands of workers of their jobs who were engaged in mountaineering sector. These workers hope to return to their jobs as soon as Coronavirus crisis return to normalcy.

The third international Sagarmatha day was observed amidst uncertainty inside the Singhadurbar at the Ministry of tourism which witnessed the presence of Tourism minister Yogesh Bhattarai and few tourism entrepreneurs  and members of mountaineering sector.

Minister Bhattarai expressed hope that soon the nation will be free from Covid-19 crisis and tourism sector would resume its activities. Prizes and awards were also distributed during the celebration program.

The discussion were also held about the government’s concept to establish a university related to tourism industry that would produce capable human resources to be utilized in the domestic as well as international market as it has been mentioned in the new fiscal year budget for 2020-2021.

Speaking during the program, chairman of Nepal Mountaineering Association Santabir Lama stressed the need to introduce social security programs. He also said the government should give importance in promoting 14 mountains in Nepal which are above 8000 meters high.

Mountaineer Mingma Devid Sherpa said the government should give priority to make provision of social security and training  for those mountaineers who risk their lives in the field of mountaineering.

Four veteran Sherpa climbers had ventured for the extreme attempt of Mt. Everest in just five days (the shortest time) to create a Guinness World Record in the last winter season by daring to accomplish their “Breathless winter Everest Speed Expedition”

Similar attempts were made during the winter season in 1980 and 1993 by foreign climbers, by taking a longer period of two months.

A Nepali indigenous native Sherpa and senior guide-Kami Rita scaled the world’s highest peak 8848-meter Mt. Everest for 24th times last time and broke his own record. Kami Rita is from the Thame village of Solukhumbo.

South Korean mountaineer Um Hong-Gil, Women mountaineer Maya Sherpa, Icefall doctor Ang Sarki Sherpa, Chhiring Chundu Sherpa had also conquered the Mt Everest in the past.

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