Where is Bob?
Wednesday 29th May 2013 – 60 years ago today Mount Everest was successfully ascended for the first time by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary.
I was privileged, and lucky enough, to be in Kathmandu (Nepal) on this special occasion. Celebrations were being held in Nepal to mark this special occasion.
The Adventure Peaks team had received an invitation to attend the British Embassy party followed by an invite to the Palace in Kathmandu. None of us exactly had our glad rags with us as this was an unexpected addition to our expedition.
The celebration at the British Embassy was well attended by various expedition teams and several “VVIPs”. The British ambassador in Nepal gave a speech that set the scene for the celebration and he read out a message from Her Royal Highness “Elizabeth R” – news of the first ascent of Everest reached HRH one day before her coronation and set the scene for her reign as sovereign. It was nice to hear a message from her on this occasion.
The New Zealand ambassador in Nepal then spoke and conveyed a message from the New Zealand Prime Minister. The famous mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who was the first person to summit Everest without oxygen, then gave a speech. The first woman to summit Everest without oxygen was in attendance but did not give a speech.
A cake in the shape of Mount Everest had been made and Reinhold Messner, along with a representative of Elizabeth Hawley (the compiler and verifier of the definitive list of who has climbed the 8000m peaks).
I finally bumped into Monique Richard, whom I had kept missing on the North side of Everest, and it was nice to catch up with her as I hadn’t seen her since Puento Arenas in Chile after my Mount Vinson trip. Monique had been attempting Everest without oxygen but turned around just 50m vertically from the summit – a good effort and it was nice to know that she got down safely. She has previously summited Everest from the South side using oxygen.
I got an opportunity to chat with Reinhold Messner for a short while and everyone enjoyed the refreshments and food provided at the embassy.
We headed over the Palace for the official Nepalese celebrations and had a good meal there. It was an honour to have been able to attend the 60th anniversary celebrations.
Keep following the adventure – who knows what will happen next!