International Everest Day: Date, History, and Significance

Every year on the 29th of May, trekkers, climbers, mountaineers, and adventurers around the world celebrate International Everest Day. This day commemorates the first successful ascent of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal in 1953. The annual celebration pays tribute to the spirit of adventure, human endurance, and the indomitable will to conquer the world's highest peak.

History of International Everest Day

There were numerous attempts to climb Mount Everest, mostly from the Chinese side but, Edmund and Tenzing, attempting from the Nepali side, succeeded in climbing Mount Everest from the southern Nepali side.

International Everest Day was announced in 2008, following the death of Sir Edmund Hillary. He was eighty-eight at the time of his death. The government of Nepal declared May 29th as a day to honor the historic achievement of Hillary and Norgay, whose Everest summit success has inspired countless adventurers and climbers. Tenzing Norgay passed away on May 9th, 1986.  

The International Everest Day also celebrates the close ties between Nepal and New Zealand and acknowledges the contributions of Sherpas and other mountain guides in high-altitude climbing. The close ties between Nepal and New Zealand was cemented on the day Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa reached the Everest summit together. 

Remembering Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary became a global icon after his successful ascent of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953, alongside Tenzing Norgay. This historic achievement marked the first confirmed summit of the world's highest peak at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet). This triumph was celebrated worldwide, symbolizing the victory of human endurance and determination.

Beyond his mountaineering feats, Hillary made significant contributions to Nepal. He founded the Himalayan Trust in 1960 to address the needs of the Sherpas. Through this organization, he spearheaded the construction of schools, hospitals, and infrastructure in the remote Solukhumbu region. His efforts greatly improved the education, healthcare, and living standards of the Sherpas, earning him immense respect and gratitude in Nepal.

 

Remembering Tenzing Norgay 

Tenzing Norgay put his name in history books alongside Sir Edmund Hillary by reaching the summit of Mount Everest. Norgay's achievement highlighted the essential role and expertise of Sherpa climbers in high-altitude mountaineering.

Beyond his historic ascent, Tenzing Norgay made lasting contributions to mountaineering and the Sherpa community. He played a crucial role in promoting the welfare and recognition of Sherpa guides, advocating for their fair treatment and improved working conditions. 

Norgay founded the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling, India, in 1954. This institute became a premier training center for mountaineers, fostering a new generation of climbers and enhancing the region's mountaineering expertise. Later in 1978, Tenzing formed a trekking adventure company. He passed away in 1986.

Norgay's legacy is defined not only by his pioneering Everest summit but also by his dedication to advancing the status and well-being of the Sherpa people and the broader mountaineering community. 


Importance of Everest

Mount Everest, at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet), is the tallest mountain on Earth. As the tallest mountain on Earth, it captures human imagination, challenges the human spirit, and tests determination. Everest embodies the quest for exploration, the pursuit of personal limits, and the spirit of adventure that drives humanity to achieve the extraordinary.


Everest as the Highest Mountain

The recognition of Everest as the highest mountain came in the mid-19th century. In 1856, the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India established its height and named it Peak XV. Later, in 1865, this peak was officially named Mount Everest in honor of Sir George Everest, a former Surveyor General of India. This discovery marked a significant milestone in the field of geography and exploration.


Location of Mount Everest

Mount Everest lies in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas, straddling the border between Nepal and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The southern ascent route from Nepal is the more commonly used path to the summit. The region is known for its rugged terrain, dramatic peaks, and breathtaking landscapes, making it a magnet for trekkers and climbers.


Importance of Everest in Trekking and Climbing

Mount Everest holds a legendary status in the world of mountaineering. Climbing Everest is the pinnacle of high-altitude mountaineering, a test of skill, endurance, and determination. Each year, climbers from around the globe attempt to reach its summit, facing extreme weather conditions, altitude sickness, and physical exhaustion.

The Everest Base Camp trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in the world, attracting thousands of trekkers annually. This trek offers a unique opportunity to experience the majesty of the Himalayas, visit Sherpa villages, and witness the stunning beauty of the Khumbu Glacier and the surrounding peaks.


The Surrounding Area

The region surrounding Mount Everest is part of the Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is home to diverse flora and fauna, including rare species such as the snow leopard and the red panda. The Sherpa culture, with its rich traditions and hospitality, adds a unique cultural dimension to the area.

Visitors to the region can explore the vibrant town of Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the high Himalayas, and Tengboche Monastery, which offers spiritual solace amidst the towering peaks. The scenic beauty and thrilling passes combined with the cultural heritage of the Sherpa people, make the Everest region a fascinating destination for adventurers and cultural enthusiasts.


Significance of International Everest Day

International Everest Day serves as a reminder of the remarkable achievements in human exploration and the enduring legacy of Hillary and Norgay. It is a day to celebrate the courage, resilience, and perseverance of all those who have dared to dream and challenge themselves against the highest mountain in the world.

As we honor the legacy of these pioneering climbers, International Everest Day also highlights the importance of preserving the natural environment of the Himalayas and promoting sustainable tourism practices. It encourages future generations to respect and protect these majestic landscapes while pursuing their dreams of adventure and exploration.

Conclusion

International Everest Day is more than just a celebration of a historic ascent; it is a tribute to the human spirit and a call to protect and cherish the magnificent natural world that continues to inspire and challenge us all. 

If this historic climb inspires you, we invite you to trek to Everest Base Camp and appreciate the contributions of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.