Monday, May 12, 2008

Update From Kathmandu

Here's an update from Noelle Wenceslao
Dear Vince,
Ikaw nalang kulang. We're reunited with Leo and PALMC sa ilalim ng puno sa breakfast buffet ng Hotel Marshyangdi. They're Island Peak climb went well -- Dami nilang news on the recession of the glaciers and the glacial lake outburst stuff. Washed out daw ilang bridges, but we have yet to see that.
Peter Negrido and party are in Lukla already, but we're flying there on Tuesday pa.
Demolished na Sherpa Guesthouse, so tiis nalang ng sikip sa Marshyangdi.We're meeting with the Filipino community and other friends here in KTM today. Tapos groceries, etc. Wala pa naman kwento worth telling, but definitely this trip is a lot less stressful than last year.

Touchdown In Hongkong

Here's an earlier e-mail from Teqm Leader Art Valdez who wrote fron Hong kong. The Pinoy contingent consists of Sir Art, Leo Oracion, Erwin 'Pastor' Emata, Carina Dayondon, Noelle Wenceslao, Dr. Ted Esguerra and Fred Jamili.
Hi Vince,
We are taking it easy here in HK for our early evening flight to KTM. We are all excited and really enjoying ourselves because for the first time, no pressure, nor life threatening challenges ahead for us.
The Everest Marathon is tough but not as dangerous compared to the climb to the summit which we did for the last two years.Anyway, we are sending our warmest hello from Hongkong. Wish you're here to enjoy this new exciting adventure.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ooops.. They're At It Again!

My apologies to the Britney fans, but I just wanted to get this out quickly and let all of you know about the new adventure of the Pinoy Everest Team.

They are now back in Kathmandu preparing to join the Everest Marathon.

Yes, it is a Marathon in Mt. Everest. No, it is not a race up the mountain, but will start at the Everest Base Camp and go down to the village of Lukla. It will be a real marathon distance 42+ kilometer race, and the Pinoy and Pinay Everesters are guning for the record of placing in the top 5.

It's a record for them already though as the first Filipinos to join the race. Let's hope they do well and that nobody gets hit with altitude sickness.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Everest Conqueror Edmund Hillary Dies

Everest conquerer Edmund Hillary dies
By Kazunori Takada

WELLINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary, who along with Nepal's Tenzing Norgay Sherpa became the first to conquer Mount Everest, has died. He was 88.

"The legendary mountaineer, adventurer, and philanthropist is the best-known New Zealander ever to have lived. But most of all he was a quintessential Kiwi," New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said on Friday in announcing Hillary's death.

Hillary scaled the world's highest mountain in 1953, telling companions after the climb: "We knocked the bastard off".

The cause of Hillary's death was not announced, but he had been ill for some time and local media reported he had been suffering pneumonia. Radio New Zealand said he died at Auckland
City Hospital on Friday morning.

"He was a colossus. He was an heroic figure who not only knocked off Everest but lived a life of determination, humility, and generosity," said Clark.

Born in Auckland on July 20, 1919, Hillary led an uneventful life until he achieved his Everest triumph at the age of 33.

Then a beekeeper from near Auckland, the strapping six foot (1.83 metre) Hillary was chosen by British expedition leader John Hunt to make the final assault on Everest because of his experience in the Himalayas and immense energy and strength.

Sherpa Tenzing was chosen as his climbing partner.

Hillary and Tenzing set off on a cloudless morning after spending a night at high altitude on the south peak of the infamous South Col. Encumbered by clothing and oxygen equipment that modern climbers would deem museum pieces, they inched ahead until they reached the most formidable problem on the final ridge, a 40 foot (13 metre) rock now known as the Hillary Step.

Hillary "jammed" his way up a narrow crack running vertically up the rock using all his strength and determination and then hauled Tenzing up and they moved on with little to impede them.

At 11.30 a.m. they became the first to step onto the summit of the highest mountain on earth.

For years neither would say who stepped foot on the summit first, but after Tenzing's death in 1986, Hillary revealed it was him.

By late afternoon they were back at the South Col camp and on June 2 word of the conquest was broken by the London Times. The news won huge media coverage, with the "British" triumph coinciding with the coronation day of Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Hillary was knighted even before he descended from Everest.

"It was ground-breaking stuff, trying to find out if the human body could even survive those altitudes in those days," said two-time Everest summit veteran Andrew Lock, Australia's top
high altitude mountaineer.

"He was just the sort of climber that all other climbers looked up to as the absolute pinnacle of appropriate and ethical climbing," said Lock.

After Everest, Hillary led a number of expeditions. In 1958, he and four companions travelled overland in three modified tractors to become the first to reach the South Pole by vehicle.

In the 1960s he returned to the Himalayas in search of the elusive Yeti and in 1975 he led a jetboat expedition to the source of the Ganges.

But most of his energy was devoted to helping Nepal's Sherpa people who live in the shadow of Everest. His Himalaya Trust raised about US$250,000 a year and he personally helped build
schools, hospitals, bridges, pipelines and even an airfield.

"To me he was the greatest adventurer of the 20th Century," millionaire Australian adventurer and philanthropist Dick Smith, who flew solo around the world by helicopter, told Reuters.

Smith, who funds scores of global expeditions, said Hillary's greatest legacy would be the dozens of schools he built and charity work he spearheaded for Nepal.

"Where Ed is different is that his whole life was completely devoted to the people of the Himalayas. He was the bloke who inspired us all," he said.