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Happy International Everest Day, May 29!
Each year on May 29, we celebrate International Everest Day around Nepal and New Zealand in grand style to celebrate a new height of human willpower. Mount Everest Day commemorates the first summit of Mt. Everest in 1953 AD by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary.
Several attempts to climb the tallest peak had been made before the first ascent, too. But Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary were the first to make it to the top of Mt. Everest despite the snow, avalanches, and tough terrain. Therefore, International Everest Day is celebrated to honor the first ascent.
Everest Day is an important tourism event in Nepal. Thus, different programs and competitions are organized to celebrate Everest Day.
How and when did International Mount Everest Day start?
Everest Day was first celebrated in 2008, after the death of Sir Edmund Hillary. Since then, New Zealand and Nepal have celebrated the day in memory of his summit on Everest.
New Zealand organizes different processions at different venues and remembers the day when Tenzing and Hillary raised the bar of human willpower.
Likewise, important events will be held in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, and the Everest region. Different high-profile guests visit the events.
One popular event held on International Everest Day is the Everest Marathon. The marathon starts from Everest’s base camp (5364 m) and ends in Namche. There will be participation by both international and national trekkers and climbers. Organizers will award those who win the Everest race a gigantic pool of prizes and mass recognition.
Tenzing’s birth anniversary and the historic first ascent
Several attempts from the Chinese side have been made to climb the world’s tallest peak before. But Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa were the first ones to reach the summit. They rose to the top from the south side at 11:30 a.m. on May 29th, 1953.
After climbing several hundred meters, Hillary had to pre-select the team again to summit Mt. Everest. Together with the team, they approached the 27,900-foot mark and set up camp for the night.
In the early morning, at 6:30 am, they started their climbing journey again, battling ice, rocks, low oxygen levels, and extreme weather. Before reaching the top, they had to climb a 55-foot icefall. But with great determination and change, they finally climbed the peak on May 29th, at 11:30 a.m. This was the first complete ascent, making the duo the first humans to climb the tallest peak.
“I’ve always hated the danger part of climbing, and it’s great to come down again because it’s safe.” Sir Edmund Hillary.
The famous ice step is now known as the Hillary Step. Until now, climbing the Hillary Step has been one of the most intense attempts at mountaineering.
Coincidentally, the duo scaled Everest on the 31st birthday of Tenzing Norgay. So, International Everest Day also commemorates Tenzing Norgay’s birthday.
How do you celebrate Mt. Everest Day?
To celebrate Everest Day on May 29th, you may attend the different annual events in Kathmandu or visit the Everest region. Else, you can memorialize the occasion on the same Everest trails Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Nath walked on.
If you are more into climbing the mountain, you can plan on standing at the top of the summit. Also, you can celebrate it at home by watching documentaries, blogs, and clips from Everest. Another way to celebrate Everest Day is to help others and do charity. You can help pay for the living, education, and health of the genuine heroes of the mountains, the Sherpas.
Besides, it’s a good time to start something or maybe do things you’ve been planning for a long time but were afraid to do. Overcome the fear of whatever you have and build yourself strong, leaving all the hardships behind.
Whichever way you celebrate, thank the Sherpas and Mt. Everest. Note that someone has already climbed the tallest peak, so there’s no obstacle humans can’t get around. Remember the first ascent and work on yourself to overcome the challenges that you have been facing.