National Geographic : 2003 Sep
Forumrn May 2003 The stories honoringthe first human footsteps on Everest's summit inspired a big pile of mail. There was praisefor Edmund Hillary(right) and protestationsabout the omission of readers'favorite expeditions,from thefirst winter summit, by Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki of Polandin 1980, to Giran Kropp's 1996 ascent after bikingfrom Sweden (with only one pair of underwear). Mount Everest As unconquered goals such as Everest have largely disappeared, one cannot help but feel some what sad. What natural pinna cles and regions do our youth have left to explore for them selves? The great days of explora tion may have passed, but Sir Edmund Hillary shows us that still greater exploration and suc cess can be achieved by extend ing human kindness to others. GEOFF PROVEN Portencross,Scotland Sir Edmund Hillary is a hero not because he was the first to climb the mountain but because he never forgot the Sherpas who helped him achieve this impos sible feat. He dedicated his life to helping build schools and hospitals for them. His legacy will never be forgotten. PATRE S. RAIASHEKHAR Bangalore,India MEMBERSHIP Please call 1-800 -NGS-LINE (1-800-647-5463). Special device for the hearing-impaired (TDD) 1-800-548-9797. Online: nationalgeographic.com/ngm AOL Keyword: NatGeoMag Online index: nationalgeographic.com/ publications I was distressed by the way you gave short shrift to Tenzing Norgay. Anyone reading your features could be forgiven for thinking that Hillary was the hero, and the other bloke helped him along. When I met Tenzing more than 30 years ago, he was saddened that Hillary cornered the glory. Tenzing explained to me what every mountaineer knows: When two climbers on a rope work their way up difficult terrain, they take turns at leading because the leader on the rope does the hardest work. Neither could have gotten there without the other. Hillary and Tenzing were like two wheels of a bicycle: The front wheel got there first, but not because it was superior. CHINTAMANI RAO New Delhi, India You mentioned that Pete Athans summited Everest seven times and Ed Viesturs five times. But you didn't bother to mention that Apa Sherpa climbed Everest twelve times, Ang Rita Sherpa climbed it ten times (without supplemental oxygen!), and Ang Dorjee Sherpa climbed it eight times. Shame on you. These are the real superstars of climbing. KENNETH LEE Hong Kong, China NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * SEPTEMBER 2003 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "Forthe increase and diffusion of geographicknowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C .,as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 7,000 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., Presidentand CEO Executive Vice Presidents TERRENCE B. 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Bonsignore,HowardG Buffett, Craig D. Campbell, Juliet C. Folger,Robert A. Hefner Ill, Samuel C. Johnson, Bruce L Ludwig, Sally Engelhard Pingree,W. RussellRamsey.EdwardP. RoskI,Jr.,AliceRogot Rubenstein, B. FrancisSaul II, Garry A. Weber RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION COMMITTEE PeterH.Raven,Chairman;JohnM. Francis,Vice Chairman and Executive Director; Richard S. Williams, Jr., Vice Chairman;Martha E. Church, Scott V. Edwards,William L Graf, NancyKnowton, Dan M. Martin, Scott E. Miller, Jan Nijman, Stuart L Pimm, Elsa M. Redmond, William H. Schlesinger, BruceD. Smith,Hans-DieterSues,HenryT. Wright,Patrcia C.Wright EXPLORERS-IN-RESIDENCE Robert Ballard, Wade Davis, Syvia Earle, Zah Hawass, LouiseLeakey,MeaveLeakey,JohanReinhard,PaulSereno CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS-IN RESIDENCE Sam Abel, Annie Grifiths Belt, David Doubilet, Karen Kasmausld, Emory ristof, Frans Lanting MISSION PROGRAMS Develpment: JacquellneM. Holllster.Education Foudati BarbaraA.Chow.Exhibita: Susan S. Norton. ExpedMonsCoul: RebeccaMartin. Gography B: Mary Lee Elde. Lactre P.Andrew van Duym, Gregory A. McGruder SchoolPublshing: ErlckaMarkman,Sr.Vce President. Internatlona: Robert W. Hemindez, Sr. Vice President. Hman Resources:ThomasA. Sabl6, Sr. VicePresident. Conuunications: Betty Hudson, Sr. Vice President. Treasurer H. GregoryPlatts, Sr. Vice President NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURES DENNIS R. PATRICK, Presidentand CEO Televison: Timothy T. Kelly, President. Naonal GeographicChannel: David Haslingden, President, International;Laureen Ong, President U.S . Contributions to the National Geographic Society are tax deductible underSection 501(cX3) of the U.S . tax code. Copyight © 2003 NatonalGeographic Society. All rights reserved. NationalGeographicand Yellow Border RegisteredTrademarks® Marcas Registradas. National Geographicassumesno responsibility for unsolicited materials. PrintedIn U.S .A.