Friendship over generations
Like their famous fathers Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, Jamling and Peter are friends and would also be a good rope team. Both followed in the footsteps of their fathers: Jamling Tenzing Norgay (in 1996) and Peter Hillary (in 1990 and 2002) also reached the summit of Mount Everest. Both are continuing the work of their fathers for the benefit of the Sherpas and keep the memory of the two Everest pioneers alive. „My father climbed the mountain and came back down the mountain as a simple man. He lived the rest of his life very humble and simple just like Edmund Hillary”, Jamling said when we met during the Everest Diamond Jubilee Celebrations at the Royal Geographical Society in London. „No two people could have climbed Everest first than Hillary and my father.” Peter Hillary is also proud of the performance of his father and Tenzing Norgay: „For us 60 years later the key thing is what it stands for: Someone does something new. They actually open the door to everyone who follows. These things are very liberating and as a consequence very important.”
Equal rights for all
Until his death in 2008 Sir Edmund Hillary belonged to the most prominent critics of commercial climbing on Mount Everest. „I think he was sad that the wonderful adventure they had – there was no one else on the mountain, even near- has changed into what we have today”, Peter said. „It’s an industry.” The 58-year-old New Zealander thinks that we have to accept it „because if we are going to be consistent then we should go to Garmisch or Chamonix and say: No more mountain guiding, no more skiing, no more chalets and restaurants! We can’t take that away from the Nepalese.” But Peter calls for proving the standards on the world’s greatest mountain – like Jamling does. „I think there should be a control to limit how many people can climb or figure out the safety so that we have less accidents on the mountain”, Jamling said.
True climbers respect each other
The 48-year-old is concerned by this season’s Sherpa attack against the European top climbers Simone Moro and Ueli Steck. „It should have never happened. The mountain is big enough for everybody to climb”, Jamling said. „True climbers respect each other.” This applied not only to the Sherpas: „The western climbers need to learn to respect the Sherpas while they are working.”
For Peter Hillary the incident is „an unfortunate aberration” but he doesn’t want to overstate it: „When people climb at high elevation there are altitude, the emotions close to the surface, lots of egos and complications. This was an ugly, but not a particular serious incident.” Peter hopes that the traditionally very good relationships between foreign and Nepalese climbers will continue. „And I believe they will.”
Date5. June 2013 | 16:10