Monday, May 26, 2003
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Sir, This has reference to the Editorial, "Magic and the mountain" ( May 23 ). It is 50 years since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay set foot on Mount Everest. Now, the number of expeditions trying to reach the mountain's peak during the climbing season is mind-boggling. Unfortunately, the mountains pay a heavy price for such unbridled activity. Expeditions are being launched with the help of sherpas to bring down the tonnes of garbage left behind by the mountaineers. Rienhold Messner, who climbed Mount Everest without oxygen, said: "We will not be judged by our mountaineering skills, but by how responsible we have been in keeping the mountains clean for the next 1,000 years or 100,000 years."
Thus, the greatest challenge before us is to preserve the pristine Himalayas for posterity without turning them into high altitude garbage dumps.
Sir, As we celebrate the golden jubilee of man's first successful ascent of Mount Everest, we must realise that we cannot achieve success in life without fortitude. Even in the face of treacherous crevasses, strong winds, heavy snowfall and other impediments along the way, the mountaineers do not give in but endeavour to defy all odds and climb the summit with great tenacity. In the journey of life also, we must face adversities as challenges and overcome them with indomitable courage and sheer force of character.
G. David Milton,
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