ASPEN, Colo. – Edmund Hillary, the mountain climber, died in January, and among his eulogies there was yet more mention of the old nonsense – the stuff about whether it was he or Tenzing Norgay who set the first foot upon the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.
Why this doesn’t matter is perhaps explained best by Jeremy Bernstein, a physicist, author and mountaineer in his own right who lives part time in Aspen. Bernstein, in a letter published in the New York Review of Books, notes that there was a snobbery toward the Sherpas on the part of the British climbers in the 1953 expedition.
“The Sherpas resented it, and it took all the diplomatic skills of Tenzing Norgay, the head Sherpa and the leading Sherpa climber, to keep them from quitting before the expedition left Kathmandu. Without the Sherpas who carried equipment to very high camps, the British would have had no chance to climb the mountain,” he says.
Tenzing knew more about the mountain than anybody else and had nearly climbed it the year before when climbing with the Swiss, says Bernstein. And with the Swiss, he had been treated like a team member and not a glorified hired hand.
“On the British expedition none of the climbers, other than Hillary, would have shared a tent with a Sherpa. It was just not done. But Hillary, a New Zealander, was an outsider, too, and impervious to the prejudices of race and class,” writes Bernstein.
It was, he concludes, fitting that “these two outsiders were the first to climb Chomo-Lungma – the Goddess Mother of the World.”
Global warming now a real estate selling point
REVELSTOKE, B.C. – Climate change is now becoming a real-estate selling point.
That’s the observation of Toronto’s Globe and Mail after visiting the new Revelstoke Mountain Resort, which opened in late December and expects next year, after extension of the gondola, to have the most vertical of any ski resort in North America.
The newspaper notes that the ski area gets an annual average of 15 metres of snow, or nearly 600 inches. “If, 20 years from now, we only get half the snow, it’s still much more than anyone else,” says one of the four developers, Hunter Milborne, the managing director of Sotheby’s International in Toronto.
Zul Haji, a Calgary-based investor, tells the newspaper he was intrigued by the concept of climate change real estate. He paid $450,000 for a condo last March. That same day, Revelstoke sold $70 million worth of real estate in its first offering.