Kathmandu, Jan. 16 (Reuters): Nepal plans to invite every living mountaineer who has climbed Mount Everest to attend celebrations this year marking the 50th anniversary of the first conquest of the world's highest mountain.
It was on May 29, 1953, New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa of Nepal reached the 8,850-metre summit and 1,200 others from 63 countries have since followed in their footsteps. “We have sent invitations to them and about 350 have confirmed participation,” Nepal Mountaineering Association chief Ang Tshering Sherpa said today. The association is co-hosting the celebration with the government.
Hillary and Junko Tabei of Japan — who in 1975 became the first woman to reach the summit — have confirmed they will attend. A friend of Hillary said the climber planned to spend May 29 with his “sherpa friends” in the Khumbhu region where Everest is located. One hundred and seventy-five climbers have died attempting to scale Everest.
The success of Hillary and Tenzing Norgay marked the beginning of tourism development in Nepal.