Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Heroes and Sherpas

Have you ever heard of Tenzing Norgay? No?

What about Sir Edmund Hillary? Of course – the great mountain-climber who was the first to reach the top of Mount Everest. We’ve ALL heard of him.

But his greatest accomplishment wasn’t done alone. He may not even have been the first to reach the top.

Tenzing Norgay was his Sherpa. He guided Hillary up that mountain and may have even stepped on the summit first. In his lifetime, he probably spent more time trekking up and down Everest than any other human being. But you probably didn’t hear about him in the history lessons. (An interesting side note: Norgay never learned to read or write, but spoke several languages.)

Which begs the question – how many great heroes throughout history were only heroes because they had the right Sherpas by their side?

And another question - are you called to be a hero or a Sherpa?


Karmyn R said...

I'm sure it has happened COUNTLESS times throughout history. (even some say that Einstein's theories wouldn't have been completed without his wife).

andrea said...

That is an irresistably philosophical question -- I love it. If you think about the great men of history many had sherpas. They were called "wives". :)

Michele said...

you know, if you're doing the welcome any time soon, this (i think) is exactly what they're trying to get at.

i wanna be a sherpa

nepalwriter said...

If you want to know more about Sherpas, read Beyond the Summit. I had the privilege of meeting Sir Edmund Hillary twice, once in Colorado and once in Namche in the Everest region where I used to lead treks to the base camp. He dedicated his life to helping the Sherpas who were such a critical part of his first ascent. Beyond the Summit is the first work to dramatize their lives in fiction. Hillary's work in the area is mentioned frequently as well as his climbing partner, Tenzing Norgay.
Details of Sherpa culture and religion are interwoven in a tale of romance and high adventure. The story has something for everyone: a love affair between an American journalist and Sherpa guide, conflict between generations as the modern world challenges centuries of tradition, an expedition from the porter’s point of view.

Below are selections from reviews. To read the complete ones and excerpts go to www.beyondthesummit-novel.com

Beyond the Summit, is the rare gem that shows us the triumphs and challenges of a major climb from the porter’s point of view. The love of two people from diverse cultures is the fiery centerpiece of a novel that leads its readers through harshly beautiful and highly dangerous territory to the roof of the world. Malcolm Campbell, book reviewer

Conflict and dialog keep this gripping story of destiny, romance and adventure moving from the first page to the last paragraph. LeBlanc has a genius for bonding her readers and her characters. I found I was empathizing in turn with each character as they faced their own personal crisis or trauma.
Richard Blake for Readers Views.

A gripping, gut-twisting expedition through the eyes of a porter reveals the heart and soul of Sherpas living in the shadows of Everest. EverestNews.com

A hard-hitting blend of adventure and romance which deserves a spot in any serious fiction collection. Midwest Book Review

LeBlanc is equally adept at describing complex, elusive emotions and the beautiful, terrifying aspect of the Himalayan Mountains. Boulder Daily Camera

LeBlanc’s vivid description of the Himalayas and the climbing culture makes this a powerful read. Rocky Mt News Pick of the Week

A rich adventure into the heart of the Himalayan Kingdom. Fantastic story-telling from one who has been there. USABookNews.com

This is the book to read before you embark on your pilgrimage to Nepal. The author knows and loves the people and the country, and makes you feel the cold thin air, the hard rocks of the mountains, the tough life of the Sherpa guides, and you learn to love them too. This is a higly literate, but also very readable book. Highly recommended.”
– John (college professor)

Memorable characters and harrowing encounters with the mountains keep the action moving with a vibrant balance of vivid description and dialogue. Literary Cafe Host, Healdsburg, CA

This superbly-crafted novel will land you in a world of unimaginable beauty, adventure, and romance. The love story will keep you awake at night with its vibrant tension and deep rich longing. Wick Downing, author of nine novels

Such vividly depicted images of the Everest region and the Sherpa people are the perfect scenario for the romance and adventure feats narrated. It’s a page-turner, so engrossing you end up wanting to visit Nepal! Not just novel, but perfect for those seeking to get acquainted with the culture of this country.
By Claudia Fournier (América, Bs. As., Argentina)

Available through Barnes and Noble, Borders, amazon.com, Chesslerbooks.com, and the web site

Pamela said...

wow!! NOW THAT is a comment!!!

I'm linking over there.

Pamela said...