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Banbury Cross

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Post details: Climbing Chomolungma

Climbing Chomolungma

On this day, 53 years ago (which would be, hmmm, 1953), Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay conquered Mt. Everest. When I was a kid I read this book about it, called "The Throne of Gods", which dramatically proclaimed that on May 29 at 11:30am both mountaineers had nowhere to climb for they were standing literally on the top of the world.

When I realized what day it was today, I started wondering whether I would be a good Sherpa and how would it feel to climb to 8,848 meters above the sea level (at which I pretty much live). Well, being a mathematician living on the second floor of an apartment complex, I took a tape measure and found that each of the fifteen stairs I have to climb to get to my door elevates me by 8 inches (20 cm), so that particular flight of stairs gives me 3 meters per climb. Suppose I climb it twice a day. That means I would need (8848:6) 1475 days to gain the desired altitude. Well, I started climbing these stairs on July 1, 2003 so my final climb to the peak should occur on (add 1475 days) July 15th, 2007.

On that day, I will wear firm shoes, an ice pick and a knapsack, possibly an oxygen mask, lest my neighbors have any doubts about my sanity, and I will conquer my Everest, or my Chomolungma as the natives call it. And on that day I will throw a party and Nepalese food will be served. So you guys mark your calendars and I have about a year to learn how to cook Daal Bhaat and Tarkari.

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