Edmund Hillary's ashes to be taken atop Mount Everest
Kathmandu: More than 50 years after Kiwi
beekeeper Sir Edmund Hillary became the first man to stand
atop world's tallest peak 8,848-metre high Mount Everest, the
ashes of the world's most famous mountaineer are to be carried
there to make it his last resting place.
The ashes would be carried to Everest by Nepalese Apa
Sherpa when he attempts his record-breaking 20th ascent of the
peak later this month.
And joining this epic-making expedition would be an
Indian, Arjun Bajpayee, who at 16 is aspiring to be the
youngest man from his country to climb the world's highest
Most of Hillary's ashes were scattered in the sea off
Auckland in his native New Zealand following his death in
2008, aged 88.
But Apa says that some of his ashes had been kept in a
Buddhist Monastery in Himalayan village of Kunde in eastern
Nepal and these would now be scattered in the eternal snows of
Hillary and the Nepalese sherpa Norgay Tenzing made
history when they made the maiden ascent of Everest on May 29,
1953. The New Zealander later adopted Nepal as his second home
running a foundation that build schools and hospitals at the
base of Everest in an area called Solokhumbu.
Bajpayee would be joined by two other Indian women
climbers Bhagya Shree Sawant, 18 and Mamta Shoda, 31 in the
Everest Odyssey which will be led by veteran Nepalese climber
Dawa Steven Sherpa.
The international team will also comprise nine other
foreign nationals and 17 Nepalese climbers who would attempt
the peak by April 20.
"I will pray for Hillary once I reach the summit," Apa
told reporters in Kathmandu.
"The Eco Everest 2010 expedition will place his ashes on
Mt Everest and the climbers will pray that his soul rests in
peace," Nepal Tourism Minister Sharad Singh Bhandari said.
The expedition will also mark the beginning Nepal Tourism
Year in 2011 with the aim to attracting one million tourists,
Hillary has built schools, hospitals and roads in remote
mountainous region of Nepal.
"We are discharging his debt," said Ang Rita.
The Expedition will bring 7,000 kilogrammes of garbage
from Everest to Kathmandu, said team leader Dawa Sherpa.
"We are planning to bring down seven tonnes of garbage,'
said Dawa. He led a similar expedition last year which brought
down 6,000 tonnes of garbage from the massif and the team
would climb Everest in an eco-friendly manner.