They climbed Everest – the story of those who managed the impossible | Sunday Observer

They climbed Everest – the story of those who managed the impossible

4 June, 2023
Sir Edmund Hillary  and Tenzing Norgay
Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay

Since then, many have followed in their footsteps, each with their own unique story of perseverance and determination.

Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala, for instance, became the first Sri Lankan climber to summit Mount Everest in 2016. Her journey was not without its challenges – she faced difficult weather conditions and had to deal with the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake that had devastated Nepal. However, her unwavering spirit and determination saw her through, and she successfully reached the summit.



Johann Peries too is another Sri Lankan who accompanied Jayanthi on her expedition but was unable to summit Everest – his oxygen tank failed just 400 metres before he reached the dream of every mountaineer. Later, however, in May 2018, he did manage to achieve his lifelong goal, and with this, became the second Sri Lankan to reach the golden peak of mountaineering.



Junko Tabei


Another notable feat was achieved by Junko Tabei, who became the first woman to climb Mount Everest in 1975.

Tabei, a Japanese mountaineer, faced numerous obstacles in her journey, including cultural barriers and societal expectations.

However, she persevered and went on to become a prominent figure in the mountaineering world, inspiring countless women to pursue their dreams despite the odds.


Age is no barrier when it comes to climbing mountains, as demonstrated by the remarkable feat of Yuichiro Miura. In 2013, at the age of 80, Miura became the oldest person to climb Mount Everest. This was not his first time summiting the peak – he had previously achieved the feat at the ages of 70 and 75. His determination and passion for mountaineering are truly inspiring, proving that age is just a number.



Similarly, age was no barrier for Jordan Romero, who became the youngest person to climb Mount Everest at the age of 13.

Romero, an American mountaineer, had already climbed six of the Seven Summits (the highest mountains on each continent) by the time he reached the summit of Everest.

His achievement is a testament to the power of determination and hard work and serves as an inspiration to young people around the world.



The phrase "they climbed Everest" signifies more than just a physical feat – it represents the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

Each mountaineer who attempted and succeeded in summiting Mount Everest has a unique story of perseverance, determination, and resilience.

From the first successful ascent by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, to the more recent achievements of Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala, Johann Peries, Junko Tabei, Yuichiro Miura, and Jordan Romero, each story is a testament to the power of human potential.

Mountaineering is not just a physical activity – it requires mental strength, resilience, and an unwavering spirit. The climbers who have stood at the top of the world have achieved something truly remarkable, and their stories will continue to inspire generations to come.


Dinara Thuljan Hettiarachchi

Grade 10

Ananda College

Colombo 10