Touching My Father's Soul

Touching My Father's Soul

A Sherpa's Journey to the Top of Everest

Book - 2001 | 1st ed.
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The Great Untold Story of Everest

Sherpas are part of our everyday parlance, yet we know so little of their world beyond their depiction as climbing wonders. In Touching My Father's Soul, Jamling Tenzing Norgay gives us an insider's view of the Sherpa world as he tells a story of Everest unlike any told before. His tale is one of profound adventure that entwines the lives of a family, a mountain, and a people.

As Climbing Leader of the famed 1996 Everest IMAX expedition led by David Breashears, Jamling Norgay was able to follow in the footsteps of his legendary mountaineer father, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, who with Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. While Jamling's father was the pioneer and most famous climber in the family, a total of twelve relatives have successfully summitted the mountain the Sherpas call Chomolungma, for the goddess who lives on the summit. In the Sherpa tradition and in the Norgay family, climbing Everest and living in its shadow have a very different meaning than the "men conquering mountains" attitude that prevails in many Western accounts.

Jamling Norgay interweaves the story of his own ascent during the infamous 1996 Mount Everest disaster with little-known stories from his father's historic climb. While the world celebrated Tenzing Norgay for his achievement, his son was deeply under his spell and inexorably drawn to the mountain his father loved. The journeys of both Jamling and his father began with ominous signs, telling divinations, ritual offerings, and humble prayers. Along the way both father and son grappled with the same physical and personal challenges as they pressed on against extreme circumstances. Jamling carried with him the fundamental mountaineering lesson learned from his father: Everest "must be approached with respect and with love, the way a child climbs into the lap of its mother. Anyone who attacks the peak with aggression, as a soldier doing battle, will lose."

Touching My Father's Soul is the first modern account of the Everest experience from the unheard voice of its indigenous people, revealing a fascinating and profound world that few--even many who have made it to the top--have ever seen.

Publisher: [San Francisco, Calif.] : HarperSanFrancisco, c2001.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780062516879
Branch Call Number: 796.522 N838
Characteristics: xvii, 316 p. : ill. (some col.).
Additional Contributors: Coburn, Broughton 1951-


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May 22, 2017

This is Jamling's account of the disastrous events on Everest in May 1996, when he was the lead sherpa for David Breashears' expedition to film the climb for the IMAX feature "Everest." I've read perhaps eight different books written by climbers on the mountain during that time (including Breashears' own), and I found Jamling's to be the best. Excellent writing, but also some extra depth, no doubt related to his culture and his family history.

May 30, 2015

Very good read even for non-mountaineers. Going between his father's first ascent of the mountain and Jamling Norgay's ascent gave the narrative a personal angle that couldn't have come from anyone else. Writing is a little dry but clear, and the story is well-woven and touching. The spiritual passages were not as interesting for me as the climbing ones, however, they contributed to my closer understanding of Norgay and Sherpas. Finished reading on May 29th, anniversary of the 1st ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953.

May 24, 2006

A beautifully written account of Norgay's assent of Mt. Everest as the leader of the IMAX expedition in 1996. He deftly weaves accounts of his father's (Tenzing Norgay) assent of Everest with Edmond Hillary in 1953, his own assent and the imfamous storm,and the Sherpa's beliefs about Everest and their roles in outsiders assents of it. Will be enjoyed by those who enjoyed Into Thin Air and other adventure survival nonfiction.

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