News / USA

First American Conquered Everest 50 Years Ago

Jim Whittaker is interviewed for 50th Anniversary Celebration of the First American Ascent of Mount Everest, in Berkeley, California, February 2013.Jim Whittaker is interviewed for 50th Anniversary Celebration of the First American Ascent of Mount Everest, in Berkeley, California, February 2013.
x
Jim Whittaker is interviewed for 50th Anniversary Celebration of the First American Ascent of Mount Everest, in Berkeley, California, February 2013.
Jim Whittaker is interviewed for 50th Anniversary Celebration of the First American Ascent of Mount Everest, in Berkeley, California, February 2013.
VOA News
Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the first American to reach the top of the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest.

On May 1, 1963, Jim Whittaker reached the summit of the 8,850-meter tall mountain, just 10 years after New Zealand's Edmund Hillary and Nepal's Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to conquer it.

Talking to U.S. media about that day, Whittaker remembers waking up to a blizzard with freezing temperatures and brutal winds.  

The now 84-year-old Whittaker was last on Everest in 2012, reaching 5,200 meters before turning back. Over the decades, he has made several other major climbs, including the first American ascent of K2 - the world's second highest peak - and a climb to Everest's top along with colleagues from Russia and China in 1990.

Since 1953, climbing Mount Everest has become a major tourism draw for the Himalayan country of Nepal. More than 3,000 people have climbed it.

Meanwhile, Nepalese authorities are still investigating reports of a fight between three European climbers and a group of local Sherpa guides at a high altitude on Everest several days ago. The experienced climbers from Britain, Italy and Switzerland were about 2,000 meters below the summit when disagreements began between the two sides. Both sides accuse the other of starting the brawl.

Sherpas are locals around the world's highest peak, who are known for their climbing skills and knowledge of the region. They are responsible for fixing ropes up the mountain, and they accompany most foreign climbers to the summit.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid