Jamling will be in Australia from September to mid-October 2022
Not only did Jamling Tenzing Norgay make it to the top of the world’s most forbidding mountain – described by the Sherpa people as “The Mother Goddess of the World” – but he also helped capture it all on film.
As the Star of Director David Breashears Imax film Everest, Norgay helped to portray not only the physical challenges of the Mountain, but also the mental and spiritual challenges faced by the climbers.
Described as the “Titanic of Documentaries,” Everest has played to sold-out audiences across the country, capturing for the first time on large format film the breathtaking view from Everest’s summit. Filmed during the same spring that nine people on Everest died in a sudden storm, it depicts the selflessness exhibited by Norgay and his companions in risking their own lives to save their fellow climbers.
While filming on the mountain, Jamling thought often about his father, trying to imagine what he had gone through in the early days. ”It was much harder then,” Norgay said. “There was no route; he and (Hillary) didn’t even know if the summit was achievable. Many had failed.”
On his summit day, as the younger Norgay approached “The Balcony” (at 27,000 feet Hillary ‘s and his father’s last camp), Norgay looked for remnants -but of course, there was nothing but snow and ice.” I never felt so strong in my life. It was as if my father’s spirit was with me,” he says, describing his conditions as he inched closer to the top.” Just when I thought I’d never get there, I saw Ed Viesturs coming down and he said, ‘Hey, it’s right there”.
Norgay recalls feeling so happy that he cried. A Buddhist, he planted a lungta (prayer flag) and photos of the Dalai Lama and his late parents in the pristine summit snow. Then, just as his father had done 43 years earlier, he left a small toy of his daughter ‘s and struck “the pose” – the same dignified stance his father had assumed in 1953, which had etched an indelible image in the minds of the millions who had read about it afterward.
Norgay released his book Touching My Father’s Soul in the spring of 2001 in San Francisco, and it has been released in 18 languages since then. The story of his Father, told by Jamling, is enthralling. Few have heard it and even fewer know it. When Jamling was a child, Tenzing told his family ‘I climb so you do not have to’. Today, often asked if there are more big summits in his future, Jamling’s response is as simple as that of his father – ‘I promised my wife that after Everest, I would never climb again, I will not break my word’.
Today Norgay runs his adventure travel company “Tenzing Norgay Adventures” in Darjeeling, India and has been instrumental in bringing much needed social services to many of the more remote Himalayan villages.
A frequent speaker in the US and UK, Jamling is now coming to Australia for the first time, to tell us his story.