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Item #: OP325-369
SCHOOLHOUSE IN THE CLOUDS Edmund Hillary 1964 1st US ed Hardcover DJ Near Fine-Fine
By Hillary, Edmund
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New York, 1964, 1st edition. 180 pp, 59 color photos. Dark grey cloth hardcover with dust jacket. Near Fine. 

Ascent of Kangtega and Taweche and the building of Sherpa schools.

The dramatic, often amusing story of Sir Edmund Hillarys return to the Himilayas in March, 1963, to fulfill a promise -- to repay the Sherpas, a rugged Himalayan people, with schools, water systems and medical aid, for the loyal and courageous service they have rendered to many mountaineering expeditions over the years -- and to do a bit of climbing. At the close of the 1960 scientific mountaineering expedition which he described in High in the Thin Cold Air, Sir Edmund Hillary asked his native helpers what one thing they most desired. The answer was: schools, and an old Sherpa remarked: Our children have eyes, but they are still blind.

In 1961 the first school was built in Khumjung, 13,000 feet up the flanks of sacred Mount Khumbila in Nepal.

When Hillary returned with a nine-man task force to continue the job two years later, he discovered a widespread improvement n the village; many had learned to write fluently in Nepali; several, particularly the children, spoke English with astonishing facility; and everywhere there was a passion for learning.

Before the nine-man team was through, they had given schools to neighboring Pangboche and Thami, revolutionized Khumjung with a crude, but efficient, mile-long water pipeline, and, with the help of airdrops and fights against time and prejudice, saved thousands of natives from the ravages of smallpox.

Sir Edmunds picture of Sherpa life is full, colorful, and compassionate. Through Lady Louises own diary, we see the charm of these children, the business of everyday, the ceremonies acted out against blue sky, sparkling river, and a world full of laughter. But no less exciting are the accounts by two other members of the expedition -- of assaults on two great unclimbed peaks: Taweche and Kangtega.

Jim Wilson, a Presbyterian minister with a long record of difficult climbs to his credit, describes the high adventure of following the theoretically easy scramble up deceptive Mount Taweche.

Climbing Mount Kangtega turned out to be an hour-by-hour race against an oncoming monsoon, and Mike Gills account is full of breathtaking action, the exhaustion and exhilaration of man matching mountain.


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