The Saga of a Mountaineer and Explorer: BSEM Class 10 English (Course) notes

The Saga of a Mountaineer and Explorer
Share with others

Get summary, textbook solutions, questions, answers, notes, pdf, and extras to the chapter “The Saga of a Mountaineer and Explorer,” which is a part of Class 10 English (Course Book) syllabus for students studying under BSEM. The notes should, however, only be seen as references, and changes should be made according to needs.

If you notice any errors in the notes, please mention them in the comments


Sir Edmund Hillary was a lanky mountaineer and explorer from New Zealand who achieved worldwide fame in 1953 by becoming the first person to scale the 29,035 foot summit of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak. Along with his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, Hillary’s conquest of Everest ranks among the greatest heroic feats in history, alongside Roald Amundsen’s first trek to the South Pole in 1911 and Charles Lindbergh’s first nonstop trans-Atlantic flight in 1927.

For nearly a century after British surveyors determined that the Himalayan peak on the Nepal-Tibet border was the highest point on Earth, many expert climbers considered Mount Everest to be virtually unconquerable. The summit lies 5.5 vertical miles above sea level, in harsh conditions of extreme cold, low oxygen levels, yawning crevasses, and ferocious winds up to 100 mph. Numerous previous Everest expeditions had failed, with dozens of climbers being killed by avalanches, storms, or simply disappearing on the mountain’s treacherous cliffs and slopes.

Hillary and Norgay were part of a large British expedition led by Colonel John Hunt. After weeks of climbing to establish higher camps on the icy slopes, two climbers named Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans came within just 315 feet of the summit before having to turn back due to exhaustion and dwindling oxygen supplies. On the morning of May 29th, 1953, cheered by clearing skies, Hillary and Norgay began the final push to the top.

The climb was extremely perilous, with the two men roped together and cutting toeholds in the ice as they inched up a steep ridge. At one point, the ground cracked open beneath Hillary, causing him to slide backwards before regaining his hold. They encountered sheer cliffs of rock and ice up to 40 feet high that had to be scaled vertically. Finally, after several more precarious hours of climbing, they reached the narrow ridge leading to the summit itself. A few final strikes of their ice axes, and they had made history by becoming the first to stand atop Mount Everest’s highest point.

After briefly celebrating with handshakes and photographs, they began the descent four days later. News of their incredible achievement was announced around the world as a special “coronation gift” to the newly-crowned Queen Elizabeth II, who knighted Hillary and awarded the George Medal to Norgay. Worldwide heroes, they were greeted by huge crowds during the subsequent celebrations.

In the decades after Everest, Hillary went on to lead further adventures, like the first overland expedition to cross the Antarctic continent. He worked tirelessly to promote education and build infrastructure for Nepal’s Sherpa communities through his Himalayan Trust. An intelligent but humble man who preferred the simple life of a beekeeper, Hillary’s tenacious spirit and pioneering feats as an explorer cemented his lasting legacy as one of history’s great mountaineers.

Textbook solutions

Answer the following questions

(a) What is the nationality of Sir Edmund Hillary? 

Answer: Sir Edmund Hillary was from New Zealand. 

(b) What is the height of Mt. Everest? 

Answer: The height of Mt. Everest is 29,035 feet. 

(c) When and who navigated the first nonstop trans-Atlantic flight? 

Answer: The first nonstop trans-Atlantic flight was navigated by Charles A. Lindbergh in 1927. 

(d) Why did numerous expeditions to Mt Everest fail? 

Answer: Numerous expeditions to Mt Everest failed due to the extreme conditions, including yawning crevasses, 100-mile-an-hour winds, perpetual cold, and air so thin that the human brain and lungs do not function properly, along with the mountain being considered almost unconquerable. 

(e) Who are the Sherpas? 

Answer: Sherpas are the Nepalese people famed as climbers. 

Missing answers are only available to registered users. Please register or login if already registered. How to register? Click on Menu and select Register

(m) How was the controversy of whether it was Hillary or Tenzing who first got on to the summit solved? 

Answer: The controversy was resolved by declaring that “They reached it together as a team,” emphasising teamwork over individual achievement. 

(n) Write about the adventures of Sir Edmund Hillary after his Mt Everest Expedition. 

Answer: After the Mt Everest Expedition, Sir Edmund Hillary continued his life of adventure by climbing more mountains, crossing the Antarctic continent, leading an unsuccessful search for the Abominable Snowman, heading a jet boat expedition titled “Ocean to Sky,” and flying over the Arctic to land at the North Pole with Neil Armstrong. He also served as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. 

(o) Who is Neil Armstrong? 

Answer: Neil Armstrong is the first man to set foot on the moon. 

(p) What is the name of the book written or co-authored by Sir Edmund Hillary about the Antarctic experience? 

Answer: The book is “No Latitude for Error.” 

(q) What is the name of Edmund Hillary’s father and what is his profession? 

Answer: Edmund Hillary’s father is Percival Augustus Hillary, a commercial beekeeper. 

(r) Why did John Hunt choose Hillary as a member of the 1953 expedition that conquered Everest? 

Answer: John Hunt chose Hillary due to his growing reputation and specialisation in ice-climbing techniques, along with his experience climbing peaks of more than 20,000 feet in Nepal. 

(s) What is the remark made by Sir Edmund Hillary on recalling his 1953 experience of standing on the top of Mt Everest? 

Answer: Sir Edmund Hillary remarked, “The whole world around us lay spread out like a giant relief map. I am a lucky man. I have had a dream, and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men.”

Look at the following excerpt from the text

In the annals of great heroic exploits, the conquest of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund and Norgay ranks with the first trek to the South Pole by Roald Amundsen in 1911 and the first nonstop trans-Atlantic fight by Charles A. Lindbergh in 1927.

In the sentence given above, the word trans-Atlantic has been formed by adding the prefix trans to the word Atlantic. Here, trans means across or beyond. Now, consult a good dictionary and try to find out the meanings of the following words:

(a) trans-continental ___________
(b) transfigure ___________
(c) transform ___________
(d) transgress ___________
(e) transnational ___________
(f) transplant ___________
(g) transport ___________
(h) transmigration ___________
(i) transpose ___________
(j) transexual ___________

Answer: (a) trans-continental: Spanning continents.
(b) transfigure: Transform appearance.
(c) transform: Change form or character.
(d) transgress: Violate a rule.
(e) transnational: Across national boundaries.
(f) transplant: Move and replant.
(g) transport: Move from place to place.
(h) transmigration: Soul’s rebirth in a new body.
(i) transpose: Swap places.
(j) transexual: Identifies with the opposite sex.

Examine the following sentence from the text carefully

Dozens of experienced mountainers, including many sherpas, the Nepalese people famed as climbers, had been killed — buried in avalanches. In this sentence, the importance is given to the people who are affected. [They were killed]

A verb is in passive voice when it expresses what has been done to the subject [Here the people, who had been killed]. And a verb in the passive voice takes the object or person affected by the action as its subject. In passive voice the verb is changed into the past participle form and is preceded by some form of the verb ‘be’.

He did it.It was done by him.
Does she like it?Is it liked by her?
Where did you see him?Where was he seen by you?

Note: The subject in the active voice becomes the object in the passive, and it is generally preceded by the prepositon, ‘by’.
In the passive voice, sometimes the object is understood, as in The lion is called the king of the jungle.

The passive voice of the verbs with two objects are formed by changing either of the two objects into the subject and retaining the other as the object. Example.

I gave her a pen.She was given a pen by me.
A pen was given to her by me.

Now, change the voice of the verbs in the following sentences:

(a) The police knows the criminal.
(b) He will do the assignment.
(c) It is known to all.
(d) Who saw Edmund Hillary on the top of Mt Everest?
(e) They asked him a few questions.
(f) He told the story.
(g) I shall do the work.
(h) I have lost my book.
(i) We expect him soon.
(j) The storm blew down the house.
(k) The Ministry announced the figure.
(l) The dacoits were found by the police.

Answer: (a) The criminal is known to the police.
(b) The assignment will be done by him.
(c) It is known to all. (This sentence is already in passive voice.)
(d) By whom was Edmund Hillary seen on the top of Mt Everest?
(e) He was asked a few questions by them.
(f) The story was told by him.
(g) The work shall be done by me.
(h) My book has been lost.
(i) He is expected by us soon.
(j) The house was blown down by the storm.
(k) The figure was announced by the Ministry.
(l) The dacoits were found by the police. (This sentence is already in passive voice.)

allow: The visitors were allowed to enter the museum.
deny: The appeal was denied by the authorities.
leave: The decision was left to the committee.
promise: A solution was promised by the government.
ask: The question was asked by the interviewer.
feed: The animals were fed by the zookeeper.
lend: The book was lent to me by my friend.
refuse: The offer was refused by the candidate.
award: The prize was awarded to the winner by the jury.
find: The key was found by the cleaner.
offer: Assistance was offered by the community.
send: The parcel was sent by the office.
bring: The documents were brought by the courier.
give: The award was given to the achiever.
owe: The gratitude was owed to the volunteers by the community.
sell: The painting was sold by the artist.
buy: The house was bought by the couple.
grant: The request was granted by the committee.
teach: The lesson was taught by the teacher.
throw: The ball was thrown by the player.

Develop a story of a mountaineer of Manipur

Develop a story of a mountaineer of Manipur who also scaled Mount Everest.

Tombi Hungyo was born in the small village of Kamjong in the hill district of Ukhrul, Manipur. The youngest of five children, he grew up in humble circumstances, helping his farmer parents tend their small plot of land from a young age. But Tombi’s real passion was wandering the forested slopes and craggy outcrops of the Siroy Hills that loomed over the village.

Despite his family’s impoverished situation, Tombi dared to dream big. At 16, he stunned his parents by dropping out of school against their wishes to pursue his love of mountaineering in Imphal. Working menial jobs, he managed to scrape together enough money for basic gear and lessons. His parents were distraught, convinced he had ruined his future over a crazy fantasy.

Tombi’s rare talent was obvious from his first climbs. But the path ahead remained brutally tough. On an expedition up Kangchenjunga in 2015, he and his team were caught in a massive avalanche that killed two of their members. Tombi himself was buried under detritus for over an hour before being dug out, severely frostbitten but miraculously alive.

The tragedy nearly broke his spirit. For months after, he wrestled with crushing guilt and panic attacks. It took meeting his future wife Dhana, herself a mountaineer, to rekindle his fire. With her steadfast support, he rejoined the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, more determined than ever.

In 2019, Tombi’s chance at Everest finally came. At Camp Four, a freak ice storm ravaged the camp, forcing most climbers to abandon their summit bids. But Tombi and Dhana stubbornly pressed on through the chaos, slowly picking their way up the merciless glacial slopes and finally cresting the peak after a grueling 27-hour push.

The world was shocked when images emerged of Dhana embracing her disheveled, frostbitten husband as they cried tears of delirious joy, the flutter of the Indian flag the only movement atop that vast frosted desert. At 32, Tombi had become a global icon – not just for his incredible climbing achievements, but for embodying the perseverance and resilience of the human spirit.

Tombi and Dhana returned to Manipur as heroes. Today, they run a nonprofit climber training academy, inspiring a new generation to scale heights once thought unattainable. And every year, the people of his village look up at the Siroy Hills, beaming with pride at the boundless ascent of one of their own.

Get notes of other boards, classes, and subjects

BSEM/COHSEMQuestion papers
Custom Notes ServiceYouTube

Share with others

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *