Lead: The challenge of Mt. Everest was clear from the time its height was determined in the 1800s, but attempts to reach the summit are not known to have begun until the 1920s.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The peak of Mt. Everest is one of earth’s most hostile places. The air is thin. No crops can be grown there. No domestic animals can live there. Any attempt on the summit would require taking along those things necessary to sustain life. Long months of adaptation to the high altitude, supplementary oxygen in tanks, food and water would have to be dragged up nearly impassible terrain which, in the early days, no one had ever crossed. The key to the eventual success of the assault on Everest was a nomadic people, Tibetan-speaking clans who struggled for survival on the lower slopes of the mountain by trading and herding livestock. These are the Sherpa. They were capable of carrying the large loads of supplies that made the climb possible.