Bally Climbs To The Top
It was Tenzing Norgay's sixth attempt and he had a feeling it was going to be the good one. Not that he failed before, but rarely can a climber get to the top without having tried his hand several times at the mountain before, get to know it better. This time he was climbing with the British team which had hired him a year after he had set a new altitude record of 8,595 meters the year before, along legendary alpinist Raymond Lambert.
In the Spring of 1952, the duo, part of the Swiss team, had a really good shot at reaching the summit. Left by themselves by the porters, Norgay and Lambert set up camp at 8.400 meters without the necessary equipment such as sleeping bags, or stove. They were beyond cold. When the next day they started climbing again, they had to stop because of the lack of oxygen. Still, they had reached the highest point anyone ever did before.
Now it was May of 1953, Tenzing Norgay was part of a new squad. Reaching the highest part of the Everest, a first pair were set out for the summit. But lacking oxygen and time, thet had to give up 100 meters before the final summit. The next day, a second pair left. It was Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand mountain climber and explorer who already had four attempts at only thirty-three years old. It was May 27th. On May 29th at 11.30 am, the duo reached the summit. The news made worldwide news and was announced during Queen Elisabeth II’s coronation on June 2nd.
In his biography, « Man of Everest » (also called « Tiger of the Snows »), Tenzing explains that May 29th, the date him and Hillary got to the summit, had became his own birthday. He was born again, wearing Bally boots.
For this entire climb, that lasted weeks, Tenzing Norgay, who with this accomplishment became one of the most notorious climbers in the world, was wearing the famous Reindeer-Himalaya boots crafted by the swiss footwear company Bally. The boots used reindeer fur to protect the feet from the cold, preventing the very common frostbitten accidents. If a man who would go on to be named by Time magazine one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, who had the status of most celebrated mountain climber ever, if a man like that would pick the Bally boots for his most important expedition, they must have been the best shoes available.