Saturday, 25 December 2010
While the world's highest mountain was named after Everest in 1856, the military engineer and geodesist was always rather embarrassed by the honour. The story goes that in 1852, Radhanath Sikhdar who worked for the Grand Trigonometrical Survey of India, discovered what he thought was the highest peak in the world. Several years later this was confirmed and despite it already being called Chomolungma by the Tibetans and Sagarmatha by the Nepalese (words not deemed "intelligible to civilised man"), the British decided to name it after Colonel George Everest, head of the survey.
News of the great discovery eventually reached the British papers - the following Manchester Guardian article appearing on October 7 1856 (lifted from the Times, as was the custom in those days).
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
This is but the latest of Hof's extreme adventures. He has climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in under two days wearing shorts, and run a full marathon within the Arctic Circle in Finland in temperatures close to minus 20 degrees Celsius - as well as an underwater ice swim. A man of extremes, he's also planning to run 50 kilometres in a desert without drinking water.