KATHMANDU: “I can accept failure, everyone fails at some point, but I can’t accept not trying” these lines from basketball legend Michael Jordon truly reflect, every time optimistic mountaineer, Tsang Yin Hung aka Ada’s feelings.
Failures make people give up but not to Ada, an optimistic person, who never gives up hope even after failing two times.
Her first Chengdu-Lhasa bicycle trail in 2008 followed by the Sichuan-Lhasa-Urumqi 5000km trip in 2010 played a significant role in waking a mountaineer in her. During the trip, she stopped and looked at the top of the tall peaks including Mt Everest.
After gazing at the Himalayas, one of her students asked, “Is your dream to climb Mt Everest”? She instantly replied “No”. Then, she had never thought of climbing Mt Everest, she remembers the incident in chit-chat with Khabarhub.
In 2010, as a teacher, when she first appeared in the class in her school, she asked all her students to write about their dream. Enthusiastically, they wrote that they wanted to be a doctor, physiotherapist, NBA player and many more.
Dreams to be an ‘NBA’ player are literally impossible for many, but as a teacher, she had to encourage them to live with their dreams. It was then that she enchanted her dreams to climb Mt Everest when one student asked her.
She said, “In five years from now, I will fulfill my dream. Remember, you also need to go through it to fulfill your dreams. Let’s go together.” She set a goal with students as her witness.
This set an urgency to work for materializing her dream and keeping her words as well. She began to follow her dream to climb Mt Everest. The preparation started with scaling Muztag Peak (7546 m) in 2012.
In 2014, when she reached Namche Bazar to climb Mt Everest, she heard the story of the avalanche in the Everest region which made her abandon the expedition.
She said, “After I failed in my first attempt, I wasn’t much demotivated because I knew serendipity had a role to play in summiting peaks like Mt. Everest. It’s not just your fitness level and training but a lot depends on the weather, that’s just the nature of climbing! And that year, in 2014, none summited due to the avalanche, so, I decided to give myself another shot.”
Again in 2015, she made her next attempt. “Again, the day is not for me,” she said. When the earthquake shook the mountain in 2015 during her climb, it thwarted her plans again, only to leave her with several injuries – a 6cm long fracture, two broken ribs, a blood clot in the brain that really affected her memory. But again, no climbers could summit in 2015.
There was a lot at stake for her third attempt to ascent Everest in 2017. “For the first two climbs, I could take leave from my school and there were generous Hongkongers who contributed financially,” she told Khabarhub, “but, they could not support me for good.”
So this time around, she had to quit her job and make it a self-fund expedition. The journey was getting tougher with one of their mountaineer’s death.
Ada was more focused on her goal now. She didn’t want her previous two failed expeditions to repeat and let the students, donors and her school down.
“I also did not want to let my mom down, who despite not fully understanding what I was trying to achieve, supported me through thick and thin when I had to leave behind a stable job.” So they were the eyes that kept her going strong. “The rest is history, as they say,” her face glows telling the story of success in the third attempt.
She stood at the summit of Everest on 21 May 2017, after being strong, fit and recovered. Before she attempted for the third try, she had successfully ascent Muztag Peak (7546 m) in July 2016. When she was on the summit, she remembered her students, who had encouraged her giving the challenge to climb Mt Everest, and her family.
Her mother also encouraged her saying, “When you are unable to fulfill your dream, you cannot move to the next level”.
She was so exultant to fulfill her dream after surviving from the earthquake in Everest. After climbing Mt Everest she was fascinated with the mountains and again summited Mt Everest on May 22, this year.
In between 2011-2019, she has climbed 5000-6000m peaks more than 20 times.
Sharing the reason to climb mountains she said to Khabarhub, “To me, the Sherpas are more than the teacher, brother, friends, family, and life saviors. To meet and get connected with them regularly, I climb the mountains in Nepal.”
She has recently climbed with Kanchhi Maya Tamang (31) from Nepal, Margaritta Lucia Silvestre (30) from Peru, and Ma Soledad Castro Serrano (46) from Mexico. Together they stood atop the 6,659-meter Linku Chuli 2 in the Rolwaling valley at around 10:00 am on 28 October.
She thinks climbing a mountain is very challenging is never crazy about climbing the virgin peak. She gives the full credit for her successful trip to the Sherpas. While talking to us, praising the Sherpas she said, “I just follow their footprint only.”
She feels that mountains give refreshment and positive thought along with keeping a person humble and blessed.
“People used to say you are so strong, but I never thought I am so strong,” she said, “Mountains are so strong”.
In her opinion, one cannot battle and challenge the mountains. The only thing one has to take care of is to ensure is that in the mountains, the natural phenomenon should be favorable to him/her.
“You can see my experiences,” she adds, “two times I failed due to unavoidable circumstances.”
Now, she has planned to climb Mt Everest again with a new mission. “I want to climb Everest with speed. Speed climb does not mean for the record, it is for self-satisfaction,” she explained.