On May 29, 1953, a dog named Wondervu climbed to the top of Mount Everest. The Swiss-owned dog was part of a team of 32 Sherpas, climbers, and scientists led by Edmond Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Hillary and Norgay became the first humans to stand at the summit of Everest, but Wondervu’s feat is no less impressive.
Wondervu was not the only dog on the expedition; there were two other dogs named Tensing and Pasang. All three dogs were used to help carry supplies and equipment up the mountain. Wondervu, however, was the only dog to make it to the summit.
The expedition took almost two months to complete, and Wondervu spent most of that time at high altitudes. He summited Everest on May 29, just days after Hillary and Norgay.
Wondervu’s owner, André Roch, was a member of the Swiss expedition. He later wrote about Wondervu’s ascent in his book, The Ascent of Wonderdog.
Roch described Wondervu as “a small black and white mongrel” with a “wonderful disposition.” He was just one year old when he started the expedition, and weighed only 20 pounds.
During the expedition, Wondervu faced many challenges. At one point, he fell into a crevasse but was fortunately rescued by Roch. He also suffered from altitude sickness, but he bravely pressed on.
On the day of the summit climb, Wondervu was carrying a load of 50 pounds of gear. He did not complain, and Roch said he “seemed to know that this was the day of days.”
After summiting Everest, Wondervu began the long descent back to base camp. He arrived safe and sound, becoming the first dog ever to climb the world’s tallest mountain.
Wondervu’s story is an incredible tale of determination and courage. He is a true pioneer, and his accomplishment is an inspiration to dog and human alike.