Ada Tsang’s successful Everest climb shows us all that no challenge is too great

The Hong Kong teacher’s successful ascent of the world’s highest peak, at her third attempt, is the best lesson in perseverance and determination

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 May, 2017, 2:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 May, 2017, 2:00am

Ada Tsang Yin-hung has not just made history by becoming the first Hong Kong woman to conquer Mount Everest. By challenging herself to reach the top of the world, the 40-year-old school teacher has taught her students and others a life lesson that no goal is too lofty.

The story began seven years ago with the life education teacher seeking to motivate her students to tackle what appears to be the impossible. But her commitment to lead by example soon proved to be a real challenge. After much preparation and training, she set off in 2014 but was forced to return in the wake of a deadly avalanche that forced the suspension of all expeditions during the season. Her second attempt the following year left her with a fractured skull, after she was caught up in the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that killed 17 climbers. But her efforts paid off on Sunday, when she and another Hongkonger, Elton Ng, and a mainland mountaineer successfully reached the 8,848-metre summit.

Hong Kong teacher who conquered Everest braved death to teach students a life lesson

Triumphant as it is, such an adventure is not for everyone. A climb is not only physically demanding but also expensive, costing between HK$240,000 and HK$350,000. So far only some 4,500 mountaineers are known to have made it to the top, including eight from Hong Kong. The rugged terrain and extreme weather means not every climber can make it to the top, and some 280 have lost their lives trying. That makes climbing Everest one of the most dangerous ventures.

The adversities facing Tsang and others during the climb can only be imagined. But they succeeded not just because they dared to dream, but also because they made an effort to live out their dreams. Unlike many others who easily give up their goals before even trying, Tsang has led by example and taught her students a lesson outside the classroom. She has suffered and failed during the process; but she endured and finally succeeded.

Hongkongers are known for their can-do spirit. Tsang and her predecessors have shown the world that even the highest peak is not too difficult to reach. With determination and perseverance, no challenge is too great.