Adventure Month in Genius Numbers: Meet Mountaineer Tenzing Norgay and Learn How to Tie Knots

December 6, 2021 / DIY & Printable

Genius content refreshes every month! This month, we’re exploring the faces, places, and special gear behind some of the greatest adventures.

We’ve compiled limited-time game updates, real-life genius stories, and educator-approved activities into interactive printables, designed to enhance your little kids’ learning. Access this week’s printable by clicking the button below:

Game Update

Check out Osmo Numbers for a limited-time “trip” to Asia’s Bay of Bengal, which is just south of Mount Everest — the world’s tallest peak!

Genius Spotlight: Tenzing Norgay

It takes a village to conquer Mount Everest…or at least one really talented Sherpa! Sherpas are the local people of Tibet who lead the way on most treks up the world’s tallest peak. Not only do they know the mountain well, their bodies have developed the strength and endurance needed to complete such a steep, dangerous hike.

In 1953, Tenzing Norgay was the most experienced Sherpa out there. He’d been helping out on mountain expeditions since age 19, including six partial climbs of Mount Everest. Nobody had been able to successfully reach the top yet, but a large group from Great Britain wanted to make an attempt that year. Tenzing was an obvious choice to join them.

On May 15, 1953, over 400 people started at Everest base camp, helping to carry 10,000 pounds of supplies. After two weeks of trekking through snow and ice, there were only two people with enough energy left to make it to the top: Tenzing and his climbing partner, Edmund Hillary. The men reached the Everest summit at 11:30am and stayed for 15 minutes, taking pictures and sharing cake.

Although many people have reached Everest’s top since then, it took special courage and skills for Tenzing to become the first. Conquering any sort of unknown is an adventure, but especially when it involves a 29,035-foot tall mountain!

Real-World Activity: Knot Tying

Try this educator-approved activity at home. This week’s printable (button above) has instructions with photos!

When it comes to climbing rocks and mountains, knots are very important. Climbers use a series of ropes, carabiners, and knots to secure their journeys up (and down!) the rocks.

One of the strongest and most frequently used knots is called a Double Figure 8 Loop. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Grab rope, paracord, or a bungee cord…something thick!
  2. Fold the rope in half. Bring the folded end over and under the middle of the rope, like a V.
  3. Then, bring the folded end around and into the “eye” of the loop on the left.
  4. Pull on each end to tighten. That’s one strong knot!