I found Touching My Father’s Soul refreshing. I have had a tough time connecting to climber’s motives in the past books that we have read, but Norgay portrays his reasoning in a genuine and relatable manner. I admire his desire to connect with his father and appreciate how he clearly articulates his rationale for climbing Everest. While some climbers do not explore their drives for adventure, Norgay carefully discusses why he feels it necessary to risk his life on the mountain.
At the center of this drive lies the stressed relationship between Norgay and his father. Norgay makes a point of continually emphasizing the disconnection he feels from his father. He notes that his father was away climbing for most of his childhood, and this void has obviously impacted the course of Norgay’s entire life. Because he felt so separate from his father growing up, he must connect with him after he has passed away. While I can relate to the strong desire to connect to people who are gone by following in their footsteps, I find myself wondering weather chasing this particular connection to his father will inhibit Norgay’s connection to his own child. The father-child connection, or lack thereof, is at the core of Norgay’s being, but just like his father, Norgay will miss a portion of his eldest child’s earliest childhood. He spends time discussing his wife’s opinion about the climb, and even his fear of leaving his wife and child widowed and fatherless if a tragedy should occur on the mountain. In this way, Norgay’s decision to climb Everest seems somewhat hypocritical. His own consciousness of this contradiction troubles him, but he still feels a pull towards his father’s history on the mountain.