Cold moments: When weather and sports collide   

Updated: October 28, 2008, 10:57 AM ET

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Edmund Hillary & Tenzing Norgay

AP Photo


2. Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary first to scale Everest

Date: May 29, 1953

Weather: minus 17 and minus 5 Fahrenheit; strong winds; deep snow; continuous threat of ice and snow avalanches.

What happened: British climbing teams had been trying since 1922 to reach the peak of Everest. Thirty-one years later, the Brits succeeded in putting two men atop the world's highest peak, namely New Zealand's Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. The two men, who received heroes' welcomes when they returned to civilization, had spearheaded a huge (400+ men) British expedition led by John Hunt. Conquering the 29,029-foot peak, though not considered a technically difficult achievement, is considered great because of the many difficulties imposed by the altitude and the weather. The night before Hillary and Norgay made it to the top they had camped at 27,900 feet, and in the morning Hillary's boots were so frozen that it took him two hours to thaw them to the point where he could put them on.

1979 World Series

AP Photo/William A. Smith


15. World Series, Game 1

Date: Oct. 10, 1979

Weather: 41 degrees and wet

What happened: It has no pedigreed moniker, so let's call it "The Blame Game." The Orioles scored five runs in the first inning and hung on to win, 5-4. Pirates starter Bruce Kison gave up a two-run homer to Doug DeCinces, and later said, "I take the total blame." He took it, and then he handed it to the weather, saying, "The ball was slick. I couldn't get the feel of the ball." Instead, Pirates 3B Phil Garner, who committed a two-run throwing error, also sent the blame flying away. "The ball was soaking wet. I had no seams. And my hands were totally numb. When I threw the ball, it was like throwing a bar of soap."

--Jeff Merron



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