The Summit Within: Solutions Summary and Meanings Class 8 NCERT English

‘The Summit Within’ Question Answers, Summary and Meanings- ‘The Summit Within’ is a lesson from ‘Honeydew’ NCERT book for Class 8 CBSE. The lesson inspires us that the will power is a great tool with in us to scale heights in our life.

Word Meanings

Word Meanings
Emotionsfeelings in mind and heart
surgedarose or moved suddenly and intensely
summitpeak, the highest point
panoramaview of a wide an area or landscape
jubilantvery happy because of success
deep sensegreat feeling
lastsgoes on
will powerdetermination
exhilaratingvery exciting
communionfeeling of close relationship
mightiestmost powerful
at stakeat risk
glimpsinglooking at
belaysfixes a rope
inch your waymove very slowly and carefully
curseuse offensive language
give up the struggleaccept defeat
buriedput in the earth
fullermore complete
unscalablewhich cannot be climbed
ordealspainful experiences
resolutelywith determination


HPS Ahluwalia’s Reflections on Reaching the Summit of Mount Everest

HPS Ahluwalia was part of the first successful team to reach the top of Mount Everest in 1965. In this chapter, he shares his emotions and thoughts upon reaching the summit. Along with the expected sense of joy and triumph, there was also humility as the team thanked God for their accomplishment. However, Ahluwalia also experienced a sense of sadness as the ultimate goal had been achieved, leaving a vacuum and a feeling of aimlessness. He reflects on the question of whether there will be anything higher to climb or if all roads will now lead down.

HPS Ahluwalia Discusses the Three Qualities Needed for Climbing Mountains

HPS Ahluwalia reflects on the qualities needed to climb mountains, both physical and mental. Endurance, persistence, and willpower are necessary to overcome obstacles and reach the summit. Climbing the highest and mightiest peak, Mount Everest, changes a person’s personality and provides an opportunity for communion with God. Ahluwalia discusses how climbing up and down the mountain requires equal effort, and every moment is a reminder to thank God for life.

The Emotional and Spiritual Impact of Climbing to the Summit of Mount Everest

HPS Ahluwalia describes climbing to the top of Mount Everest as a life-changing experience. Looking out from the summit, one becomes aware of their smallness in the universe and learns to rise above pettiness. The constant risk of death on the mountain creates a heightened sense of awareness of life and the needs of fellow climbers. Drawing inspiration from one another, climbers leave symbols of their faith or beliefs at the summit as an act of reverence for God.

The Importance of Climbing the Summit of the Mind

HPS Ahluwalia discusses the importance of climbing the summit of the mind and becoming more self-aware. Only by doing this can one gain knowledge about the workings of their own mind. The lessons learned from climbing the physical summit of Mount Everest are the same as those learned from climbing the summit of the mind, and they last a lifetime. Ahluwalia emphasizes the importance of giving thanks to God for enabling climbers to reach the summit within themselves.

Textbook Exercise Answers

Comprehension Check -Intext Questions

Check 1 – Page 80

1. Standing on Everest, the writer was

  • (i) overjoyed
  • (ii) very sad
  • (iii) jubilant and sad

Choose the right item.

Ans. (iii) jubilant and sad

2. The emotion that gripped him was one of

  • (i) victory over hurdles
  • (ii) humility and a sense of smallness
  • (iii) greatness and self-importance
  • (iv) joy of discovery

Choose the right item.

Ans. (ii) humility and a sense of smallness

3. ” The summit of the mind” refers to

  • (i) great intellectual achievements.
  • (ii) the process of maturing mentally and spiritually.
  • (iii) overcoming personal ambition for common welfare.
  • (iv) living in the world of thought and imagination.
  • (v) the triumph of mind over worldly pleasures for a noble cause
  • (vi) a fuller knowledge of oneself

Mark the item(s) not relevant.

Ans. The summit of the mind not refers to

  • (i) great intellectual achievements.
  • (ii) the process of maturing mentally and spiritually.
  • (iii) overcoming personal ambition for common welfare.
  • (v) the triumph of mind over worldly pleasures for a noble cause
  • (vi) a fuller knowledge of oneself

Working with the Text – Page 81

1. Answer the following questions.

(i) What are the three qualities that played a major role in the author’s climb?

Ans. The author’s ascent was largely attributed to three qualities: endurance, persistence, and willpower.

(ii) Why is adventure, which is risky, also pleasurable?

Ans. Although risky, adventures bring pleasure because people enjoy overcoming obstacles and accomplishing difficult tasks.

(iii) What was it about Mount Everest that the author found irresistible?

Ans. The author admits to struggling with providing a comprehensive answer to this question. This is partly due to the fact that Mount Everest is the highest and most formidable peak, and previous attempts to summit it have been unsuccessful.

Furthermore, the author perceives mountain climbing as a means to connect with a higher power, and believes that nothing compares to the spiritual experience of scaling Everest.

(iv) One does not do it (climb a high peak) for fame alone. What does one do it for, really?

Ans. According to the author, one does not just climb the highest peak for fame or because of the undying love that man has for adventure.

He does so also to lift himself above his immediate surroundings, to rise above the pettiness of life. Climbing the mountain is a life changing experience and it teaches you lesson that last a life time.

(v) “He becomes conscious in a special manner of his own smallness in this large universe.” This awareness defines an emotion mentioned in the first paragraph. Which is the emotion?

Ans. Humility, according to the author, climbing the mountain peak makes you really humble.

Looking from the mountain peak, one finds his surroundings really small and one’s position in that surrounding further smaller. This makes you aware of your nothingness.

(vi) What were the “symbols of reverence” left by members of the team on Everest?

Ans. Every climber left a symbol of reverence or what they associated with God. These ” symbols of reverence” were a picture or an idol of God, a relic or an emblem of God they worshipped.

Therefore, Ahluwalia left a picture of Guru Nanak, whereas Rawat left a picture of Goddess Durga. Phu Dorji left a relic of Buddha and Edmund Hillary buried a cross.

(vii) What, according to the writer, did his experiences as an Everester teach him?

Ans. As an Everester, the author gained valuable insights, including the importance of endurance, persistence, and willpower to reach the summit without giving up. Additionally, teamwork and supporting fellow climbers were essential, as everyone’s lives were interconnected, and errors could have severe consequences. Moreover, the author learned the significance of humility and gratitude, appreciating every breath as a gift from a higher power.

2. Write a sentence against each of the following statements. Your sentence should explain the statement. You can pick out sentences from the text and rewrite them. The first one has been done for you.

(i) The experience changes you completely. (i) One who has been to the mountains is never the same again.

(ii) Man takes delight in overcoming obstacles.


(iii) Mountains are nature at its best.


(iv) The going was difficult but the after-effects were satisfying.


(v) The physical conquest of a mountain is really a spiritual experience.



(ii) It is the eternal love for adventure in man.

(iii) The beauty of nature is found best in the mountains.

(iv) When the summit is climbed, there is the exhilaration, the joy of having done something, the sense of a battle fought and won.

(v) Mountains are a means of communion with God.

Working with Language (NCERT Page 82)

1. Look at the italicised phrase and their meanings given in brackets.

Mountains are nature at its best(Nature’s best form and appearance)
Your life is at risk(in danger; you run the risk of losing your life)
He was at his best worst in the last meeting.(it was his best/worst performance)

Fill in the blanks in the following dialogues choosing suitable phrases from those given in the box.

at hand   at once   at all    at a low ebb     at first sight

(i) Teacher: You were away from school without permission. Go to the principal ……………. and submit your explanation.

Pupil: Yes, Madam. But would you help me write it first?

(ii) Arun: Are you unwell?

Ila: No, not …………….. Why do you ask?

Arun: If you were unwell, I would send you to my uncle. he is a doctor.

(iii) Mary: Almost every Indian film has an episode of love ……….

David: Is that what makes them so popular in foreign countries?

(iv) Asif: You look depressed. Why are your spirits ………. today? (Use such in the phrase)

Ashok: I have to write ten sentences using words that I never heard before.

(v) Shieba: Your big moment is close …………

Jyoti: How should welcome it?

Shieba: Get up and receive the trophy.


(i) at once

(ii) at all

(iii) at first sight

(iv) at a low ebb

(v) at hand

2. Write the noun from the following words adding – ance or -ence to each. 

(i) Endure….

(ii) Persist……

(iii) Signify……

(iv) Confide…….

(v) Maintain………

(vi) Abhor……….


(i) Endurance

(ii) Persistence

(iii) Significance

(iv) Confidence

(v) Maintenance

(vi) Abhorrence

3. (i) Match words under A with their meanings under B.

Remotedifficult to overcome
Meansmost prominent
Dominantbe overcome/ overpowered
Overwhelmedfar away from


Remotefar away from
Dominantmost prominent
Formidabledifficult to overcome
Overwhelmedbe overcome/overpowered

(ii) Fill in the blanks in the sentences given below with appropriate words from under A.

(a) There were ……………… obstacles on the way, but we reached our destination safely.

(b) We have no ………. of finding out what happened there.

(c) Why he lives in a house ………….. from any town or village is more than I can tell.

(d) …………… by gratitude, we bowed to the speaker for his valuable advice.

(e) The old castle stands in a ……… position above the sleepy town.


(a) formidable

(b) means

(c) remote

(d) overwhelmed

(e) dominant

Speaking and Writing (NCERT Page 83)

1. Write a composition describing a visit to the hills, or any place which you found beautiful and inspiring.

Before writing, work in small groups. Discuss the points given below and decide if you want to use some of these points in your composition.

Consider the sentence

Mountains are a means of communication with God. Think of the act of worship or prayer. You believe yourself to be in the presence of the divine power. In a way, you are in communion with that power.

Imagine the climber on top of the summit – the height attained; limitless sky above; the climber’s last ounce of energy spent; feelings of gratitude, humility and peace.

The majesty of mountains does bring you close to nature and the spirit and joy that lives there, if you have the ability to feel it.

Some composition may be read aloud to the entire class afterwards.


During my last vacation, my family and friends and I visited Mussoorie, where we stayed in a cottage near a river and mountains.

Although everyone was having a good time, I suggested we go hiking up the mountains. Despite their reluctance and laziness, I couldn’t resist the temptation to experience the fresh air and the sight of the early morning sun rays on the mountains – an indescribable feeling.

The peace that one can find in the mountains is unparalleled. As I climbed, I found myself automatically chanting the name of God.

Every step brought me closer to God and helped me appreciate the value of life, which is often taken for granted in the hustle and bustle of city life. The beauty of the surroundings made me admire the work of the master creator, God, who has invested so much in creating life on Earth.

The vibrant colours, the fragrance of flour, the sound of birds chirping, all overpower your senses and your own achievements begin to diminish in front of these. You really begin to attain God in his grace.

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