The History of Everest
Everest Expeditions in the 1920s and 1930s
Tibetan People
Religion in Tibet and Nepal
Nepal in the 1950s
Tenzing and Hillary
Tenzing Norgay GM
Sir Edmund Hillary KG, KBE, ONZ
Mount Everest Expedition 1953
Everest Slideshow
The book: Everest, Summit of Achievement

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Sir Edmund Hillary KG, KBE, ONZ
Edmund Hillary (1919–2008) joined Shipton’s 1951 Everest Reconnaissance and the expedition to Cho Oyu in 1952, before making the first successful ascent to the summit of Everest, with Tenzing Norgay, as part of the 1953 Expedition.
He was educated at Auckland Grammar School and spent two years at Auckland University before joining his father as a professional beekeeper. During World War II he served as a navigator for the RNZAF in the Pacific theater.
Introduced to the Southern Alps of New Zealand at age 16, he later spent every spare day exploring and climbing them, and made a number of difficult first ascents. In 1951 he ventured with three others to make six first ascents of peaks of over 20,000 feet (6100 m) in the Garhwal Himalayas. A series of adventures followed his ascent of Everest in 1953, including driving three “caterpillar vehicles,” which were adapted from farm tractors to the South Pole and taking three fast jet boats up the Ganges river from the ocean to its source in the Himalayas.
For four years Hillary served as New Zealand High Commissioner to India. However, his main objective became, and remains to this day, the welfare of the Sherpa people. Through his charitable foundation, the Sir Edmund Hillary Himalayan Trust, he has constructed 27 schools, 2 hospitals, many bridges, fresh-water pipelines, and supported and rebuilt many Buddhist monasteries. He has also constructed several airfields in the Solu Khumbu area.
Portrait of Hillary taken on the 1951 Everest Expedition.
Photo: Unknown, 1951
Edmund Hillary approaching 28,000 feet (8534 m) at the site of Camp IX.
Photo: George Lowe, 1953
Portrait of Edmund Hillary.
Photo: George Lowe, 1953