|.Sir. Edmund Hillary. nytimes.com|
|1953 atop Mt.Everest. Edmund Hillaryand TenzingNorgay.biography.com|
01.Born in Auckland, New Zealand on July 20, 1919, Edmund Hillary in his early days, was more interested in outdoor activities than in reading books and preparing for exams. Naturally endowed with good physical endurance that stood him in good stead, his successful climb of Mount Olivier, a national mountain near the Southern Alps, in 1939 gave him the impetus to achieve more in this area of mountaineering.
02. His journey to the Himalayas began from the alps. After serving in the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a navigator during World War II he began specializing in ice-climbing techniques from Alpinists during which time he became close to Col. Hunt who chose him as a member of the 1953 expedition to Everest that became a turning point in his life and this success made him acclaim global name.
03. He was part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt. From 1985 to 1988, he served as New Zealand's High Commissioner to India and Bangladesh and concurrently as Ambassador to Nepal.
04. He began his career as a beekeeper with his father and brother; his mother Gertrude was famous for breeding and selling queen bees. and his father edited the journal "The N.Z. Honeybee". With money earned from bee-keeping, he underwent training in mountain climbing.
05. On January 30, 1948, Hillary scaled New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki / Mount Cook, under the guidance of his team.
06. Prior to his successful assault on Everest in 1953, in 1951 he was part of a British reconnaissance expedition to Everest led by Eric Shiptonhe. In 1952, his attempt on Cho Oyu with the British team led by Shipton never materialized owing to lack of safe route route from the Nepal side.
07. He became the honorary citizen of Nepal, a honor given to him as part of commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Mount Everest climb. He was the first ever foreign national to have this rare honor.
|George Mallory. 1886 -1924 dailymail.co.uk|
09. After his famous ascent to Everest, Edmund Hillary was a partner of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole overland in 1958. He later reached the North Pole as well, thus becoming the first person to reach both poles and summit Everest.
10. Hillary is credited with successful climb of 10 more mountain peaks in the Himalayas between mid 1950s through the mid 1960s,
11. Hillary's fate was on a strong footing and, on a few occasions, he faced near death situations. Once he fortunately survived what was known as the 1960 New York air disaster (December 16). In that unexpected mid-air collision between TWA flight (from Dayton, Ohio) and United Airlines (from Chicago) all 128 people aboard were dead. Providence made him stay alive to achieve more in his later life.
12. In yet another air-plane mishap, Hillary defied death on 28 November 1979 while on a flight to Antarctica. In the 11th hour due to pressing engagement, he cancelled the flight that crashed into Mount Erebus killing all 257 people on board. Ten years later, Hillary married his friend's widow Mulgrew who died in that plane crash.
13. Being humane with true Christian spirit of love and care, Hillary took a keen role in the welfare of the Sherpa community and formed a trust- the Sir Edmund Hillary Himalayan Trust and under it built many schools and hospitals in Nepal. Without Sherpas, it is indeed, a tough job for the climbing team to reach Everest.
14. He wrote or was a co-author of 13 books, including “No Latitude for Error” (1961, Hodder & Stoughton), about the Antarctic experience.
15. A young Queen Elizabeth II Queen Elizabeth II (who was crowned in Westminster Abbey on June 2), bestowed Hillary, Hunt and 37 other members of the 1953 expedition to Everest coronation medals for their achievement. Hillary had numerous honors conferred upon him, including the Order of the Garter in 1995.
16. The Government Zealand honored him in 1992 by printing his image on the five NZ dollar bill (bank currency notes) - first living citizen to have this rare honor.
17.With approval from Sir Hillary, the Nepalese NGO Mountain Legacy was inaugurated in 2003 "for remarkable service in the conservation of culture and nature in mountainous regions". A bronze bust of Hillary (circa 1953) by Ophelia Gordon Bell is in the Te Papa museum in Wellington, New Zealand. In 2003, the Sir Edmund Hillary Archive was added to the UNESCO Memory of the world archive and it is currently held by Auckland War Memorial Museum.
18. Hillary died on January 11, 2008 (aged 88); Cause of Death: Heart failure. Upon his death, he was given a state funeral in New Zealand headed by PM Prime Minister Helen Clark.
|George Mallory quote. pinrest.|
The most dangerous trek to Mt. Everest is a sheer face of rock and ice 40 feet high. It was later named the Hillary Step. Sir Edmund called it “the most formidable obstacle on the ridge.”