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Thread: Everest hero Edmund Hillary dies

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    Supporting Member Chezzie's Avatar
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    Everest hero Edmund Hillary dies

    Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, has died aged 88.
    New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark described the explorer as a heroic figure and said all New Zealanders would deeply mourn his passing.

    Sir Edmund's health had reportedly been in decline since April, when he suffered a fall while visiting Nepal.

    He was the first man to climb the 8,850m (29,035ft) peak, with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, on 29 May 1953.

    Returning to Everest base camp, he famously greeted another member of the British expedition group with the words: "Well, George, we've knocked the bastard off."

    After the ascent, Sir Edmund led a number of expeditions to the South Pole and devoted his life to helping the Sherpas of Nepal's Khumbu region.

    His Himalayan Trust has helped build hospitals, clinics, bridges, airstrips and nearly 30 schools. He was made an honorary Nepalese citizen in 2003.

    Prayer ceremonies are being held in Nepal to pay tribute to Sir Edmund, the charity says.

    'Quintessential Kiwi'

    Announcing Sir Edmund's death in Auckland after a brief illness, New Zealand's prime minister described him as a "heroic figure who not only 'knocked off' Everest but lived a life of determination, humility and generosity".

    He was an heroic figure who not only 'knocked off' Everest but lived a life of determination, humility and generosity

    New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark


    Obituary: Sir Edmund Hillary
    Life in pictures: Sir Edmund

    "The legendary mountaineer, adventurer, and philanthropist is the best-known New Zealander ever to have lived," Ms Clark said in a statement.

    "But most of all he was a quintessential Kiwi."

    "He was ours - from his craggy appearance to laconic style to his directness and honesty. All New Zealanders will deeply mourn his passing."

    Ms Clark said Sir Edmund's exploits would "continue to inspire new generations of New Zealanders, as they have for more than half a century already".

    The BBC's Greg Ward in Auckland says Sir Edmund was arguably the most respected man in New Zealand.

    His death has prompted an immediate outpouring of sympathy, with messages of condolences flooding in from around the globe, our correspondent says.

    Tenzing Norgay's son called the death a great loss for humanity.

    Race to the summit

    The British adventurer and environmentalist, Pen Hadow, said Sir Edmund's death "closes one of the great chapters of planetary exploration".

    "He was physically and metaphorically at the pinnacle of high adventure," the Dartmoor-based Arctic and Antarctic explorer told the Press Association.

    Born in Auckland 19 July 1919, Sir Edmund began climbing mountains in his native country as a teenager and soon earned renown as an ice climber.


    To my great delight I realised we were on top of Mount Everest and that the whole world spread out below us

    Sir Edmund Hillary


    'My climb with Hillary'
    Sir Edmund: Your tributes

    By the time he attempted his ascent of Everest in 1953 as part of an expedition led by the British climber, Sir John Hunt, seven previous expeditions to the top of the mountain had failed.

    After a gruelling climb up the southern face, all but two climbers were defeated by exhaustion and the effects of high altitude and bad weather.

    Only Sir Edmund and Tenzing Norgay were able to continue and successfully reached the peak at 1130 local time on 29 May at the second attempt.

    "I continued hacking steps along the ridge and then up a few more to the right... to my great delight I realised we were on top of Mount Everest and that the whole world spread out below us," Sir Edmund said.

    The two men hugged each other with relief and joy but only stayed on the summit for 15 minutes because they were low on oxygen.

    Sir Edmund took several photographs of the scenery and of Tenzing waving flags of Britain, Nepal, the UN and India.

    News of the conquest of Everest did not reach the outside world until 2 June, the eve of the Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.

    He was knighted by the Queen for his achievement in 1953, and 42 years later was awarded her highest award for chivalry - the Order of the Garter.

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    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: Everest hero Edmund Hillary dies

    I fail to understand what has happened since 1951 but the attached photo demonstrates that there are few people more foolish than those engaged in climbing Everest these days. Climbing in Nepal has apparently become a money-spinner.

    At least this nonsense doesn't count as a sport in the Olympics.






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    Senior Member magentaflame's Avatar
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    Re: Everest hero Edmund Hillary dies

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    It's become so bad now that there are literal 'bottle necks ' on the mountains these days . bloody ludicrous. I'm wondering if we need a world war again? So all of those needing adventure can get their fix for adventure. Might give the mountain a bit of a rest. I believe the sherpas get a bonus payment if they get someone to the top now. and now they are spreading out to other mountains because nobody has explored that section yet...heard that on the news when they were reporting on a missing Australian woman. It could never be an olympic sport because there is a measure of good sportmanship in the olympics. Olympians tend not to leave their counterparts dead or dying during tournaments.

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