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Sir Edmund Hillary

by Joel from New Zealand

Sir Edmund Hillary was born on July the 20th 1919. He grew up in Auckland for most of his life and had a job as a bee keeper but in his spare time he climbed mountains all over the world. He climbed mountains in New Zealand, the Alps And then finally in the Himalayas, where he climbed 11 different peaks which were all over 20,000 feet. After this he was finally ready to try Everest.

Mt Everest sits between Tibet and Nepal. Between the years of 1920 and 1952, seven major expeditions tried and failed to reach the summit. In 1924 a mountain climber named George Leigh-Mallory died in an attempt and in 1952 a team of Swiss climbers had to turn back when they only had 1000 feet to go.


Hillary then joined a few expeditions in 1951 and 1952. Hillary then met a man called Sir John Hunt who was the leader of an expedition to try to climb Everest. The expedition reached the south peak on May but all but two climbers carried on going because of the high altitude. The only climbers left were Hillary and Norgay who climbed it by themselves.

At 11:30 on the morning of May 29, 1953 Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit at 29,028 feet above sea level, the highest spot on earth. They then made the treacherous climb back down the mountain.

Mount Everest
Mount Everest

After being knighted and travelling the world, Hillary, finally in the 1960’s, returned to Nepal because he was worried about the welfare of the Nepalese. He then made clinics, hospitals, 17 schools, and also helped with the society. He also helped build two new airstrips so supplies could be bought in. Because the Nepalese couldn’t afford the supplies, Hillary persuaded the New Zealand government to help.

In 1975, his wife and daughter died in a plane crash. He later remarried and now occupies himself with environmental causes.

Page created on 5/6/2006 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/6/2006 12:00:00 AM

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Related Links

Sir Edmund Hillary - Time 100 - most influential people of the century