My Story - I Was The First To Conquer EVEREST - “RELIVE Edmund Hillary’s trek to the top of the world." Image Credit: Scholastic Inc.
RIP - Sir Edmund Percival Hillary -- July 20, 1919 - January 10, 2008
See Panorama View From The Top Of Mount Everest Here (interactive using cursor)
Sir Edmund Hillary was credited with being the first person to climb to the top of the tallest mountain on Earth. Many thought that this point was the place on Earth closest to the heavens but as we found out a little less than one year ago, that point is on the top of a volcano named Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador.
Sir Edmund Hillary (left), a beekeeper from New Zealand, and Tenzing Norgay (right), a Sherpa from a mountain village in Nepal, won the race to summit Everest in 1953. The climbers made a pact to not reveal who reached the summit first. Hillary wrote in a press statement that they reached the summit "almost together." Years later, Norgay revealed that Hillary reached the top first, by a mere six feet -- the length of the rope that held the two together. Image Credit: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS
This point of definition will never take away the fact that Hillary lived his life in a very special and accomplished way. He not only is credited with being the first person to scale Mount Everest, in 1985 he accompanied United States astronaut Neil Armstrong in a small twin-engined airplane outfitted with skis over the Artic Ocean and landed on the North Pole. This made Hillary the first person to stand at both poles and on the summit of Mount Everest!
Sir Edmund Percival Hillary rest in peace, and may your spirit of adventure and discovery touch each and everyone of us for at least one moment in our lifetime here on Earth.
Mount Everest from afar. Image Credit: Bungatech
This excerpted from BBC News -
Sir Edmund Hillary dies aged 88
BBC News - Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 23:34 GMT
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.
Since his ascent, Sir Edmund has devoted his life to helping the Sherpas of Nepal's Khumbu region. He was made an honorary Nepalese citizen in 2003.
Announcing Sir Edmund's death on Friday, 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".
"The legendary mountaineer, adventurer, and philanthropist is the best-known New Zealander ever to have lived," Ms Clark said.
"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."
Born 19 July 1919, in Auckland, New Zealand, Sir Edmund served as a pilot during World War II and earned renown as an ice climber.
In the 1980s he also served as New Zealand's ambassador to India.
See Panorama View From The Top Of Mount Everest Here