Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and the Conquest of Everest

In 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay would be the first men to step foot on the top of the highest place in the world, Mount Everest. This series takes us through that remarkable journey. Each man will have a unique and fascinating background before their lives converge into one of the 20th century’s greatest feats of exploration and adventure.

Episodes

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and the Conquest of Everest – Part 1
In 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay would accomplish one of the great feats of exploration and adventure of the 20th century. In part one of our series, we focus on the attempts to climb Everest in the 1930s, plus cover the life of New Zealander Edmund Hillary.

Download this episode or listen online.


Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and the Conquest of Everest – Part 2
In part two of our series, we focus on the life of Tenzing Norgay, who was born and grew up in the shadow of Mount Everest. In addition to looking at Tenzing’s life, we’ll also talk about the world of the mountain people – in particular the Sherpas – who populate these early decades of Himalayan expeditions.

Download this episode or listen online.


Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and the Conquest of Everest – Part 3
In part three of our series, we take a look at the organization of the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition under the command of Colonel John Hunt. The great enterprise – with Hillary and Tenzing on board – then heads to Nepal – and to Everest.

Download this episode or listen online.


Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and the Conquest of Everest – Part 4

In part four of our series, Hillary and Tenzing are paired up. The expedition crosses the Western Cwm, makes their way up to the South Col, and Tenzing and Hillary make a go for the highest spot in the world.

Download this episode or listen online.


Maps

The map below is an outstanding representation of Mount Everest. The areas of interest are clearly marked, including the Khumbu Glacier, the Khumbu Icefall, the Western Cwm, and the South Col.

Click on the image to see a larger view.

Resources and links

If you are interested in books regarding Everest, Hillary and Tenzing – there is no shortage. Here are a few that I used for this series.

High Adventure: The True Story of the First Ascent of Everest – This was the book Hillary wrote immediately after the Everest climb. It gets a bit in the weeds at times, but still a great first-hand account.

Man of Everest (also called Tiger of the Snows) – This was the book Tenzing put out shortly after the Everest climb. As Tenzing did not read or write, it was dictated by Tenzing and put together by James Ramsey Ullman. While the book is good, it lacks a intimacy as it’s Ullman interpreting Tenzing’s voice. The book can be hard to find.

Tenzing: Hero of Everest – by Ed Douglas – was one of my favorite books I read during this series. Written in 2003, it provides a lot of information from Tenzing’s viewpoint.

Sir Edmund Hillary: An Extraordinary Life – written in 2008 by Alexa Johnson was a very good book looking at all of Hillary’s life works (which are numerous).

Wikipedia links

Khumbu Icefall images – This is a stunning sight. This is just a Google Image search – so I recommend looking around and you’ll find all sorts of other images as well.

Images from WikiPedia.