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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and the Conquest of Everest – Part 5
In the final chapter of our series on Tenzing and Hillary, we look at the aftermath of the expedition, and take a look at the lives of our climbers after the 1953 ascent.
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.
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).
Edmund Hillary – A Biography: The extraordinary life of the beekeeper who climbed Everest – By Michael Gill. Biography done by Hillary’s friend.
View from the Summit: The Remarkable Memoir by the First Person to Conquer Everest – Good autobiography by Hillary.
Touching My Father’s Soul: A Sherpa’s Journey to the Top of Everest by Jamling Norgay. Tenzing’s son delivers a well-received book about his father and the Sherpa people.
The Conquest of Everest – Academy Award nominated documentary about the climb. It was shot by Tom Stobbart and directed by George Lowe. Some wonderful footage.
- Edmund Hillary
- Tenzing Norgay
- Eric Shipton
- John Hunt (1953 expedition leader)
- Tom Bourdillon (climber 1953 expedition)
- George Lowe (climber 1953 expedition)
- Mount Everest
- 1953 Mount Everest Expedition
- 1951 Mount Everest Recon Expedition
- 1933 Mount Everest Expedition
- 1935 Mount Everest Recon Expedition
- 1936 Mount Everest Expedition
- 1938 Mount Everest Expedition
- Silver Hut Expedition
- Charles Evans (climber 1953 expedition)
- Wilfrid Noyce (climber 1953 expedition)
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.