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Conquering Everest

The first ascent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay
by

Kirsty Jamieson-Gough

on 26 April 2010

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Transcript of Conquering Everest

Mt Everest is formed - 60 million years ago
The collision between tectonic plates (large areas of the Earth's crust which "float" over the molten core of our planet) lifted the edge of the plate, forming the massive Himalaya mountain range. As the Earth's crust continues to move little by little, tectonic forces push on the mountain, so it is slowly growing as it gets pushed further upwards.
It currently stands at approximately 8848 metres above sea level.
Everest is located on the border between Tibet and Nepal. It's Nepalese name Sagarmatha means goddess of the sky. In Tibet, it is Chomolungma, which means mother goddess of the universe. Formerly known only as Peak 15, Everest received its English name in 1865, after Sir George Everest, the British surveyor-general of India. Edmund Percival Hillary was born to Percival and Gertrude Hillary on July 20, 1919 in Auckland, New Zealand. Moving with his family to Tuakau the following year, he grew up on the land granted to his father (a Gallipoli veteran). Hillary became interested in mountaineering during his secondary school years, and made his first major climb in 1939. Tall and gangly, he discovered his strength and endurance on the mountain. Hillary was part of a 1951 British reconnaissance mission to Everest, led by Eric Shipton. The next year, he and George Lowe were part of Shipton's expedition to Cho Oyu. The route to Everest was closed by Chinese-controlled Tibet, and Nepal only allowed one expedition per year. A Swiss expedition (in which Sherpa Tenzing Norgay took part) had attempted to reach the summit in 1952 but was turned back by bad weather 240 m from the summit. During a 1952 trip in the Alps Hillary discovered he and his friend George Lowe had been invited by the Joint Himalayan Committee for the approved British 1953 attempt and immediately accepted. Conquering Everest - the story of Sir Edmund Hillary Shipton was named as leader but was replaced by Hunt. Hillary considered pulling out, but Hunt and Shipton talked him into remaining. Hillary was intending to climb with long-time climbing friend Lowe but Hunt named two teams for the assault: Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans; and Hillary and Tenzing. Hillary therefore made a concerted effort to forge a working friendship with Tenzing. The Hunt expedition totalled over 400 people, including 362 porters, twenty Sherpa guides and 4500kg of baggage, and - like many such expeditions - was a team effort. Lowe supervised the preparation of the Lhotse Face, a huge and steep ice face, for climbing. Hillary forged a route through the treacherous Khumbu Icefall. The expedition set up base camp in March 1953. Working slowly it set up its final camp at the South Col at 7890m. On 26 May Bourdillon and Evans attempted the climb but turned back when Evans' oxygen system failed. The pair had reached the South Summit, coming within 91 metres of the summit. Hunt then directed Hillary and Tenzing to go for the summit. Snow and wind held the pair up at the South Col for two days. They set out on May 28 and pitched a tent at 8500m while their support group returned down the mountain. The following morning Hillary discovered that his boots had frozen solid outside the tent, and spent two hours warming them before he and Tenzing attempted the final ascent wearing 14 kg packs.


The two had to take care on the descent after discovering that drifting snow had covered their tracks, complicating the task of retracing their steps. The first person they met was Lowe, who had climbed up to meet them with hot soup. Hillary's first words to lifelong friend George Lowe were: “ Well, George, we knocked the b***** off. News of the successful expedition reached Britain on the day of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The group was surprised by the international acclaim that they received upon arriving in Kathmandu. Hillary and Hunt were knighted by the young queen, while Tenzing received either the British Empire Medal or the George Medal from the British Government for his efforts with the expedition. It has been suggested that Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru refused permission for Tenzing to be knighted. Hillary climbed ten other peaks in the Himalayas on further visits in 1956, 1960–61, and 1963–65. He also reached the South Pole as part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, for which he led the New Zealand section, on 4 January 1958. His party was the first to reach the Pole overland since Amundsen in 1911 and Scott in 1912, and the first ever to do so using motor vehicles. In 1977, he led a jetboat expedition, titled "Ocean to Sky", from the mouth of the Ganges River to its source. Sir Edmund Hillary devoted much of his post-Everest life to bettering the lives of the Sherpa people. He founded the Himalayan Trust, which built numerous schools and hospitals. Its work continues today. Hillary married Louise Mary Rose on September 3, 1953, soon after the ascent of Everest. They had three children: Peter (1954), Sarah (1955) and Belinda (1959–1975).

In 1975 while en route to join Hillary in the village of Phaphlu, where he was helping to build a hospital, Louise and Belinda were killed in a plane crash near Kathmandu airport.

Hillary married June Mulgrew, the widow of his close friend Peter Mulgrew (who died in the tragic Mt Erebus disaster), on 21 December 1989. Sir Edmund's son Peter Hillary also became a climber, summiting Everest in 1990. This made Sir Ed and Peter the first parent/child summiters of the world's highest peak. In April 2003 Peter and Jamling Tenzing Norgay (son of Tenzing; Tenzing himself had died in 1986) climbed Everest as part of a 50th anniversary celebration. Sir Edmund Hillary spent most of his life (when not away on expeditions) living in a property on Remuera Road in Auckland City. He was an incredibly humble, approachable man whose phone number was listed in the public telephone book. On January 11, 2008, Sir Edmund HIllary died of heart failure, plummeting not only New Zealand, but the international climbing fraternity and the Sherpa people into mourning. A state funeral saw the world farewell a true hero, and a symbol of kind-hearted, determined generosity of spirit.

On October 23, 2008, it was announced that all future England vs New Zealand rugby test matches will be played for the Hillary Shield named in honour of Sir Edmund. The shield was contested for the first time on 29 November 2008 at Twickenham Stadium, and was presented to the winning team, the New Zealand national rugby union team, by Lady Hillary.

A four-day track in the Waitakere Ranges, along Auckland's west coast, is named the Hillary Trail. It was opened on January 11, 2010. Sir Edmund Hillary, 1919 -2008, one of New Zealand's finest. Hillary and Tenzing became lifelong friends after their shared Everest experience. Sherpas carry supplies and equipment along the route to Base Camp Hillary and Tenzing prepare for their assault on the summit of Everest. The crucial move of the last part of the ascent was the 12 metre rock face later named the "Hillary Step" (shown being scaled by modern day climbers above). Hillary saw a means to wedge his way up a crack in the face between the rock wall and the ice and Tenzing followed. From there the following effort was relatively simple. They reached Everest's 8848 m summit, the highest point on earth, at 11:30 am on May 29, 1953.
They spent only about 15 minutes at the summit, looking for evidence of the 1924 Mallory expedition, but finding none. Hillary took the famous photo of Tenzing posing with his ice-axe, but since Tenzing had never used a camera, Hillary's ascent went unrecorded. Tenzing left chocolates in the snow as an offering and Hillary left a cross that he had been given. Additional photos were taken looking down the mountain in order to re-assure that they had made it to the top and that the ascent was not faked. Edmund Hillary on south east ridge of Everest, 28 May 1953 The smiles say it all - back at camp after their successful ascent of the world's tallest mountain, Tenzing and Hillary enjoy a relaxed moment. Having initially set out to lay food and supplies for the following expedition, Hillary, along with Derek Wright and Murray Ellis, pressed on to the South Pole using their Ferguson farm tractors, arriving on January 20, 1958. Sir Edmund was well liked and deeply respected by the Sherpa people, who he was incredibly committed to over the course of his life. Sir Edmund with wife Louise and children Sarah, Peter and Belinda. A drawing of Sir Edmund graces the New Zealand $5 note. Mt Everest is a spectacular sight, towering high above the world. It holds a special place in the spiritual beliefs of both Nepalese and Tibetan people. Now it's time to think about what we have just learned about Mt Everest and Sir Edmund HIllary. Why do you think Sir Edmund Hillary wanted to climb Mt Everest? What equipment do you think would be needed to climb on Mt Everest? Why do you think climbers need to spend several weeks getting used to living on Mt Everest before they try to climb it? What do you think it felt like for Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay to stand on top of Mt Everest and know they were the first people in the world to be there? Do you think Sir Ed was a hero? Can you think of any other inspirational people you could call heroes? Where is Mt Everest? How was it formed? In 1852, the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India establishes that "Peak XV" (15) in the Himalayas is the highest mountain in the world. In 1920, The 13th Dalai Lama opens Tibet to foreigners. British reconnaissance party leaves Darjeeling to explore a route to Mt. Everest from the Tibetan side. 1921 sees the first attempt to climb Mt. Everest made by a British team which included George Mallory. In 1922, the first recorded deaths on Everest occur when seven Sherpa porters, part of a British expedition, die in an avalanche. In 1924, George Mallory, 38, and Andrew Irvine, 22, disappear on their way to the summit. They were last spotted by a member of the expedition, who reported they "were going strong for the top." Whether they reached the summit remains a mystery. In 1952, Swiss climber Raymond Lambert and renowned Sherpa climber Tenzing Norgay almost make it to the South Summit before turning back. Think of some sources you could use to research Mt Everest and Sir Edmund Hillary. What more would you like to know about this historic climb, or the people who choose to climb it? See if you can write down some questions, and seek out the answers. with grateful thanks to the many websites which provided information about this historic feat, the beautiful mountain, and the people who conquered it.

references
www.mnteverest.net
www.travel.desktop-wallpaper-photo.com commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mount_Everest_location_in_Himalaya_map-hu.svg
www.picschina.com
www.aucklandmuseum.com
www.wikipedia.org
www.presscluboftibet.org
www.mountainsoftravelphotos.com
www.achievement.org
www.nzhistory.net
www.kelf.co.nz
www.dipity.com
www.livefortheoutdoors.com
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/everest-timeline1.html

presentation by kirsty jamieson-gough 2010 Everest continued to beckon the young Hillary.
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