Relive The Adventure


The Summit



On May 28th Hillary and Tenzing and their support party wearily make their way up the mountain stopping to take on more supplies from the impressive dump of stores.

For a long time the ridge runs remorselessly upwards with no hope of a platform for a tent. But by mid-day Lowe, Gregory and Sherpa Ang Nima reach the South-East ridge where camp is made at a height of almost 28000 feet. At three o’clock in the afternoon George Lowe, Alfred Gregory and Ang Nima leave Hillary and Tenzing to a lonely night on the ridge before they tackle the summit the next morning.

The climb to the summit of Everest along the ridge is much harder than they imagine and says much for the skills and stamina of the two climbers. Moving one at a time they follow the summit ridge, cutting steps all the way and keeping as close as possible to the rocks, to avoid the enormous snow cornices which hang over the Kangshung Face of Everest, dropping all the way into Tibet thousands of feet below. Higher, the dark rocks near the top of the ridge form a steep rock step which is the main difficulty. Here they had to jam and crampon their way up a kind of chimney between the rock and the ice, until they gained the crest above. The ridge seemed unending until, at last, in front of them was one last dome of glistening white snow, with blue sky behind it. Then, to quote Hillary: "a few more whacks of the ice axe in the firm snow and then we stood on top".


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Hillary & Tenzing At 8,500 Metres

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Tenzing Norgay

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Hillary & Tenzing

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At 11.30 on the morning of May 29th, 1953, Hillary and Tenzing set foot on the Summit of Everest. It must have been an unforgettable moment and one can only imagine how they felt standing on that small dome of snow, with all the high peaks of the Himalayas stretched out below them; the highest men on earth.

It was the fulfilment of the hopes and dreams of two generations of mountaineers, the culmination of over thirty years of effort on the mountain. At last the mountain was climbed and Hillary and Tenzing were there at the top, shaking hands and thumping each other on the back until they were breathless. Then Tenzing made an offering of biscuits and chocolate in the snow to his gods, whilst Hillary placed a small crucifix, given to him by Hunt, by its side, before they started to make their way down.


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Tenzing On The Summit

Shot taken by Sir Edmund Hillary.


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Sir Edmund Hillary After The Summit

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Hillary & Tenzing After The Summit

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Summit Support Team

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