Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 29 - Mount Everest

60 years ago: At 11:30 AM on May 29, 1953, New Zealand explorer Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest. The feat was accomplished by creating a series of advance camps, slowly ascending the mountain, with Hillary and Norgay as one of two climbing pairs. Norgay had previously ascended to a record high point as part of a 1952 Swiss expedition. The last part of the ascent, in a pass called the South Col, was a 40-foot rock face later named the "Hillary Step," which Hillary climbed, then Tenzing. They stood at the 29,028-foot summit for 15 minutes, where Tenzing left chocolates in the snow as an offering and Hillary left a small cross. Hillary took a famous photo of Tenzing (pictured), but waived off a photo of himself. News of the event was sent by runner to a town in Nepal – probably the last time in history that such extraordinary news was so delivered.

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