With whom did Sir Edmund Hillary climb to the top of Everest?

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By Kristy Tolley

With whom did Sir Edmund Hillary climb to the top of Everest?

Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropist, is widely known as one of the first two people to successfully reach the summit of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. While much is known about Hillary’s historic achievement, many people are still curious about who he climbed with to accomplish this incredible feat. This article will explore the story of Sir Edmund Hillary’s journey to the top of Everest and share insights into his climbing partner, Tenzing Norgay.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s Journey to Everest

Sir Edmund Hillary’s fascination with mountaineering began in his early years, and he devoted much of his life to exploring the world’s highest peaks. By the late 1940s, he had already established himself as one of the most accomplished mountaineers of his time, having successfully climbed several challenging mountains in the Himalayas, including Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world. However, his ultimate goal was to summit Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, and he set his sights on achieving this incredible feat.

Selecting the Right Climbing Partner

Hillary understood the importance of having the right climbing partner to help him reach the summit of Everest. He was looking for someone who was not only skilled and experienced but also compatible with his own personality and style of climbing. To find the perfect partner, Hillary turned to Colonel John Hunt, the leader of the British expedition to Everest, who recommended Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa guide with extensive mountaineering experience.

Tenzing Norgay: A Perfect Compliment to Hillary

Tenzing Norgay was born in Tibet in 1914 and moved to Nepal as a child. He was a skilled mountaineer who had participated in several expeditions to Everest prior to joining Hillary’s team. Tenzing was known for his calm demeanor, physical strength, and impressive climbing skills. He spoke several languages, including English, which made communication with Hillary much easier. Hillary and Tenzing quickly formed a close bond, and Hillary knew that Tenzing was the perfect partner for him.

Tenzing Norgay’s Climbing Experience

Tenzing Norgay had an impressive climbing resume, having participated in several expeditions to Everest prior to his ascent with Hillary. He had also successfully climbed several other peaks in the Himalayas, including Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. Tenzing’s experience and expertise proved invaluable during the ascent of Everest, and he played a critical role in helping Hillary achieve his goal.

Planning and Preparing for the Expedition

Hillary and Tenzing spent months planning and preparing for their expedition to Everest. They carefully studied maps, analyzed weather patterns, and mapped out their route to the summit. They also conducted extensive training exercises to improve their physical conditioning and practiced using the specialized equipment they would need during the climb. Their preparation and attention to detail would prove crucial during their ascent.

Hillary and Tenzing’s First Attempt on Everest

Hillary and Tenzing made their first attempt to climb Everest on May 26, 1953. Although they made it to the South Col, they were forced to turn back due to poor weather conditions. Despite the setback, Hillary and Tenzing remained determined to reach the summit and began planning their second attempt.

Second Attempt and Final Push to the Summit

On May 29, 1953, Hillary and Tenzing made their second attempt to reach the summit of Everest. They left their base camp at 4 am and began the climb to the top. After several grueling hours, they reached the South Summit, where they encountered a steep and treacherous section of the climb known as the Hillary Step. With Tenzing’s help, Hillary was able to navigate this difficult section, and they finally reached the summit at 11:30 am.

Hillary and Tenzing’s Historic Achievement

Hillary and Tenzing’s ascent of Everest was a historic achievement that captured the imagination of people around the world. Their success was the result of months of planning, preparation, and hard work, as well as the strength of their partnership and the support of their entire team. Their accomplishment marked the first time that anyone had successfully climbed to the summit of the world’s highest mountain.

Honors and Recognition for Hillary and Tenzing

Following their successful ascent of Everest, Hillary and Tenzing were celebrated as national heroes in their respective countries. They received numerous honors and awards, including knighthoods from the British Crown and the Order of the Gorkha Dakshina Bahu from the Nepalese government. They also became global ambassadors for mountaineering and adventure, inspiring countless people to pursue their own dreams and goals.

Legacy of Hillary and Tenzing’s Climb

Hillary and Tenzing’s climb to the summit of Everest had a lasting impact on the world of mountaineering and beyond. Their success paved the way for future generations of climbers, who continue to push the limits of what is possible. They also inspired people around the world to dream big, challenge themselves, and achieve great things. Today, their legacy lives on through the many mountaineers and adventurers who have followed in their footsteps.


Sir Edmund Hillary’s journey to the top of Everest was a remarkable achievement that would not have been possible without the support and partnership of Tenzing Norgay. Hillary and Tenzing’s success was the result of months of preparation, hard work, and a deep commitment to their goal. Their historic climb to the summit of Everest will always be remembered as a testament to the power of human determination and the strength of the human spirit.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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