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Places were in high demand during the Royal Geographical Society’s 1953 expedition to Everest (8,848m), so Edmund Hillary was extremely happy to participate. At that time, access to Khoumba was limited for political reasons, so the campaign for Everest and the candidacy of the head of the British team led by Colonel Hunt carried the hope of the nation and found themselves in the press in good standing.

After months of preparation and an unsuccessful attempt to climb to the top on the morning of May 29, 1953, the team made a second attempt to climb to the top. Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were chosen to climb the Southeast Ridge, and Colonel Hunt went down to wait for them. in the fourth camp at the foot of the South Pass, and the rest of the team (including Tenzing’s Sherpa comrades) waited for news at Everest base camp. The entire expedition team consisted of a dozen climbers, 35 Sherpa guides and 350 porters with 18 tons of food and equipment.

First successful everest hike

It was a lovely, clear day, but Hillary and Tenzing couldn’t start until Hillary’s shoes defrosted and froze overnight. The last leg of their ascent to Everest to the summit lasted two and a half hours and was difficult. On the diagonal snow slope, rising up, had to carefully cut through the steps. Eventually, they reached a rocky stage that seemed impossible to overcome until Hillary found a crack to make her move on.

Their trek to Everest could have ended in disaster. After some ascent, Tenzing struggled with the oxygen pack. The exhaust hole was filled with ice, and they found that Hillary had the same problem. Had they not solved it, they would have been forced to give up the highest bid.

Because of the steepness of the ridge, Hillary and Tenzing could not see the summit during the ascent, and did not see until they were only ten or ten meters away from it. In addition to the joy, the couple felt a sense of relief as they reached the summit, especially as Tenzing was very close to the summit of the Everest trek last year.

TENZ means – Technology Education New Zealand

In an interview a few weeks after their Everest trek, Hillary explained how clear the view from the summit was: “There were no clouds at all.” They could see “far away in Tibet and Nepal.” He also mentioned that the reduction effect, because of the high altitude at which they reached, did everything below “looked pretty flat, very similar to the plane.” They were also able to see the fifth highest mountain in the world – Mt. Makalu (8,462 m). Hillary realized that they were in a privileged position to be able to see this top from above. “Makala made a big impression on us.”

When Tenzing looked to the north side of the mountain, he saw the monastery of Rombuk, and being a Buddhist was special to him. Hillary noted how difficult the route along the North Wall is for the Everest trek.

They stayed on top for fifteen minutes, then descended the mountain again. Hillary and Tenzing returned to Everest Base Camp as the first to reach the highest peak in the world and returned safely.

News of the success of the Everest trek reached Britain a few days before the coronation of queen Elizabeth II. In the early 1950s, Britain was still experiencing a period of austerity after the war, and rationing was to continue for another year. Along with the coronation, the performance of the British team raised the morale of the nation. On her return to England, the new queen knighted a New zealand climber under the name Sir Edmund Hillary in recognition of her outstanding work on Everest with Tenzing Norgay.

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