On This Day – Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Reached the Summit of Mount Everest in 1953
They became the first persons to climb Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world.
On the 29th of May in 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay of Nepal made history by becoming the first persons to reach the summit of Mount Everest. This was a revolution in its own way, inspiring countless individuals to dream big!
Hilary and Norgay were part of British army officer John Hunt’s expedition to attempt the first ascent of Mount Everest. It was organized as well as financed by the Joint Himalayan Committee.
May 29 is celebrated as Mount Everest Day in Nepal to commemorate their achievement.
About the Expedition
Led by Colonel John Hunt, this expedition marked the ninth attempt by the British to scale Mount Everest.
Besides Hunt, Hilary, and Norgay, the team also included climbers like Charles Evans, George Band, Tom Bourdillon, Alfred Gregory, Wilfrid Noyce, Griffith Pugh, Tom Stobart, Michael Ward, Michael Westmacott, Charles Wylie, George Lowe, and Sherpa Annullu.
George Band, one of the members, later recalled in an interview, "Our climbers were all chosen as potential summiteers. The basic plan was for two summit attempts, each by a pair of climbers, with a possible third assault if necessary. On such expeditions, the leader tends to designate the summit pairs quite late during the expedition when he sees how everybody is performing."
Hunt planned for three separate assaults (each with two climbers) to the summit. Hilary and Norgay were in the second party of the expedition.
After the maiden assault failed, Hilary and Norgay started their journey from Camp IV and reached the summit at 11:30 am on 29 May 1953. They took lots of photographs at the summit and buried some sweets and a small cross there.
Some Interesting Facts
The expedition included 350 porters, 20 Sherpas, and tons of supplies.
After the expedition succeeded, Hillary was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Before setting off with this team, Norgay had earlier attempted to scale the summit with a Swiss team.