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Jan 10, 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary, First to Summit Everest Has Died at 88

Posted by in category: habitats


The BBC reports that Sir Edmund Hillary, the New Zealand native who, along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay of Nepal was the first man to successfully summit Mount Everest, had died at 88 years of age. Hillary was apparently injured this past April when he fell while visiting Nepal and the reports state that this injury contributed to a decline in his health that ultimately culminated in his passing.

While his fame was first and foremost as a result of his triumphant effort on Everest in 1953, he was revered in Nepal for his efforts to help the Nepalese Sherpas improve their access to medicine, education and other modern conveniences and his legacy will continue in the form of those edifices in Nepal that exist as a result of his work.

Sir Ed, as he preferred to be called, was also something of an environmentalist. Upon a recent visit to the base of Everest he was so dismayed by the condition of the mountain (as a result of the decades of equipment including things such as spent oxygen bottles and massive amounts of inorganic and thus non-biodegradable gear) that he called for a fifty year moratorium on permits being issued to attempt ascents on the peak. He called upon the climbing community to make an effort to repair the damage to the fabled crag by packing out the detritus that was scarring his beloved mountain.

While the passing of this great man has relatively little to do with the mission of the Lifeboat Foundation, it seemed appropriate to report on his passing simply because he demonstrated that with sufficient will even things that are seemingly impossible are well within the grasp of those for whom failure is not an option.

At the Lifeboat Foundation we recognize this fact. We cannot and will not fail in our efforts to identify and defend against any and all threats to humanity. While it may sadden us to learn of the passing of a great adventurer like Sir Edmund Hillary, his accomplishments should serve as a source of motivation for each of us as we pursue our own personal Everests.

Following is a link to a wonderful video of the successful effort to summit the world’s highest peak. Consider for a moment how primitive this equipment is compared with what is used today. It is a great reminder of just how far we’ve come in a little over half a century and should prove to be a source of inspiration to us all. Video Link

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Comments — comments are now closed.

  • Josh on January 10, 2008 9:01 pm

    Hi,

    We have created a memorial page to pay tribute to those loved ones who have passed away and to pay tribute and remembrance to those who have touched our lives. A special page has been created for Sir Edmund Hillary at http://www.people-to-remember.com/wiki/index.php/Sir_Edmund_Hillary

    Thanks,
    Josh

  • Linda LeBlanc on January 11, 2008 10:22 am

    I had the privilege of meeting Sir Edmund Hillary twice, once in Colorado and once in Namche in the Everest region where I used to lead treks to the base camp. He dedicated his life to helping the Sherpas who were such a critical part of his first ascent. Beyond the Summit is the first work to dramatize their lives in fiction. Hillary’s work in the area is mentioned frequently as well as his climbing partner, Tenzing Norgay.
    Details of Sherpa culture and religion are interwoven in a tale of romance and high adventure. The story has something for everyone: a love affair between an American journalist and Sherpa guide, conflict between generations as the modern world challenges centuries of tradition, an expedition from the porter’s point of view.

    Below are selections from reviews. To read the complete ones and excerpts go to [www] beyondthesummit-novel.com

    Beyond the Summit, is the rare gem that shows us the triumphs and challenges of a major climb from the porter’s point of view. The love of two people from diverse cultures is the fiery centerpiece of a novel that leads its readers through harshly beautiful and highly dangerous territory to the roof of the world. Malcolm Campbell, book reviewer

    Conflict and dialog keep this gripping story of destiny, romance and adventure moving from the first page to the last paragraph. LeBlanc has a genius for bonding her readers and her characters. I found I was empathizing in turn with each character as they faced their own personal crisis or trauma.
    Richard Blake for Readers Views.

    A gripping, gut-twisting expedition through the eyes of a porter reveals the heart and soul of Sherpas living in the shadows of Everest. EverestNews.com

    A hard-hitting blend of adventure and romance which deserves a spot in any serious fiction collection. Midwest Book Review

    LeBlanc is equally adept at describing complex, elusive emotions and the beautiful, terrifying aspect of the Himalayan Mountains. Boulder Daily Camera

    LeBlanc’s vivid description of the Himalayas and the climbing culture makes this a powerful read. Rocky Mt News Pick of the Week

    A rich adventure into the heart of the Himalayan Kingdom. Fantastic story-telling from one who has been there. USABookNews.com

    This is the book to read before you embark on your pilgrimage to Nepal. The author knows and loves the people and the country, and makes you feel the cold thin air, the hard rocks of the mountains, the tough life of the Sherpa guides, and you learn to love them too. This is a higly literate, but also very readable book. Highly recommended.”
    – John (college professor)

    Memorable characters and harrowing encounters with the mountains keep the action moving with a vibrant balance of vivid description and dialogue. Literary Cafe Host, Healdsburg, CA

    This superbly-crafted novel will land you in a world of unimaginable beauty, adventure, and romance. The love story will keep you awake at night with its vibrant tension and deep rich longing. Wick Downing, author of nine novels

    Such vividly depicted images of the Everest region and the Sherpa people are the perfect scenario for the romance and adventure feats narrated. It’s a page-turner, so engrossing you end up wanting to visit Nepal! Not just novel, but perfect for those seeking to get acquainted with the culture of this country.
    By Claudia Fournier (América, Bs. As., Argentina)

    Available through Barnes and Noble, Borders, amazon.com, Chesslerbooks.com, and the web site

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  • Rachael on May 11, 2009 4:38 pm

    sorry 4 your lost people