Today is a sad day for adventurers, specially for those who enjoyed reaching the high peaks of the world, just for the fun of it. New Zealand’s Sir Edmund Hillary, who along with Nepal’s Tenzing Norgay Sherpa became the first to conquer Mount Everest, has died. He was 88.Hillary scaled the world’s highest mountain on May 29, 1953, telling companions after the climb: “We knocked the bastard off.” He was only 33 years old.
After Everest, Hillary led a number of expeditions. In 1958, he and four companions traveled overland in three modified tractors to become the first to reach the South Pole by vehicle. In the 1960s he returned to the Himalayas in search of the elusive Yeti and in 1975 he led a jetboat expedition to the source of the Ganges in India.
But most of his energy was devoted to helping Nepal’s Sherpa people who live in the shadow of Mount Everest. His whole life was completely devoted to the people of the Himalayas. He personally helped build schools, hospitals, bridges, pipelines and even an airfield.
Yep, today is a sad day for adventurers. Sir Hillary was one-of-a-kind. He reminds me of another great adventurer, Steve Fossett, who left us too soon. I’m sure both will meet shortly and talk about their adventures somewhere up in a snow-white cloud.
Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008)(Credit: Yahoo News Online)