The first ascent of the world’s highest mountain was greeted with excitement beyond anyone’s expectations. To climb for the very first time to the top of the world’s highest mountain was an achievement that captured the imagination,far beyond the climbing community.
The fact that the news came through at dawn on the day of the coronation of the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II just added to the thrill of the momentous occasion. It became an event that, quite literally, ‘changed people’s lives’, not only of those who took part in the venture, and their families, but also those of countless people across the world.
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit on 29 May 1953
In writing the story of this great venture a few months after the team returned to England, John Hunt, the leader of the expedition, reflected on what they had achieved. In what has turned out to be an almost prophetic look to the future, he wrote about the possibility of a lasting legacy, where others would continue to be inspired to seek ‘their own Everests’.
“The story of The Ascent of Everest is one of teamwork. If there is a deeper and more lasting message behind our adventure than the mere ephemeral sensation of a physical feat, I believe this to be the value of comradeship… Comradeship, regardless of race or creed, is forged among high mountains, through the difficulties and dangers to which they expose those who aspire to climb them, the need to combine their efforts to attain their goal, the thrill of a great adventure shared together. And what of others? Was it worthwhile for them too? I believe it may have been, if it is accepted that there is a need for adventure in the world we live in and provided, too, it is realized that adventure can be found in many spheres, not merely upon a mountain, and not necessarily physical. Ultimately, the justification for climbing Everest, if any justification is necessary, will lie in the seeking of their ‘Everests’ by others, stimulated by this event, as we were inspired by others before us.”
‘The Ascent of Everest’ by John Hunt, 1953
Today, several charitable organisations with a direct link to 1953 have come together to celebrate Everest 70 with a series of events retracing the journey made by Hillary and Tenzing following the successful ascent.
The journey starts in Nepal, then India and finishes in London between 29 May and 15 June 2023.
Of course, the journey didn’t start (nor finish) with the ascent of Mount Everest. Between now and June 2023 we would like to take you on a journey celebrating the impact of the 1953 expedition and its legacy for millions of people across the globe.
Hear from the Hillary and Tenzing families about their enduring friendship since the expedition and how it impacted the (family) life and work of Ed Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Relive the planning and achievements of all expedition members. Find out the impact on today’s world, both in climbing terms and beyond and the impact and changes a global community of (charitable) organisations are making to this day.
It is hard to think of many other events that have so encouraged and inspired others to pursue their own dreams while modelling the importance of teamwork and willingness to sacrifice one’s own personal needs and goals in order to see what the human spirit is capable of achieving in whatever sphere that might be.
We are a global community with a common goal. Join us and celebrate the journey with us via our social media channels, our mailing list and of course at the events themselves.
Working with us to celebrate the 70th Anniversary, we are pleased to be joined by the following Partners.