On May 28, 1953, Edmund Hillary told the rest of the expedition that never made it to the top of Everest, “We knocked the bastard off.”
For a brief time, Hillary and Tenzing Norgay had stood on the top of the world’s highest peak. Hillary offered Tenzing his hand. Tenzing responded with a hug.
Colonel John Hunt, the leader of the expedition, wrote about why conquering Everest mattered:
“It is not sufficient to reply, ‘Because it is there’; the climbs are symbols of man’s conquest of himself and man’s smallness in relation to his environment.”
Since then, amputees, pensioners, a 13-year-old boy and even a woman have reached the summit.
But not everyone makes it. Everest is for serious mountaineers.