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.
On May 10, 1996, 23 climbers from two competing expeditions conquered Everest’s 29,0289ft peak. Eight died. Many were disfigured by frostbite. Youc an read about in Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, which was later made into a film.