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Friday, January 11, 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary, first man to climb Everest, has passed away

Edmund Hillary and guide Tenzing Norgay

Sir Edmund Hillary, who accompanied by Nepalese guide Tenzing Norgay became the first man to ascend to the peak of the world's highest mountain, has passed away at the age of 88.

It was in 1953 that Hillary, a beekeeper from New Zealand, pulled off what many had attempted for years and about as many said could never be done: reaching the summit of Mount Everest. He was knighted not long afterward by Queen Elizabeth II (it so happened that Hillary and Tenzing arrived at the summit on the same day as Elizabeth's coronation).

A few years later Hillary became the first person to reach the South Pole by vehicle. He was also very active in supporting education and other causes among the people of Nepal.

What an amazing life that he led. Sad to say, they're not making very many high adventurers like that anymore.