Conquering Everest: What You Didn’t Know About Sir Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, and the First Trip to the Top of the World

By | May 29, 2019

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First Conquerors of Mount Everest. Smiling victors Sherpa Tenzing Norgay (Left) and Edmund Hillary at their camp after their return from Everest. Source: (

In case you haven’t seen the news recently, let’s catch you up on the news for Nepal. This climbing season, more climbers than ever before are attempting to summit Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain. This is creating a log jam of people near the summit…with deadly results. So far, eleven climbers have died this season in their quest to stand at the top of the world. Everest is a lot more crowded than it was this time 66 years ago when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first documented people to stand at the top of Mount Everest. Let’s look back on their historic climb to learn what you didn’t know about Sir Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, and the first trip to the top of the world.

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Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak. Source: (

“Because It Is There”

For mountain climbers, Everest is the pinnacle. It is a 29,029-foot tall beast of a mountain that pierces the upper atmosphere. It is taller than most jets fly at cruising altitude. Cradled in between Nepal and Tibet, Mount Everest is called Chomo-Lungma in the Tibetan language, a term that means “Mother Goddess of the Land.” The British named it after Sir George Everest, a British surveyor to Asia in the 19th century. The Brits have long had a fascination with the mountain and a strong desire to reach its peak. George Leigh Mallory was a member of the 1921 British expedition, the first to attempt to summit Everest. When asked why he wanted to climb the mountain, Mallory responded, “Because it is there.”