Sir Edmund Hillary Reveals Something More Satisfying than Climbing Everest

The top of the world straddles the border of Tibet and Nepal standing proudly at five and half miles high.

Mt. Everest, named after the British Surveyor General of India Sir George Everest, has taken the lives of about 300 mountaineers – 11 in 2019.

But Mt Everest gave life to Edmund Hillary.


It all began in 1922 when a British expedition made the first summit attempt but failed.

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay finally succeeded on May 29, 1953. They became global celebrities. Today, Edmund’s likeness is on the New Zealand five dollar note.


While walking out from Everest, mail runners delivered congratulatory mail to Edmond; one addressed to “Sir” Edmund Hillary. He thought it was a joke.

His first thought was, “When I’m back home with the bees I’ll have to buy myself a new pair of coveralls.” But Queen Elizabeth II made the beekeeper from New Zealand a Knight.

You might think that being the first to climb Everest would be the highlight of Sir Edmund’s life. But it wasn’t.


“We climbed Everest and left the region, not knowing that for me, Everest would be a steppingstone to something far more satisfying right here within its valley.“

“I think the things that we have done for the welfare of the Sherpa people has been really the most important activity that I have carried out in my life.” Sir Edmund Hillary

Service – not fame, status, or wealth – gives meaning to life.

In a way, Mt. Everest gave Sir Edmund Hillary his life.

How might you be of service today?


Sir Edmund Hillary spent a good part of his life building schools, bridges, hospitals, and airstrips in Nepal. In May 2003, he became an honorary citizen of Nepal.

There are no pictures of Sir Edmund Hillary on top of Mt. Everest. He took a picture of Tenzing. Later Hillary said. “I never even thought about taking a photograph of myself.”

On being knighted: Time reports that Hillary was horrified.


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