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Hillary and Norgay. Photo: SnowBrains

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to be the first persons to climb Everest in the year 1953.

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's Expedition

Hillary and Norgay were part of the British Everest Expedition of 1953, led by Colonel John Hunt (1910–1998). Hunt had selected a team of people who were experienced climbers from all around the British Empire. For this expedition, Hunt selected a group of people who were good and experienced in climbing mountains in the whole British Empire. In the group, Edmund Hillary was selected from New Zealand, and Tenzing Norgay was actually recruited from Indian where he lived, though he was born a Sherpa. There was also a filmmaker, a physiologist along with the climbing team. Before climbing, the expedition had been organized and planed for month. They had made 9 camps on their way up some of which has been still used by climbers now.

Among all the climbers took part in the expedition, only 4 could get the chance to have a try to get to the top. The team leader, Hunt, selected two people from each team: Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans in the first team and Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in the second team. The first team made it up to the place which was just 300 feet shy of the summit, but they left on May 26. They actually had already reached the point that no man had reached before. They were forced to left because the bad weather and there were problems with their oxygen tanks.

Earlier Attempts to Climb Mt. Everest

Mount Everest had long been considered unclimbable by some and the ultimate climbing challenge by others. Soaring in height to 29,035 feet (8,850 m), the famous mountain is located in the Himalayas, along the border of Nepal and Tibet, China.

Before Hillary and Tenzing successfully reached the summit, two other expeditions got close. Most famous of these was the 1924 climb of George Leigh Mallory (1886–1924) and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine (1902–1924). They climbed Mount Everest at a time when the aid of compressed air was still new and controversial.

The pair of climbers were last seen still going strong at the Second Step (about 28,140–28,300 ft). Many people still wonder if Mallory and Irvine might have been the first to make it to the top of Mount Everest. However, since the two men did not make it back down the mountain alive, perhaps we'll never know for sure, according to ThoughtCo.

Reaching the Top of Mount Everest

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Photo: The New York Times

At 4 a.m. on May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay awoke in camp nine and readied themselves for their climb. Hillary discovered that his boots had frozen and spent two hours defrosting them. The two men left camp at 6:30 a.m. During their climb, they came upon one particularly difficult rock face, but Hillary found a way to climb it. (The rock face is now called "Hillary's Step.")

At 11:30 a.m., Hillary and Tenzing reached the summit of Mount Everest. Hillary reached out to shake Tenzing's hand, but Tenzing gave him a hug in return. The two men enjoyed only 15 minutes at the top of the world because of their low air supply. They spent their time taking photographs, taking in the view, placing a food offering (Tenzing), and looking for any sign that the missing climbers from 1924 had been there before them (they didn't find any).

When their 15 minutes were up, Hillary and Tenzing began making their way back down the mountain. It is reported that when Hillary saw his friend and co-New Zealand climber George Lowe (also part of the expedition), Hillary said, "Well, George, we've knocked the bastard off!"

How High is Mount Everest?

Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain, the ultimate peak and a magnet for adventurers from all over the world. Located in the beautiful Himalayas. Everest has two main routes to the summit; one from the southeast in Nepal and one from the north in Tibet. Summiting the world’s highest mountain is a lifelong goal for many mountaineers. But how high is Mount Everest?

The first official height of Everest was established by Nepal in 1955, measuring an impressive 8,848m (29,029 ft) high. However, in 2005, the Chinese measured the rock height of Mount Everest and found it to be 8,844.43m tall. This led to a disagreement between Nepal and China as to what the actual height of Everest is - should it be measured as rock height or snow height? They eventually came to an agreement in 2010, that Everest’s official height is 8,848m, with a rock height of 8,844m.

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