Quotes by: Edmund Hillary
|Sir Edmund Hillary
KG ONZ KBE
Hillary, c. 1953
||Edmund Percival Hillary
20 July 1919
Auckland, New Zealand
||11 January 2008
Auckland, New Zealand
||Louise Mary Rose (1953–1975); her death
June Mulgrew (1989–2008); his death
||Peter (b. 1954)
Sarah (b. 1956)
||Percival Augustus Hillary
Gertrude Hillary, née Clark
||Knight of the Order of the Garter
Member of the Order of New Zealand
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
The Sherpas play a very important role in most mountaineering expeditions, and in fact many of them lead along the ridges and up to the summit.
If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go.
I don't spend a lot of time thinking about dying, but I like to think that I've - if it did occur - that I would die peacefully and not make too much of a fuss about it.
I don't know if I particularly want to be remembered for anything. I personally do not think I'm a great gift to the world. I've been very fortunate.
On the summit of Everest, I had a feeling of great satisfaction to be first there.
I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men.
Good planning is important. I've also regarded a sense of humor as one of the most important things on a big expedition. When you're in a difficult or dangerous situation, or when you're depressed about the chances of success, someone who can make you laugh eases the tension.
I think I mainly climb mountains because I get a great deal of enjoyment out of it. I never attempt to analyze these things too thoroughly, but I think that all mountaineers do get a great deal of satisfaction out of overcoming some challenge which they think is very difficult for them, or which perhaps may be a little dangerous.
I'm sure the feeling of fear, as long as you can take advantage of it and not be rendered useless by it, can make you extend yourself beyond what you would regard as your capacity. If you're afraid, the blood seems to flow freely through the veins, and you really do feel a sense of stimulation.
I think my first thought on reaching the summit- of course, I was very, very pleased to be there, naturally - but my first thought was one of a little bit of surprise. I was a little bit surprised that here I was, Ed Hillary, on top of Mt. Everest. After all, this is the ambition of most mountaineers.
I can remember when I first went into the Himalayan area way back in 1951. Money, for instance, was not important at all to the local people. But now, finance has become just as important to them as it is to us, and this is a change maybe not for the better.
When I was climbing, I built up a close relationship with the Sherpa people.
I enjoyed climbing with other people, good friends, but I did quite a lot of solo climbing, too.
The truth is, I'm just a rough old New Zealander who has enjoyed many challenges in his life.
While on top of Everest, I looked across the valley towards the great peak Makalu and mentally worked out a route about how it could be climbed. It showed me that even though I was standing on top of the world, it wasn't the end of everything. I was still looking beyond to other interesting challenges.
When I was 50 years old, I actually decided to draw up a list of half a dozen things that I really hadn't done very well, and I was going to make efforts to improve. One of them was skiing, and I really did become a very much better skier.
I think Himalayan climbers tend to mature fairly late. I think most of the successful Himalayan climbers have ranged from 28 to just over 40, really.
I have enjoyed great satisfaction from my climb of Everest and my trips to the poles. But there's no doubt that my most worthwhile things have been the building of schools and medical clinics.
People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.