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Today in History: May 29th, 1953

Photo Credit: Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Are the First to Reach the Summit of Mount Everest

On May 29, 1953, history was made when Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa from Nepal, became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest. This remarkable achievement marked a monumental milestone in the history of mountaineering and human exploration.

Before 1953, many expeditions had tried to reach the top of Everest, but all had failed, with some ending in tragedy. The 1953 British expedition, led by John Hunt, was meticulously planned and well-equipped. It included a team of experienced climbers and Sherpas, who worked together to conquer the world’s highest peak. The team decided to take the South Col route, approaching the mountain from Nepal, and set up a series of high-altitude camps to aid their climb.

Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary
Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, the first explorers to scale Mount Everest. (Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images)

On May 29, Hillary and Norgay set out from camp, which was at an altitude of 8,500 meters (27,900 feet). They faced severe cold, difficult terrain, and the thin air of high altitude. One of the most challenging parts of their climb was the Hillary Step, a 12-meter (40-foot) rock face near the summit. Despite these challenges, they reached the summit at 11:30 AM, becoming the first known people to stand on the highest point on Earth.

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The news of their success was announced to the world on June 2, coinciding with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. This added to the celebrations, and both climbers were honored for their achievement. Edmund Hillary was knighted, and Tenzing Norgay received the George Medal. Their success inspired many future expeditions to Everest and other high peaks around the world.

The first ascent of Everest by Hillary and Norgay is celebrated not just as a triumph of physical endurance and skill but also as a symbol of international cooperation and human perseverance. Their achievement continues to inspire people today, reminding us of what is possible when we push the limits of our potential.

TVN News Poster

TVN News Poster is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News