Hillary and Tenzing's First Trek to Everest

Hillary and Tenzing's First Trek to Everest

by Anish Sah


Trekking in Everest has been the wonderful experience for many trekkers. Those who don’t trek to summit also enjoy other treks in Everest Region such as Everest Base Camp Trek, Everest three pass trek, Everest Gokyo Lake Trek and many more. Everest three pass trek packages lets you enjoy overall Everest region so trekkers who don't want to conquer summit can do this trek. Places on the 1953 Royal Geographic Society expedition to Mount Everest (8848 m) have been in good demand; therefore Edmund Hillary was extremely happy to be a part of it. In these days accessibility to the Khumbu was restricted for political motives so the Everest Trek and summit bid of British group lead by Colonel Hunt carried the hopes of the country and had a high profile in the media. Following months of preparation, and one collapsed summit bid, the group made its second attempt at the summit on the morning of May 29th 1953. Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were chosen to continue up the south east ridge while Colonel Hunt went down to wait for them at camp four in the bottom of the South Col, and the remainder of the group (including Tenzing's fellow Sherpas) waited for information in Everest Base Camp.


The First Successful Trek to Everest's Peak

It was a gorgeous, clear day, however Hillary and Tenzing couldn't start out until Hillary's boots had defrosted, having suspended solid overnight. The final stint of the Everest trek to the summit took two and a half an hour and was hard moving. They needed to cut actions that are careful in a snow incline working diagonally upwards. Eventually, they reached a stone step which seemed impossible to conquer until Hillary found a crack for them to twist up. Their Everest trek could have finished with calamity. After they had been climbing for some time Tenzing had trouble with his oxygen set. Its exhaust vent had clogged with ice, and they found that Hillary's was getting the same issue. If they hadn't fixed it they'd have been forced to abandon the summit bidding. Because of the steepness of the ridge, Hillary and Tenzing could not see the summit as they increased, and only saw it if they were only thirty or forty feet off. In addition to joy, the pair felt a sense of relief once they reached the very top, particularly as Tenzing was really close to summiting on an Everest Trek the year before. In a meeting a couple of weeks after their Everest Trek, Hillary recounted how the view from the summit was obvious:"there weren't any clouds at all." They can see "long-range into Tibet and Nepal." He also mentioned the way the foreshortening effect of the wonderful height they'd achieved made everything below "look rather flat, very similar to this view from an aircraft." They might also see the fifth largest mountain on earth, Mount Makalu (8,462m). Hillary realized that they were at a privileged place having the ability to see at that summit from above. "Makalu was a great sight below us."

Looking down the northern side of the mountain, Tenzing managed to see that the Rombuk monastery, also being a Buddhist, this was unique for him. Hillary commented on how difficult the path up the northern face appeared to get an Everest trek. They remained on the summit for approximately fifteen minutes and then they set off down the mountain again. Hillary and Tenzing returned to Everest Base Camp as the first people to reach the highest peak on earth and get back safely. The news of the successful Everest Trek took several days to reach Britain, and has been announced the day before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. At the early fifties Britain was enduring a period of austerity after the war, and rationing was set to last a further year. Together with the coronation, the achievement of the British team buoyed-up the morale of the nation.


Anish Sah

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