National Geographic 50th Anniversary Everest Expedition Reaches Summit

National Geographic News
May 25, 2002

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The National Geographic 50th Anniversary Everest Expedition commemorates the first ascent of the world's highest mountain, by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in May 1953. It also honors the first Americans to stand on the top of the world, including Barry Bishop, in 1963.

The sons of Everest pioneers Hillary, Norgay, and Bishop—Peter Hillary, Jamling Norgay, and Brent Bishop—are helping make a documentary that will air on the National Geographic Channel in the United States and internationally in 2003.

The National Geographic 50th Anniversary Everest Expedition is made possible in part by the generous support of American International Group, Inc. 

The National Geographic 50th Anniversary Everest Expedition reached the summit shortly after 10 Saturday morning (Nepal time). "We made it," Peter Hillary, son of Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary, said in a satellite phone call to his wife, Yvonne Oomen.

"All I want to do is go home now," Hillary said in a separate call to his father.

Oomen said the climbers who had made it to the top of the mountain with her husband were expedition leader Pete Athans, Brent Bishop, Nima Tashi Sherpa (the Sherpa climbing leader), Dawa Nuru Sherpa (on his first Everest climb), Da Sonan Sherpa, A Rita Sherpa, and Kami Sherpa.

The climbers spent about 40 minutes on the summit. There were no winds but the clouds were coming up.

Oomen said she and Sir Edmund had waited anxiously for the calls from the summit. "Peter phoned about an hour before the last part of the climb and said his feet were very cold. I didn't know whether he would be worried about frostbite, turn around, and go back down before reaching the summit," Oomen said. "But by the time he got to the top of the mountain, his feet had warmed up."

Continued on Next Page >>


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