PHOTOGRAPH BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published April 19, 2014
Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander, and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa, were the strongest and most experienced snow and ice climbers on the 1953 British expedition.
After the first team was forced to turn back, Hillary and Tenzing, the back-up team, reached the top at 11:30 a.m. on May 29. To celebrate, Hillary offered a customary handshake, but Tenzing threw his arms around Hillary, and they thumped each other's backs in joy.
On Their Way
Still a long way from the snow-plumed South Summit, members of the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition cross the dizzyingly steep slope of neighboring Lhotse at 25,000 feet. Accompanied by Nawang Gombu Sherpa, Jim Whittaker became the first American to reach the true summit on May 1 by the now familiar South Col route. Three weeks later Willi Unsoeld and Tom Hornbein ascended via the challenging West Ridge.
In preparation for "a little war against a big mountain," as expedition leader Norman G. Dyhrenfurth put it, an army of more than 900 porters in February 1963 crosses a log bridge single file on their 185-mile trek to Mount Everest. Carrying 27 tons of supplies on their backs in support of the first American attempt on the peak, the porters stretched for four miles along the trail.
Trekkers on the main trail to Mount Everest in 1979 pass stunningly beautiful Ama Dablam, which tops out at 22,493 feet (6,865 meters). The next stop on the trail: Tengboche Monastery, where most Sherpas and many mountaineers stop for a blessing from the high lama.
A German Celebration
Jubilant to reach the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) peak of Mount Everest, German climber Hubert Hillmaier waves a flag in the thin air on October 14, 1978. Part of a German-French expedition, Hillmaier ascended via the Southeast Ridge with fellow Germans Sepp Mack and Hans Engl. Engl made the climb without bottled oxygen, following the example of Italian Reinhold Messner and Austrian Peter Habeler, who were the first to do so, in May 1978.
In Mallory's Footsteps
Members of the Altitude Everest Expedition 2007 cross a snowfield en route to the north side of Mount Everest. Their goal was to retrace the path of British climber George Mallory, who disappeared high on the peak in 1924 with his partner Sandy Irvine. Conrad Anker, leader of the 2007 expedition, discovered Mallory's body at 27,000 feet on Everest in 1999. Irvine's body hasn't yet been found. The question of whether Mallory and Irvine reached the summit also remains a mystery.
Clear and Present Danger
A climber crosses a narrow ice bridge in the Khumbu Icefall in 2012. Often described as one of the most dangerous passages during a climb of the standard Southeast Ridge route, the icefall is a shifting jumble of house-size blocks of ice at the crumbling base of the Khumbu Glacier, not far from Everest base camp.
It is very sad that you have not mentioned Hristo Prodanov and the Bulgarian expedition!!!
Mountain climbing is a passion, don;t think of the danders, it is a love affair between the climber and the mountain, you want to hug it, and enjoy the trek to its peak. Have done some climbing in the Karakorrum. Unforgetable sights!
Always thought I would like to climb Sagarmatha one day. I now hope to just make it to base camp one day. There was sad news from today on the Mountain. Death on the mountain always strikes a nerve when it happens.
Sad news about the Sherpas deaths. Everest would never have been climbed without them. They were there from the start in the 1920's and have been with almost every expedition since. Tenzing Norgay almost got to the top with the Swiss the year before Sir
John Hunts '53 expedition. His triumph with Ed' Hilary clearly an example of the tenacity and climbing skill of these fine people. The loss of so many is a massive blow to the world-wide climbing fraternity.
@Kaloian Rizov Really?
@Hasan Kabir Dear Hasan Kabir, Thank you very much for making it clear for us that [Mountain climbing is a passion...it is a love affair between the climber and the mountain]. I became aware of the fact that mountains have their own weather system after using Coquihalla Pass.
Everything is handy and dandy at the foot of the mountain but going through Coquihalla Pass is a different ball game.
Fracking for shale oil has boosted U.S. oil production to near-record levels. But the industry faces two challenges: low prices and low reserves.
Breeding the remaining northern white rhinoceroses with their cousins may preserve some of their genes, scientists say.
A steady trickle of water is bringing wildlife back to a few parts of the Colorado River Delta.
The Future of Food
How do we feed nine billion people by 2050, and how do we do so sustainably?
We've made our magazine's best stories about the future of food available in a free iPad app.