Sir Edmund Hillary 1919-2008

Edmund HillaryNew Zealand has lost one its most beloved sons with the death today of Sir Edmund Hillary. He died in Auckland today aged 88.

Sir Edmund made international headlines in 1953 when he became the first man to scale Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. He famously said when breaking the news of the feat: “We knocked the bastard off”.

Christchurch City Libraries has many resources on Sir Edmund Hillary, one of New Zealand’s greatest adventurers and explorers and one of our most highly decorated citizens. See:

Sir Edmund devoted much of his life to helping the Sherpas of Nepal’s Khumbu region. He was made an honorary Nepalese citizen in 2003.

Edmund HillaryHillary’s adventuring continued with expeditions by Massey Ferguson tractor to the South Pole, searching for the yeti in the Himalayas and jetboating up the Ganges to its source. His work in Nepal building schools and medical clinics for the Sherpas also involved strenuous expeditions.

In later years he became a highly successful High Commissioner to India and continued to advocate for the Sherpa people. He also had forthright comments about the state of climbing on Everest and the environmental damage caused by climbing expeditions.

See the Library backgrounder for more books and information on Edmund Hillary.

2 thoughts on “Sir Edmund Hillary 1919-2008

  1. Linda LeBlanc 11 January 2008 / 3:58 pm

    I had the privilege of meeting Sir Edmund Hillary twice, once in Colorado and once in Namche in the Everest region where I used to lead treks to the base camp. He dedicated his life to helping the Sherpas who were such a critical part of his first ascent. Beyond the Summit is the first work to dramatize their lives in fiction. Hillary’s work in the area is mentioned frequently as well as his climbing partner, Tenzing Norgay.
    Details of Sherpa culture and religion are interwoven in a tale of romance and high adventure. The story has something for everyone: a love affair between an American journalist and Sherpa guide, conflict between generations as the modern world challenges centuries of tradition, an expedition from the porter’s point of view.

    Below are selections from reviews. To read the complete ones and excerpts go to [www] beyondthesummit-novel.com

    Beyond the Summit, is the rare gem that shows us the triumphs and challenges of a major climb from the porter’s point of view. The love of two people from diverse cultures is the fiery centerpiece of a novel that leads its readers through harshly beautiful and highly dangerous territory to the roof of the world. Malcolm Campbell, book reviewer

    Conflict and dialog keep this gripping story of destiny, romance and adventure moving from the first page to the last paragraph. LeBlanc has a genius for bonding her readers and her characters. I found I was empathizing in turn with each character as they faced their own personal crisis or trauma.
    Richard Blake for Readers Views.

    A gripping, gut-twisting expedition through the eyes of a porter reveals the heart and soul of Sherpas living in the shadows of Everest. EverestNews.com

    A hard-hitting blend of adventure and romance which deserves a spot in any serious fiction collection. Midwest Book Review

    LeBlanc is equally adept at describing complex, elusive emotions and the beautiful, terrifying aspect of the Himalayan Mountains. Boulder Daily Camera

    LeBlanc’s vivid description of the Himalayas and the climbing culture makes this a powerful read. Rocky Mt News Pick of the Week

    A rich adventure into the heart of the Himalayan Kingdom. Fantastic story-telling from one who has been there. USABookNews.com

    This is the book to read before you embark on your pilgrimage to Nepal. The author knows and loves the people and the country, and makes you feel the cold thin air, the hard rocks of the mountains, the tough life of the Sherpa guides, and you learn to love them too. This is a higly literate, but also very readable book. Highly recommended.”
    – John (college professor)

    Memorable characters and harrowing encounters with the mountains keep the action moving with a vibrant balance of vivid description and dialogue. Literary Cafe Host, Healdsburg, CA

    This superbly-crafted novel will land you in a world of unimaginable beauty, adventure, and romance. The love story will keep you awake at night with its vibrant tension and deep rich longing. Wick Downing, author of nine novels

    Such vividly depicted images of the Everest region and the Sherpa people are the perfect scenario for the romance and adventure feats narrated. It’s a page-turner, so engrossing you end up wanting to visit Nepal! Not just novel, but perfect for those seeking to get acquainted with the culture of this country.
    By Claudia Fournier (América, Bs. As., Argentina)

    Available through Barnes and Noble, Borders, amazon.com, Chesslerbooks.com, and the web site

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