It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.
Human life is far more important than just getting to the top of a mountain. E
People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.
There is something about building up a comradeship – that I still believe is the greatest of all feats – and sharing in the dangers with your company of peers. It’s the intense effort, the giving of everything you’ve got. It’s really a very pleasant sensation.
I think I mainly climb mountains because I get a great deal of enjoyment out of it. I never attempt to analyze these things too thoroughly, but I think that all mountaineers do get a great deal of satisfaction out of overcoming some challenge which they think is very difficult for them, or which perhaps may be a little dangerous.
When you go to the mountains, you see them and you admire them. In a sense, they give you a challenge, and you try to express that challenge by climbing them.
I really haven’t liked the commercialization of mountaineering, particularly of Mt. Everest. By paying $65,000, you can be conducted to the summit by a couple of good guides.
I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men.
No one remembers who climbed Mount Everest the second time.
If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go.
On the summit of Everest, I had a feeling of great satisfaction to be first there.
I realised a little bit to my astonishment that I can give a lecture for a thousand people, and there will be this tumultuous applause, so, you know, I have the feeling well, it can’t be all that bad.
I think it all comes down to motivation. If you really want to do something, you will work hard for it.
While on top of Everest, I looked across the valley towards the great peak Makalu and mentally worked out a route about how it could be climbed. It showed me that even though I was standing on top of the world, it wasn’t the end of everything. I was still looking beyond to other interesting challenges.
Life’s a bit like mountaineering – never look down.
Adventuring can be for the ordinary person with ordinary qualities, such as I regard myself.
I think my first thought on reaching the summit- of course, I was very, very pleased to be there, naturally – but my first thought was one of a little bit of surprise. I was a little bit surprised that here I was, Ed Hillary, on top of Mt. Everest. After all, this is the ambition of most mountaineers.
Good planning is important. I’ve also regarded a sense of humor as one of the most important things on a big expedition. When you’re in a difficult or dangerous situation, or when you’re depressed about the chances of success, someone who can make you laugh eases the tension.
I can remember when I first went into the Himalayan area way back in 1951. Money, for instance, was not important at all to the local people. But now, finance has become just as important to them as it is to us, and this is a change maybe not for the better.
Many people have been getting too casual about climbing Everest. I forecast a disaster many times.
I like to think of Everest as a great mountaineering challenge, and when you’ve got people just streaming up the mountain – well, many of them are just climbing it to get their name in the paper, really.
My relationship with the mountains actually started when I was 16. Every year, a group used to be taken from Auckland Grammar down to the Tangariro National Park for a skiing holiday.
I’m sure the feeling of fear, as long as you can take advantage of it and not be rendered useless by it, can make you extend yourself beyond what you would regard as your capacity. If you’re afraid, the blood seems to flow freely through the veins, and you really do feel a sense of stimulation.
Ever since the morning of May 29, 1953, when Tenzing Norgay and I became the first climbers to step onto the summit of Mount Everest, I’ve been called a great adventurer.
I think the really good mountaineer is the man with the technical ability of the professional and with the enthusiasm and freshness of approach of the amateur.
The truth is, I’m just a rough old New Zealander who has enjoyed many challenges in his life.
When you’re climbing at high altitudes, life can get pretty miserable.
When I was climbing, I built up a close relationship with the Sherpa people.
Despite all I have seen and experienced, I still get the same simple thrill out of glimpsing a tiny patch of snow in a high mountain gully and feel the same urge to climb towards it.
I enjoyed climbing with other people, good friends, but I did quite a lot of solo climbing, too.
I hate being called an ‘icon.’ I just don’t like it. That’s all there is to it.
I don’t regard myself as a cracking good climber. I’m just strong in the back. I have a lot of enthusiasm, and I’m good on ice.
There is precious little in civilization to appeal to a Yeti.
I was definitely very much a country boy.
Take advantage of the years of pioneering efforts. You might find this boring, as the young want to rush head on, as it were.
I was scared many times on Everest, but this is all part of the challenge. When I fell down a crevasse, it was pretty scary.
My mother was a schoolteacher and very keen that I go to a city school, so although it was fairly impoverished times, I traveled every day to the Auckland Grammar School.
I have enjoyed great satisfaction from my climb of Everest and my trips to the poles. But there’s no doubt that my most worthwhile things have been the building of schools and medical clinics.
I think that a good mountaineer is usually a sensible mountaineer.
I am inclined to think that the realm of mythology is where the Yeti rightly belongs.