back to article Sir Edmund Hillary dies at 88

Sir Edmund Hillary, the NZ climber who in 1953 conquered Mount Everest and subsequently did much to improve the lot of Nepal's Sherpa people has died aged 88. Hillary passed away on Friday morning at Auckland City Hospital as a result of pneumonia, local media reported. NZ prime minister Helen Clark said: "The legendary …


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  1. Chris McFaul


    by the time you commented - the story had bene up 5 whole minutes according to the timestamp on the story and also on your post, so maybe that is why there hadnt been any comments?

    as for national pride, Hillary was a Kiwi, maybe not many Kiwis read the register (and isnt it nigth time there now anyway?)

  2. Will


    Didn't Hillary admit a few years back that Tenzing put the first boot on top, after years of claiming it was "a team effort"...?

  3. Dave Fahey

    and of course

    all of NZ is in mourning right now.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    National Pride

    I think possibly because it was a British expedition... and we kind of claimed it as a British achievement.

  5. chris stephenson

    Sir Ed...

    Farewell mate, you're a bloody legend

  6. David

    RIP To a national hero.

    As David Fahey put it - the whole nation is in mourning.

    Goodbye sir, You were a hero and inspiration to millions. You will be missed. Enjoy conquering the next life.

  7. Shusui

    Sir Ed

    "Hillary was a Kiwi, maybe not many Kiwis read the register"

    Here's one that does, who is intensely proud of Hillary and pleased that The Register has thought that his death should be reported here.

    Haere ra, Sir Ed.

  8. tardigrade

    One of the last of the great adventurers.

    Hillary and Tensing were an inspiration to me as a kid. Everest was only the start of a great journey for Hillary. The work he did in Nepal is truly brilliant and an example to us all. We need more like him.

    Fare well old chap. The status Legend awaits.

  9. Cris Page


    The world has lost an inspirational figure who knew the value of courage - todays "celebs" could learn a lot from this one man about the virtue of humility.

    The Sherpa people have lost a good and loyal friend.

    His like will not pass this way again.

  10. Feargal Reilly


    Of course he is somebody that you would look up to, wouldn't he.


  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    You forgot Sir Edmund's link to the US Presidency

    Where Hillary Clinton said she was named after Sir Edmund.

    Of course, Hillary Rodam was 6 years old when Sir Edmond climbed Everest.

  12. Me

    A true Legend


    I met Sir Edmund Hillary about 25 years ago,when he gave a talk at a local Museum about his Mt. Everest experience.

    He was everything a Hollywood movie could try to make him out to be and MORE.

    A true gentleman, with an aura of competence and power.

    A true Legend full of humility and grace.

    My thoughs are with his family and friends...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    What's the national drink in New Zealand? Let's have some of that and have a toast to this man, who became famous for doing one of the last manly things left to do.

    I couldn't really appreciate the difficulty involved in climbing Everest until I realised that the summit is only a few thousand feet below the maximum height that an early Spitfire could go, and those pilots were sitting in a chair with an oxygen mask.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Actually

    I thought a few years ago Hillary had said that he'd been first on the summit (I think the phrase was "of course I was bloody first")

    Anyway, Mallory and Irvine (probably) got there a couple of decades earlier slipped to their deaths when they'd not reached their camp by time it got dark.

  15. Sweep

    Who got there first?

    Who cares?

    Does it really matter, it was after all a team effort?

    Seem to remember a quote from Tensing to the effect of "Hillary stepped up first, and i stepped up after him", but Hillary also later seemed to say that Tensing got there first.

    As I say, it doesn't really matter, although Buzz "number 2" Aldrin might say otherwise.

  16. Bill

    The First Man Too.........

    Sir Edmund hillary was, no doubt, a great man and consumate mountaineer. As to the first man issue, it really is a facile question.

    Any climber will tell you that a pair of climbers work together to complete a climb, one is dependent on the other so to complete any ascent is a team effort.

    Indeed, back in 1953 Everest was conquered using a climbing technique that is best described as "laying siege" rather than the more light weight "Alpine" style that is used today. Supplies were hauled up pre-roped routes to progressively higher camps on the mountain until enough supplies had been positioned high enough on the mountain to allow for a summit attempt. This is how the "tourist" climbs of Everest happen today.

    In this regard the whole expedition can be said to have climbed Everest as it was a team effort that put Hillary and Tenzing on top of the summit.

    More modern equipment, fitness regimes and food supplies allow for a more rapid ascent with less pre-positioning of supplies.

    This is not to demean Hillary's or Tenzing's effort but each, I am sure, would have acknowledged the efforts of the whole expedition in giving them the opportunity to complete the climb. That said, it is of no surprise to me, having climbed in New Zealand, that it was a New Zealander that completed the ascent with Tenzing.

    Sir Hillary was a great man, an inspirational figure and a gentleman. He devoted his life working to improve the lot of the Nepalese Sherpas and they will long remember him as will the Kiwis.

  17. JeffyPooh

    Who was first? These days...

    These days it would be the Japanese HD video crew from NHK that would be recording the event from several angles (including a dramatic panorama shot from above). There would be a section of video edited out where 'The First Man' would be seen madly gesturing to get the damn video crew off the summit so that he could make the historic final ascent.

  18. Peter Simpson


    One of the great adventurers, and a truly great man. He left an awful lot of good in his wake.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A Top Bloke, A Hero, A Great Kiwi and Dam Fine Human Being

    I may not be a Kiwi and just a UK wage slave but I am still proud by that association, no matter how remote.

    Not much else to say other than thank you Sir Edmund for you life, the world is richer for it.

  20. Rick Brasche
    Thumb Up

    After reaching one frontier

    he heads off to explore another. I sincerely hope it's everything he expected. I can expect this exchange outside the Pearly Gates...

    "Why did you pass on to the Afterlife, Sir Edmund?"

    "Because it was there!"

  21. Scott


    Rest In Peace, Sir Ed.

    We all look up to you...

    as for who was first: I remember learning about the Everest conquest in school and it was always "Ed and Tenzing"..... together.

  22. Nordrick Framelhammer
    Thumb Up

    R.I.P. Sir Ed

    I am a Kiwi and I am damned proud of not only the fact that he conquered Everest but also the way he tirelessly worked to improve the lives of people in the region.

    The media, rightly so, devoted large amounts of space and time to the life of one on New Zealand's most famous sons.

    He wil be hugely missed by a world that is sorely in need of more true heoes and selfless people like him.

    Kia Kaha!

    (Forever strong)

  23. Stuart
    Thumb Up

    A man for humanity to proud of

    I'm a Kiwi too, and like many of us, not particularly patriotic. Sir Ed though, makes me very proud to have shared citizenship with him. Especially because of the way he used his fame. He got his (literally) 15 minutes, and parlayed it into an enduring legacy in the lives of thousands. NZ has not produced a finer son, and likely never will. I hope that others will honour his memory by supporting his charities.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Actually

    "Anyway, Mallory and Irvine (probably) got there a couple of decades earlier slipped to their deaths when they'd not reached their camp by time it got dark."

    Doesn't matter even if they did get to the top - in mountaineering climbing a hill is a two way trip - if you don't get back down then you didn't complete the climb and hence go directly to jail and do not collect $200 ($NZ in this case, of course).

    I believe Sir Ed was the only living person (dictators excepted) to appear on a bank note (NZ $50 note), a sign of the high regard he was held in in his home country.

  25. Charley

    Haere Ra

    Of course he did more than just Everest. He was also the 3rd man to reach the South Pole overland.

    "It was not originally intended that Hillary would travel as far as the South Pole, but when he had completed laying supply depots he saw the opportunity to beat the British and continued south, reaching the Pole – where the US Amundsen-Scott Station had recently been established by air – on January 3, 1958. Hillary's party was just the third (preceded by Amundsen in 1911 and Scott in 1912) to reach the Pole overland. Hillary's arrival also marked the first time that land vehicles had ever reached the Pole."

    I seem to remember hearing a quote by Fuchs, the leader of the British team that Hillary was supposed to be supporting. "Great, now we've got three expeditions. The Americans, the British and Ed Hillary's private bloody expedition."

    @ Mike Sanders. It's actually the $5 note that Ed is on. The most common bank note in NZ and there are a LOT of them with his autograph on them. I doubt he ever refused to sign one if someone asked. The $50 has Sir Apirana Ngata. (Lord Ernest Rutherford on the $100, Kate Sheppard on the $10, Phil the Greek's missus on the $20).

  26. Alan Wilkinson
    Thumb Up

    Ed Hillary showed what to do with fame

    Another Kiwi reading El Reg, another in awe and admiration of Ed Hillary. I think he ranks with Nelson Mandela as a very great human being we are so happy and proud to share with the world.

    He was a man to challenge and inspire all of us to aspire higher and do better - and ignore all the B.S and get on with what really matters.

    R.I.P., Sir Ed - your life was well and truly lived and fulfilled.

  27. Trix
    Dead Vulture

    Fix your bootnote

    _Actually_, Hillary never said that Tenzing was actually first. He had a stringent policy up until Tenzing's death of not saying who reached the top first - not that it matters. Hillary was first on the top, but his policy of not saying so was to avoid anyone taking anything away from Tenzing during his lifetime.

  28. Alan Wilkinson

    Trix is right

    Trix is right. And it doesn't matter anyway. The partnership was what mattered, what created the success and what strengthened after it into an enduring friendship between Hillary and Tensing, Nepal and New Zealand. We did it together. We are prouder and stronger together. To divide this achievement would simply weaken it.

    But the rumors being quoted here are simply wrong. Hillary happened to be at the front on the final segment. Perhaps that was a result of the subtle racism of the time anyway - who knows. But Hillary was anyway sensitive to it and according to other accounts never varied from his policy of saying they reached the summit together until after Tensing himself revealed the secret in his autobiography.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Having struggled to Everest base camp I am left in awe of the people who go on to climb the Mother Goddess of Earth herself.

    Here's to Sir Ed, well done that man!!!!

  30. Rubber chicken

    "What's the national drink in New Zealand?"

    Tough call, but I'd call it a three way tie between a lager, a Chardonnay and a Savignon Blanc.

    But it is a moot point. Here's to Sir Ed.

    Oh, and NZ'ers like me do read el reg. Top notch.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Hero

    Why do people refer to him as a hero? An adventurer, an explorer, yes, but not a hero.

  32. Andrew McPherson

    National drink of NZ

    The national drink of new zealand is beer, the brand depends on which particular part of new zealand you are in.

    Steinlager, Tui, Speights, Export Gold and Monteiths are the main ones.

    Steinlager is popular in Auckland, Tui is popular with students, Speights is the southern drink, (they also do a nice ice-cream), Export Gold is good at BBQs and monteiths does a lot of seasonal brews.

    However, if you are not drinking alcohol, the national drink is L&P.

    I suppose if you wanted to celebrate new zealand like our chardonnay socialists in parliament do, look for something from hawke's bay or marlbourgh. If you're really lucky, you may find something from martinbourgh.

  33. David

    @AC "A Hero"

    To many he is.. Just look at the things he did other than conquering various landmarks. Look at what else he did with his life, the lives he touched and even saved..

    He gave of his life so that others could have a better life. He didn't rush into a burning building maybe, but he did travel to get schools and hospitals and other important infrastructure built in various places. And it cost him dearly - a wife and daughter killed in a plane crash while traveling to see him when he was offshore (IIRC). To carry on and help others after that, and the other many sacrifices he made to help others live better lives - that is the mark of a true hero is it not?

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