Edmund & Tenzing. | A Continuous Lean.

Edmund & Tenzing.

Aug 22nd, 2010 | Categories: History, Stay Humble | by Michael Williams

On 29 May 1953 Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first men to summit Mount Everest. The accomplishment and photos still inspire awe in men and boys to this day. Stay humble.

Comments: 23

23 Comments to “Edmund & Tenzing.”

  1. vanderleun
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 12:30 AM

    Great subject. Another might be to look at the ill-fated Mallory / Irvine expedition of 1924 where the men we last seen as black dots on a snowfield “going strong for the top.”

    Since Mallory’s body was discovered there have also been examinations of the clothing and gear the climbers wore to see if it helped or hindered their climb.




    And the picture here


    and here


    demonstrates a toughness and a style that would be impossible to replicate today.

  2. Mike
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 12:37 AM

    I read High Adventure by Edmund Hillary some time back. Great read, check it out.

  3. Wjletch
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 3:08 AM

    What’s humbling to me, is the fact that todays tech advancements allow people to summit Everest so frequently, and yet these two managed to do it with the limited gear and technology of the period. I sit here, humbled indeed.

  4. Gil Roth
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 4:34 AM

    One of my favorite pieces of sports journalism was Frank Deford’s “athletes of the century” piece from 1999 on Mr. Hillary and Roger Bannister.

  5. katlin
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 6:34 AM

    not sure if tenzing did, but i know that edmund was def an inspiration for rag & bone’s fall ’10 collection with all those layers he wore while going up mount everest!

  6. hitesh sahni
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 8:03 AM

    Looking through these images, I can feel the chills of the place. I am humbled by this one of the greatest achievements of mankind.

  7. Jo
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 8:57 AM

    I hardly ever call attention to this sort of thing (I read a lot of material supposedly “aimed” at men, and it’s simply not worth the time), but–Edmund Hillary was one of my childhood heroes. I am neither a man nor a boy. Is it so hard to just say “still inspire awe,” period?

    Thank you for posting the photos. They are beautiful and staggeringly impressive, and probably always will be.

  8. JonIndia™
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 9:50 AM

    those boots and the tan jacket are effing sweet

  9. Call_Me_Sir_God_Dammit
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 11:15 AM

    Please note he is Sir Edmund Hillary, he should be referred to as such.

  10. Chloe
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 12:19 PM

    “still inspire awe in >>men and boys<< to this day"

    I can't tell if that was supposed to be ironic?

    What does it inspire in women and girls? Warm home cookin' for when they get back?

  11. Michael Williams
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 12:22 PM

    The girls feel left out.

  12. Charlotte K
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 1:04 PM

    The girls do not feel left out as long as they can gaze at the gorgeous-hunks-o-men which are Sir E and Tenzing!

    Seriously those guys were amazing. They seem to be wearing about as much gear as I did the first time I climbed NH’s Mt Washington! (Admittedly I did not require supplemental oxygen) And the 1920-30s climbers went most of the way up in tweeds.

  13. JLSLC
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 1:31 PM

    There is a newish movie about Mallory’s ill-fated obsession with Everest. It features the climber Conrad Anker who found his body 75 yeas later, and documents a summit attempt using (for small parts of the expedition) replicas of the clothes and gear Mallory would have used in 1924. Anker also attempts to settle the argument over whether Mallory could free-climbed a section near the summit and actually made it to the top (and thus died on the way down).

    It also deals (a bit too much for me) with the tension between Mallory and his wife, who was left home to tend to the children.


  14. Logcabineer
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 1:45 PM

    Nigel Cabourns Harris Tweed ‘Tenzing jacket’ looks pretty f-in sweet to me.

  15. Speedmaster
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 2:33 PM

    Fantastic pics, thanks.

  16. Victor
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 4:11 PM

    Not visible in these terrific pictures is the early-model Rolex Explorer timepiece each of them wore under his jacket’s sleeve.

    You can read more about the watch they helped make a legend there:

  17. Ted
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 11:17 PM

    The glasses/goggles are awesome. Didn’t they find Mallory stuff about 10 years ago ?

  18. Brett
    on Aug 24th, 2010
    @ 4:15 AM

    Steph Davis doesn’t feel left out…


    She’s as bad-ass and humbling as they come.

  19. Alicia
    on Aug 24th, 2010
    @ 10:06 AM

    But really, Michael. Great human endeavors do inspire women and girls too (as does this ACL,usually), whether they are accomplished by men or women. It is degrading to women’s abilities and aspirations to think they wouldn’t be inspired. It is degrading to Sir Hillary and Mr. Norgay to imagine that their accomplishments would only inspire half the world.

    I bet you have more female readers than you assume, which is only to say that ACL is a wonderful and generally welcoming site.

  20. Dave
    on Aug 24th, 2010
    @ 2:23 PM

    An Everest expedition in throwback gear should be the backdrop for Jackass IV. Sidenote: Tenzing Norgay had the best teeth I’ve ever seen on a Sherpa.

  21. Pete Saville
    on Aug 26th, 2010
    @ 9:40 PM

    Sir Edmund Hillary is one of the Greatest New Zealanders! Close second is John Britten with his home made motorcycles that took on the world. Oh, I almost forgot Bruce McLaren, and Burt Munro (Worlds fastest Indian)

  22. Wesley
    on Aug 27th, 2010
    @ 2:49 PM

    I got to see the custom boots made for this great climb a year ago. They were pretty amazing and the same concepts in high alpine boot construction is still being done today.

    Also great video on the trip –

  23. nick sullivan
    on Aug 31st, 2010
    @ 10:46 AM

    Alfred Gregory who took most of the expedition photos (apart natch from the ones on the summit) – these photos are many other amazing ones are in Alfred Gregory’s Everest (find it on e-bay) took some Kendall mint cake (an expedition favorite from the North of England) made by my wife’s grandmother on the trip. In return he brought her back some Himalayan blue poppy seeds in an envelope. Successive generations of these poppies still grow in several family gardens. Alas not in Brooklyn..yet