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Edmund Hillary

Date de naissance: 20. juillet 1919
Date de décès: 11. janvier 2008

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Edmund Percival Hillary est un alpiniste et explorateur néo-zélandais né le 20 juillet 1919 à Auckland et mort le 11 janvier 2008 dans la même ville,. Edmund Hillary et le sherpa Tensing Norgay sont les premiers hommes à avoir gravi l'Everest, le 29 mai 1953, lors d'une expédition britannique dirigée par le général de brigade, John Hunt, anobli lui aussi pour cet exploit. Il fut longtemps le seul Néo-Zélandais à apparaître de son vivant sur un billet de banque.

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Citations Edmund Hillary

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„It was too late to take risks now. I asked Tenzing to belay me strongly, and I started cutting a cautious line of steps up the ridge. Peering from side to side and thrusting with my ice axe, I tried to discover a possible cornice, but everything seemed solid and firm. I waved Tenzing up to me. A few more whacks of the ice–ax, a few very weary steps, and we were on the summit of Everest.“

— Edmund Hillary
Context: It was too late to take risks now. I asked Tenzing to belay me strongly, and I started cutting a cautious line of steps up the ridge. Peering from side to side and thrusting with my ice axe, I tried to discover a possible cornice, but everything seemed solid and firm. I waved Tenzing up to me. A few more whacks of the ice–ax, a few very weary steps, and we were on the summit of Everest. It was 11:30 AM. My first sensation was one of relief — relief that the long grind was over, that the summit had been reached before our oxygen supplies had dropped to a critical level; and relief that in the end the mountain had been kind to us in having a pleasantly rounded cone for its summit instead of a fearsome and unapproachable cornice. But mixed with the relief was a vague sense of astonishment that I should have been the lucky one to attain the ambition of so many brave and determined climbers. I seemed difficult to grasp that we'd got there. I was too tired and too conscious of the long way down to safety really to feel any great elation. But as the fact of our success thrust itself more clearly into my mind, I felt a quiet glow of satisfaction spread through my body — a satisfaction less vociferous but more powerful than I had ever felt on a mountain top before. I turned and looked at Tenzing. Even beneath his oxygen mask and the icicles hanging form his hair, I could see his infectious grin of sheer delight. I held out my hand, and in silence we shook in good Anglo-Saxon fashion. But this was not enough for Tenzing, and impulsively he threw his arm around my shoulders and we thumped each other on the back in mutual congratulations. "Adventure's End" in The Norton Book of Sports (1992) edited by George Plimpton, p. 85

„The explorers of the past were great men and we should honour them. But let us not forget that their spirit lives on.“

— Edmund Hillary
Context: The explorers of the past were great men and we should honour them. But let us not forget that their spirit lives on. It is still not hard to find a man who will adventure for the sake of a dream or one who will search, for the pleasure of searching, not for what he may find.

„My solar plexus was tight with fear as I ploughed on. Halfway up I stopped, exhausted. I could look down 10,000 feet between my legs, and I have never felt more insecure.“

— Edmund Hillary
Context: My solar plexus was tight with fear as I ploughed on. Halfway up I stopped, exhausted. I could look down 10,000 feet between my legs, and I have never felt more insecure. Anxiously I waved Tenzing up to me. High Adventure : The True Story of the First Ascent of Everest (1955)

„I didn't worry about getting Tenzing to take a photograph of me — as far as I knew, he had never taken a photograph before, and the summit of Everest was hardly the place to show him how.“

— Edmund Hillary
Context: Tenzing had been waiting patiently, but now, at my request, he unfurled the flags wrapped around his ice–axe and standing at the summit, held them above his head. Clad in all his bulky equipment and with the flags flapping furiously in the wind, he made a dramatic picture, and the thought drifted through my mind that this photograph should be a good one if it came out at all. I didn't worry about getting Tenzing to take a photograph of me — as far as I knew, he had never taken a photograph before, and the summit of Everest was hardly the place to show him how. On the photograph of Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay at the summit of Everest, in "Adventure's End" in The Norton Book of Sports (1992) edited by George Plimpton, p. 86

„We didn’t know if it was humanly possible to reach the top of Mt. Everest.“

— Edmund Hillary
Context: We didn’t know if it was humanly possible to reach the top of Mt. Everest. And even using oxygen as we were, if we did get to the top, we weren’t at all sure whether we wouldn’t drop dead or something of that nature.

„On my expedition there was no way that you would have left a man under a rock to die. It simply would not have happened.“

— Edmund Hillary
Context: On my expedition there was no way that you would have left a man under a rock to die. It simply would not have happened. It would have been a disaster from our point of view. There have been a number of occasions when people have been neglected and left to die and I don’t regard this as a correct philosophy. I am absolutely certain that if any member of our expedition all those years ago had been in that situation we would have made every effort. As quoted in The Tribune (India) (29 May 2006) http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060529/world.htm

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„People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.“

— Edmund Hillary
Though widely attributed to Hillary on the internet, this appears to have originated as a quote about him in a Rolex advertisement.

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„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.“

— Edmund Hillary
As quoted in "Sir Edmund Hillary, a Pioneering Conquerer of Everest, Dies at 88" in The New York Times (online edition) (10 January 2008) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/10/world/asia/11cnd-hillary.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=all

„Better if he had said something natural like, "Jesus, here we are."“

— Edmund Hillary
On Neil Armstrong’s famous first words on stepping on the surface of the moon, "That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." The Sunday Times [London] (21 July 1974)

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