Sir Edmund Hillary’s Diary – 26th May

Reaching the Summit – in Hillary’s own words

May 26.

George, Greg, Tenzing and I plus eight Sherpas (five to South Col and three Ridge men – Ang Nima, Pemba and Ang Pemba) set off for South Col. I led all way and Tenzing and I went pretty quickly. Things were going all right so we went on ahead. At 9.30 saw our first view of two ropes of two on ridge above the couloir (John away at 7 am with Da Namgyal. John on 4 litres and Da Namgyal on 4 litres. Tom and Charles a lot of trouble with closed circuit and finally away at 7.50.

Got great thrill from watching progress. Tom and Charles surged ahead but John soon stopped and dumped loads about 150ft above Swiss ridge camp – dump at about 27,350ft. Tenzing and I reached South Col in 2 ¾ hours. Saw John and Da Namgyal descending and went and met them and assisted them back to camp. John was very exhausted. The other boys duly arrived but three ridge Sherpas trailed the field by miles. Five South Col types had gone exceptionally well. Da Tenzing, Dawa Tondup (2nd time), Topke (2nd time), Ang Norbu (2nd time) Annullu (2nd time). They returned to VII at 1 pm.

Tom and Charles disappeared over South Summit – what an achievement. At 3.30 pm Tom and Charles appeared out of the mist and seemed very tired and exhausted. Tom rather disappointed at not having gone on but Charles convinced that if they had they wouldn’t have returned. They both painted gloomy pictures of the summit ridge.

It was blowing furiously and extremely miserable on the Col.”

PLAY AUDIO (for non-flash users)

Excerpt from Hillary’s expedition diary, 1953, handwritten, ring-binder style with loose leaves. Nepal. The diary is on display at Auckland Museum until 29 September 2013 - Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery on level two.

Hillary Diary May 26th

Hillary Diary May 26th

A woodspan used to cross a crevasse on a later journey

Read all diary excerpts in this series.

Auckland Museum thanks the Hillary family for their permission to reproduce these excerpts from Sir Edmund Hillary’s diary.

Visit Auckland Museum’s exhibition - From the Summit – Hillary’s Enduring Legacy, 19 April – 29 September 2013, Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery level two, free.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s Diary – 25th May

Reaching the Summit – in Hillary’s own words

May 25.

Six Sherpas with loads for Camp VII departed early. Tenzing and I on oxygen left at 9.15 and reached Camp VII at 12.30 – 3 ¼ hrs going. George and Greg with eight Sherpas went from V to VII. A beautiful afternoon at VII for a change and I made up oxygen all afternoon and made up loads. “

PLAY AUDIO (for non-flash users)

Excerpt from Hillary’s expedition diary, 1953, handwritten, ring-binder style with loose leaves. Nepal. The diary is on display at Auckland Museum until 29 September 2013 - Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery on level two.

A scene in the Himalayas on a later journey. This image is part of Sir Edmund Hillary’s personal archive at the Auckland Museum library.

Read all diary excerpts in this series.

Auckland Museum thanks the Hillary family for their permission to reproduce these excerpts from Sir Edmund Hillary’s diary.

Visit Auckland Museum’s exhibition - From the Summit – Hillary’s Enduring Legacy, 19 April – 29 September 2013, Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery level two, free.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s Diary – 24th May

Reaching the Summit – in Hillary’s own words

May 24. Self at IV

John and party left VII and went very slowly indeed to South Col. Conditions were very bad and it took them seven hours for the trip. We realised that their arduous trip would make an attack the next day impracticable. George Lowe, Greg and eight Sherpas went off to V with South Col loads.”

PLAY AUDIO (for non-flash users)

Excerpt from Hillary’s expedition diary, 1953, handwritten, ring-binder style with loose leaves. Nepal. The diary is on display at Auckland Museum until 29 September 2013 - Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery on level two.

Hillary Diary May 24th

In 1961 Ed Hillary described a walk through the foothills of the Himalayas.“It was the flowers that really made our days so wonderful. The crimson rhododendrons were in full bloom; our path clung to a hillside which was a blaze of colour in every direction.”Magnolias, azaleas, rhododendrons, daphne and primroses are just a few of the popular flowering plants which originate here and bring delight in gardens all over the world. These photographs were taken by Ed Hillary and his friends on Himalayan Trust aid expeditions to Nepal.

Read all diary excerpts in this series.

Auckland Museum thanks the Hillary family for their permission to reproduce these excerpts from Sir Edmund Hillary’s diary.

Visit Auckland Museum’s exhibition - From the Summit – Hillary’s Enduring Legacy, 19 April – 29 September 2013, Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery level two, free.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s Diary – 23rd May

Reaching the Summit – in Hillary’s own words

May 23. Self at IV

John, Tom and Charles plus Sherpas climbed to VII.”

PLAY AUDIO (for non-flash users)

Mt Everest photograph by Robyn Mulgrew. Courtesy of Auckland Museum

Read all diary excerpts in this series.

Auckland Museum thanks the Hillary family for their permission to reproduce these excerpts from Sir Edmund Hillary’s diary.

Visit Auckland Museum’s exhibition - From the Summit – Hillary’s Enduring Legacy, 19 April – 29 September 2013, Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery level two, free.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s Diary – 22nd May

Reaching the Summit – in Hillary’s own words

May 22. VII to S Col and IV

Cooking started 5am but only a cup of tea was produced by the time we departed at 8.30am. Tenzing and I were on O2 as was Charles Wylie. Tenzing and I led kicking and cutting steps. Made height quite well to top of Lhotse glacier but Sherpas were already pretty tired. The traverse took a lot of work preparing the route and the Sherpas became slower and slower. Some were lying down and obviously all very tired. Two who were in some distress Tenzing and I each took an LA cylinder (11 lbs) off their 30 lb loads. We continued making the trail and finally breasted the Lhotse ridge. Meanwhile one of the Sherpas had given up and they had taken on his load – Charles Wylie taking a 20 lb cylinder of O2. We descended to the desolate windswept South Col and dumped our loads beside the wrecks of the Swiss tents. What a place! The South Summit looks absolutely terrific from here.

Three of the hardier Sherpas led by Dawa Tondup arrived and got rid of their loads and we all returned up the slope. Tenzing and I left our excess oxygen on the col. We passed rest of Sherpas on way to col and Charles Wylie with solid load. We then plunged down across traverse picking up exhausted Sherpa on way. Ground down to Camp VII and had brief rest and drink. Then rest of us continued on down to Camp IV. A tremendous and successful day. We had put 13 loads of approx. 30 lbs on the South Col. At Camp V we passed John Hunt, Tom B, Charles Evans, Da Namgyal and Balu on their way for the first attempt on the summit.”

PLAY AUDIO (for non-flash users)

Auckland Museum thanks the Hillary family for their permission to reproduce these excerpts from Sir Edmund Hillary’s diary.

Visit Auckland Museum’s exhibition - From the Summit – Hillary’s Enduring Legacy, 19 April – 29 September 2013, Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery level two, free.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s Diary – 21st May

Reaching the Summit – in Hillary’s own words

May 21st. IV to VII

We watched eagerly from IV but to our disappointment only two figures started from Camp VII. Wilf Noyce and Analu on oxygen climbed up the Lhotse glacier, crossed the traverse and reached the South Col after some 4 ½ hours going – a fine effort. 2 ½ hours on the return. Wilf fixed a nylon line on the slopes leading down to the South Col.

Charles Wylie and his team went up to the Camp VII thus all the Sherpas were together.

We had discussed the unfortunate likelihood of no-one going on the next day and finally decided that Tenzing and I should scream up as a booster party to make sure that the Sherpas got to the South Col. We left at 12.15 on oxygen and arrived at VII at 4.30. Tenzing was invaluable and he and Charles organised all the loads in the evening ready for an early start. With 17 people in camp cooking facilities were inadequate and food and water insufficient. ”

PLAY AUDIO (for non-flash users)

Hillary Diary May 21st

Hillary Diary May 21st

This rope is some of the equipment Sir Edmund Hillary used in his early mountaineering career. After accompanying Hillary on his early adventures in the Southern Alps and Himalayas, equipment like this made its way to the Hillary family home. ‘The reality is that a lot of this gear Dad just had and we all just used it. We would all go to Ruapehu and use it. You didn’t really attach much importance to it, but you do now.’ Peter Hillary, 2011. This equipment is not featured in the From The Summit exhibition but is part of the Sir Edmund Hillary Archive held at Auckland Museum.

Auckland Museum thanks the Hillary family for their permission to reproduce these excerpts from Sir Edmund Hillary’s diary.

Visit Auckland Museum’s exhibition - From the Summit – Hillary’s Enduring Legacy, 19 April – 29 September, Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery level two, free.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s Diary – 20th May

Reaching the Summit – in Hillary’s own words

May 20th. Attack starts.

Self at IV.

Wilf Noyce with nine Sherpas went from V to VII with loads for the South Col. George, Mike and Da Tenzing only made a short sortie above VII and then returned to Camp IV not having got anywhere near the traverse.

Charles Wylie went to Camp V with another 9 Sherpas laden with South Col loads. ”

PLAY AUDIO (for non-flash users)

Excerpt from Hillary’s expedition diary, 1953, handwritten, ring-binder style with loose leaves. Nepal. The diary is on display at Auckland Museum until 29 September 2013 - Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery on level two.

A scene in the Himalayas on a later journey. This image is part of Sir Edmund Hillary’s personal archive at the Auckland Museum library.

Auckland Museum thanks the Hillary family for their permission to reproduce these excerpts from Sir Edmund Hillary’s diary.

Visit Auckland Museum’s exhibition - From the Summit – Hillary’s Enduring Legacy, 19 April – 29 September, Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery level two, free.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s Diary – 19th May

Reaching the Summit – in Hillary’s own words

May 19th.

Self at IV.

We watched Camp VII with great eagerness but no sign of activity. A strong wind blowing but this eased about 11am. John very depressed at lack of progress. George Band took lift of Sherpas to VII and returned reporting George Lowe as indicating it was too windy and cold to start.. ”

PLAY AUDIO (for non-flash users)

Excerpt from Hillary’s expedition diary, 1953, handwritten, ring-binder style with loose leaves. Nepal. The diary is on display at Auckland Museum until 29 September 2013 - Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery on level two.

Hillary Diary May 19th

Auckland Museum thanks the Hillary family for their permission to reproduce these excerpts from Sir Edmund Hillary’s diary.

Visit Auckland Museum’s exhibition - From the Summit – Hillary’s Enduring Legacy, 19 April – 29 September, Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery level two, free.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s Diary – 18th May

Reaching the Summit – in Hillary’s own words

May 18th.

Self at IV.

George, Mike and Da Tenzing went for a short distance above seven and then returned to Camp.  Apparently windy and cold but it seemed to us at IV that there was a certain lack of drive.  Tom B took up a lift of Sherpas to Camp VII and seemed to be going well. ”

PLAY AUDIO (for non-flash users)

Excerpt from Hillary’s expedition diary, 1953, handwritten, ring-binder style with loose leaves. Nepal. The diary is on display at Auckland Museum until 29 September 2013 - Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery on level two.

A scene in the Himalayas on a later journey. This image is part of Sir Edmund Hillary’s personal archive at the Auckland Museum library.

Auckland Museum thanks the Hillary family for their permission to reproduce these excerpts from Sir Edmund Hillary’s diary.

Visit Auckland Museum’s exhibition - From the Summit – Hillary’s Enduring Legacy, 19 April – 29 September, Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery level two, free.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s Diary – 17th May

Reaching the Summit – in Hillary’s own words

May 17th.

Self at IV.

Party of Sherpas led by Charles Evans and Mike Ward set off from V. Charles was ill and returned. Remainder continued on up to VI where changed loads. Wilf and George had gone on up to VII and did a short reconnaissance above. Sherpas packed loads up to VII. Wilf then returned with Sherpas and Mike Ward stayed with George and Da Tenzing.

PLAY AUDIO (for non-flash users)

Excerpt from Hillary’s expedition diary, 1953, handwritten, ring-binder style with loose leaves. Nepal. The diary is on display at Auckland Museum until 29 September 2013 - Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery on level two.

Hillary Diary May 17th

A scene in the Himalayas. Hillary took many images of the flowering trees in the mountains, and some of these can be seen in the exhibition From the Summit on at Auckland Museum.

Auckland Museum thanks the Hillary family for their permission to reproduce these excerpts from Sir Edmund Hillary’s diary.

Visit Auckland Museum’s exhibition - From the Summit – Hillary’s Enduring Legacy, 19 April – 29 September, Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery level two, free.