The Hillary Legacy

Tenzing Norgay on the Summit of Everest, 29 May, 1953. Photo by Sir Edmund Hillary © Royal Geographical Society The historic feat of climbing the highest mountain in the world in 1953 made Sir Edmund Hillary and his climbing partner Tenzing Norgay household names, and mountaineering icons.  Sir Edmund had an ongoing commitment to the mountain communities of Sherpas and other mountain peoples despite difficulties of access and supply, was tireless in his efforts to improve their lives by building schools, hospitals and medical clinics.

 This is the Hillary legacy:  a "can-do" attitude, where anything can be attempted, and a willingness to give back and pitch in to do what's necessary.

Sir Edmund with his wife Louise, Lady Hillary, c. 1975Many of the Hillary clan have been involved in both adventure and philanthropy.  Ed's first wife Louise was the first fundraiser for the work in Nepal and she worked alongside him in the hills among the villages.  His brother Rex helped him build many of the schools and hospitals.  His son Peter has worked on projects in the mountains and has taken on the role of fund-raising for the Himalayan Foundations since 1990.  He has also taken over 1000 Australian and New Zealand teenagers to Nepal to trek and do work on projects for the Sherpa people.  And now the next generation of Hillarys are establishing their own connections with Nepal and the people of the Himalayas.

The Himalayan Trust is Sir Edmund Hillary’s original organisation working in the Himalayas of Nepal providing education, healthcare and environmental programmes to the mountain people. In 2020 Peter became the chairperson of the HT.

Carrying building supplies in Nepal.  All supplies need to be carried in as there is no vehicle access in the mountainous regions of Nepal

Ed Hillary working on one of the schools he established in the Mt Everest region

Peter Hillary with Jamling Tenzing on Everest






 Peter Hillary with his daughter Amelia and longtime friends Ang Dooli and Temba Sherpa in 2008.  Peter calls AngDooli his "Himalayan Aunt"