The Mystical Summit of Mount Everest
During the course of his career Sir Edmund
Hillary has explored places where no human being had gone before,
and by making the first successful accent of Mount Everest captured
the world's imagination. His achievement in successfully scaling
Mount Everest for the very first time was one of the Twentieth Century's
" The Summit"
Limited edition bronze of
29 pieces celebrating the esteemed accomplishments of Sir Edmund
Hillary show his hands holding an Ice Axe. Produced in Bronze from
life cast molds created by Raelee Frazier , Highland Studio, Denver,
Sir Edmund Hillary in Chicago with the sculpture "THE
SUMMIT" after being shown the finished art for
the first time, November 2000.
About the art and a brief history of the 1953
British Everest Expedition
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay about to leave the South
Col to establish camp IX below the south summit. May 1953
History of the 1953 British Everest Expedition
In the first half of the 20th century
expeditions to conquer Mount Everest took the form of
an international competition between the major nations of the world.
At this time in history the summit of Everest represented one of
the last of the unconquered frontiers of the planet. Reaching
Everest's pinnacle was considered to be a prize of momentous proportion.
Many had tried and failed to make the accent.
The death of the two British climbers,
Mallory and Irvine during a previous attempts in 1922 and 1924 had
proven the conquest of Everest was not only extremely difficult
but life threatening. The interest in conquering Everest had taken
on the proportions of an international competition and the British
were determined to be first to summit Everest.
In 1952 members of the Swiss
contingency had come close only to be turned back less than a thousand
vertical feet from the summit. In the same year England received
a permit from the Nation of Nepal to do a reconnaissance of the
southern approach to the mountain. The announcement of the letting
of this permit was an unprecedented diplomatic success for England
because up until this time Nepal had closed its boarders to visitors
from the European Nations.
This breakthrough in diplomacy and
the receipt of the permit caused a stir in England and set the stage
for the selection of the expeditionary force of 400 souls to conquer
Everest. Because of his reputation for mountaineering Edmund Hillary
had qualified himself to become a member of the team selected to
attempt the accent. After another party from the British contingent
had attempted to scale Everest had failed Hillary and the
Nepalese Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay were selected to make a second attempt
and finally succeeded in reaching the summit at 11:30 am May 29,
Edmund Hillary took this photograph
of Tenzing Norgay using an Ice Axe as a standard for the British
Flag as they became the first human beings to set foot on the summit
of Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth. Ironically Tensing would
be required to use this same axe to save Hillary's life during a
mishap in a crevasse field during the parties decent from the Summit.
Sir Edmund Hillary was responsible
for making most of the Mount Everest pictures taken during the ascent
therefore Hillary was also most responsible for building the archive
of Mount Everest pictures of the 1953 expeditionary force for the
british Royal Geographical Society.
Hillary's successful accent was truly a Crowning
Glory for England
The British Empire having suffered
the losses of India, Palestine and South Africa to the commonwealth
during the course of the Second World War was about to enter a new
era in the rule of the Empire. The war and post war
periods had been earmarked with sacrifice and the severe restrictions
required for the survival of what remained of the Empire. The most
significant event marking the beginning of a new era was the Coronation
of Queen Elizabeth II. As fate would have it the announcement of
Hillary's successful accent of Everest was made by the London Times
in England on the day of her Coronation June, 2, 1953.
The combination of the coronation
and the successful accent of the one of the planets last frontiers
by the British Everest Expeditionary Force helped set a positive
and forward looking atmosphere within the commonwealth. In History
the timing of an event often is as important as the event itself
and Hillary's accomplishment couldn't have come at a more opportune
moment to help set a positive tone for the next decade. As a result
the importance of Sir Edmunds accomplishment assured his continued
status within the British Empire. Edmund
was later to be Knighted by Queen Elizabeth in recognition of the
overall importance of his contributions to the British Commonwealth
Sir Edmund Hillary as Humanitarian
Sir Edmund says about himself "In
some ways I believe I epitomize the average New Zealander: I have
modest abilities, I combine these with a good deal of determination,
and I rather like to succeed."
Sir Edmund Surrounded by School Children
Sir Edmund has used his notoriety
with wisdom and grace and has continued to be a positive force
for the betterment of the Nepalese people as well as an outspoken
advocate and spokesman for environmental causes. He is the founder
and leader of several Foundations dedicated to improving the social
and physical conditions of the Nepalese people. He has succeeded
in building schools, hospitals and infrastructure vital to trade
and commerce for the Nepalese. History may eventually record
Sir Edmund's humanitarian efforts to be his most lasting and meaningful
legacy despite the monumental proportion and significance
to the human Psyche of his determination, will and physical abilities
on Mount Everest.
Sir Edmund and Lady Hillary at the presentation of the art
at "The Hillary Foundation" board meeting Chicago.
Il November 1999
Sir Edmund Hillary Signing Certificates of Authenticity for
"The Summit" in Chicago, November 1999
The Most Famous Living New Zealander
Now 86 years old,
Hillary is no longer an active mountaineer, but is still a tireless
fundraiser and worker for education and health projects in Nepal.
Hillary has been widely honored in New Zealand, England and around
the world, and is the only living New Zealander to be featured on
a bank note.
Certificate of Authenticity
Issued by Highlands Studio with each limited edition
sculpture Signed and Authenticated by the artist and Sir Edmund
DHL was our carrier of choice to ship Sir Edmund
Hillary's personal copy of "The Summit"
Books By Sir Edmund Hillary
- High adventure . 1955
- East of Everest . 1956
- No latitude for error . 1961
- High in the thin cold air . 1963
- Schoolhouse in the clouds . 1965
- Sir Edmunds Autobiography, Nothing venture, nothing win . 1975
- From the ocean to the sky . 1979
- Two generations . 1984
- The view from the summit . 1999
Visit these web sites for more Information on
Sir Edmund Hillary
Sir Edmund Hillary Biographies:
American Academy of Achievement
Follow the storied and often tragic history of climbing on Mt. Everest,
from the early years to the present day.
From the Salon writer Don George's excellent
man to match his mountain," in the `Brilliant Careers' series