Edmund Hillary

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edit Early Life


Hillary's school photo.

Edmund Hillary was born in New Zealand on the 20th of January 1919. Even from a very young age, Hillary's inability to navigate was immediately apparent. His mother, Olivia Newton Hillary, and father, Boutros Boutros-Hillary, recalled that when Edmund was four years old, he was lost for eight days attempting to walk from his bedroom to the toilet. This trip involved him traversing the Southern Alps of New Zealand, a remarkable feat of mis-navigation given that his family lived in Dargaville , at the northern end of the North Island. As a youth, Hilary attended Auckland Grammar School. In actual fact his parents had enrolled him in the Takapuna School for Boys , but Hilary had taken a number of wrong turnings on the way, and by the time he'd noticed that he was attending the wrong school he'd already sat and passed his exams.

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Edmund Hillary.

edit Ascent of Everest

Contrary to the widespread rumor, Hillary did not take part in a British expedition to conquer Mount Everest. Hillary had been living in Norway for three years after boarding the wrong plane during a planned trip to Australia. It had come to Hillary's attention that the country he was living in was characterised by snow, ice, deep fjords, and that he hadn't seen a single kangaroo the entire time that he had been there. Having spent all of his money on shiny pieces of metal and trinklets, there was no alternative to walking all the way home. During preparations for the return journey he met two friends who were to accompany him on his epic adventure. John (later Lord John) Hunt, son of the inventor of the cranberry jelly bean, and Tenzing Norgay 'Sparky' Sherpa, later famous for his experiments in holy-sh*t-it's-cold fusion. The three bonded on a trip to the local pub via an unplanned detour through Riga, Latvia.


Sherpa Tensing Norgay with the TV aerial so that Hillary could watch the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II live in 1953.

Wishing to quickly finish planning their expedition so that they could watch the Eurovision Song Contest on television, Hilary boldly took a map, and drew a dead straight line between Norway and New Zealand. The three friends then sat down to watch Eurovision, only to be disappointed to find that it would not be televised for another three years.

Following their plan, the three walked across Scandinavia, and hitched a ride across the Baltic Sea on the back of a seemingly friendly whale. (While nothing has ever been proved, it was noted that the morning after their crossing both the whale and John Hunt's Rolex watch were gone, never to be seen again.) By sticking to their planned dead straight line, the three friends made good progress across Europe and Asia until they reached the Himalayas.

Noting a large piece of snow-covered rock sticking up out of the ground in front of them, Hillary, Hunt, and Tenzing Norgay set up camp, and spent three weeks researching it. Finally, consulting the copy of The Complete Oxford Dictionary that they'd been burning to roast their marshmallows, the party concluded that this piece of rock was called a 'mountain' and being made of substances called 'granite' and 'limestone', it was unlikely that if they waited it would move on and no longer be blocking their path.

Continuing on their direct path, the party climbed the mountain. At 18,000 feat they found George Mallory hiding in a cave, who told them that if they found Sandy Irvine , could they say that Mallory was tired of this hide-and-seek, and was it OK to come out now. On the summit itself, Hillary took photographs of Norgay which Norgay later used in his ultimately successful wooing of ballerina Margot Fonteyn.


Hillary and Tensing bonding in the shadow of Everest.

Descending the other side of the mountain, Hilary met his old friend George Cole who had been attempting to bicycle between Huntly and Hamilton in New Zealand and was passing through Nepal. Hillary's widely reported comment 'Well George, we knocked the bastard off', according to Hilary's autobiography, actually concerned a Yeti who had bored the party by showing off on a snowboard.

After realising that they had climbed the highest mountain in the world, Hillary and his party intended to send a telegraph to Britain announcing the feat. Unfortunately due to confusion at the telegraph office, Hillary sent news of their feat to a Kathmandu fast food joint, while on her coronation day Queen Elizabeth II was told that Hillary, Hunt, and Norgay would like an extra-large Cheese and Tomato Pizza with all the trimmings.

edit Later Life and Death

Post their ascent of Everest, Hillary, Hunt, and Norgay failed to notice that they had arrived in New Zealand because it was a Sunday and the country was shut. They continued around the globe, and ended up back at their squat in Norway. Resolving to never travel again, Hillary took a job as a barmaid at their local pub, where he worked until his death from an acute allergic reaction to crisps.

edit Little Known Facts

Hillary Clinton is named after Edmund Hillary. Her parents hoped she would become a mountaineer or move to Nepal. She did a different sort of climbing by meeting Bill Clinton at a swanky party in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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