Friday, January 11, 2008

RIP, Sir Ed

A very, very sad day in New Zealand yesterday. The country's most revered person, Sir Edmund Hillary died, at 88. I cried. Not only has this man personified the epitome of scaling 20th century heights in being the first to summit Everest, and being one of the world's great adventurers in driving a tractor to the South Pole and jet-boating up the Ganges, but he dedicated his life to improving the lives of many Nepali. He even lost his first wife and daughter to the Nepalese mountains.

Nothing I write can give credit to Sir Ed. He leaves a huge hole in many hearts, but will live forever as the epitome of courage and fortitude and plain old good common Kiwi sense for many who know and to come.

May we all knock off our own old bugger.


Michael said...

Sad, I agree, but imagine if we could all live as inspiring and useful a life as he did - and he DID! I shamelessly used him as a role model in a 'Mountain' theme when I taught. We used his Everest climb and school building efforts in Nepal to encourage us to challenge ourselves and to 'climb' up to our dreams. We then used Lost on a Mountain in Maine to remind us that to dream big we need each other and some well-made plans if we want to see those dreams come alive.
So thank-you Sir Ed. You taught us so much. Let's all try to follow you up our respective 'mouintains'!

Silbs said...

No question, the man is a legend. I wonder how many young adults are aware of the impact this man had on our world. Not much, I fear. I know the mountain will remember him.

DaveO said...

One of the first outdoor books I read was was an account of the attempts on Everest, beginning with Mallory/Irvine and culminating with the successful Hillary/Norgay ascent. I was intrigued by the man and his humanity even before I knew for sure where New Zealand even was. RIP Sir Ed, they just don't make em' like you any more.