Edmund Hillary wanted his fight to preserve Everest to continue even after his death

January 12th, 2008 - 5:42 pm ICT by admin  

London, January 12 (ANI): Everest conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary wanted his fight against the impacts of global warming and tourism on the mountain to continue even after his death, says a former companion.

George Band, who is currently the chairman of the Sir Edmund Hillary Himalayan Trust, was the youngest member of the British-organised expedition on which Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first people to scale Everest on 29 May 1953.

“Ed (Hillary) saw what he and Tenzing achieved by climbing Everest as the beginning of his work, not the end. He led a life dedicated to public service and much of that was to preserve Everest and help continued from page three the people who rely on it for their existence. He was a nice chap who was nonetheless very driven, the Independent quoted him as saying.

“I am sure he would like that work to continue and it will. In many ways we have been successful in helping the Sherpas to improve their lives. He knew that the retreat of the glaciers was happening and presented a new challenge, even though there is nothing that a few people can do to affect climate change in one place. But he saw that what was happening on Everest was a symbol of what is happening in many, many parts of the Himalayas and beyond,” he added.

Hillary had become concerned in recent years with the piles of rubbish left by climbing parties on Everest, and the risks presented to the native population by vast lakes formed by melting glaciers as a result of climate change.

The New Zealander dedicated much of the five decades after his feat to improving the lives of the Nepalese Sherpas through his charitable trust.

Before his death, Hillary had urged people to “leave the mountain alone”. (ANI)

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