The Best Edmund Hillary Quotes


What Are Your Favorite Edmund Hillary Quotes?

Everest - Nepal Side | Pixabay
Everest | Pixabay

Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (July 20, 1919 – January 11, 2008) was a New Zealand mountaineer and explorer. Hillary’s mountaineering fame came from his confirmed, first ascent of Mount Everest (29,028 ft | 8,848 m) with Tenzing Norway on May 29, 1953.

After his successful summit of Mount Everest, Hillary received numerous honors including Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and received the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal in 1953. In 1960, Hillary founded The Himalayan Trust – a non-profit dedicated to helping the Sherpa people of Nepal. In 1992, Hillary became the face on the New Zealand $5 note.

Hillary’s adventures have been retold countless times and he will live on forever as the first man to climb Mount Everest. Hiis clever and witty quotes and wise wisdom will ring true with adventurers from around the world.

Below you’ll find a selection of the best Edmund Hillary quotes:

  • It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.
  • People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.
  • Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it.
  • It’s not a real adventure when you have to pay for it.
  • I think it all comes down to motivation. If you really want to do something, you will work hard for it.
  • Life’s a bit like mountaineering – never look down.
  • When you go to the mountains, you see them and you admire them. In a sense, they give you a challenge, and you try to express that challenge by climbing them.
  • I think that a good mountaineer is usually a sensible mountaineer.
  • Despite all I have seen and experienced, I still get the same simple thrill out of glimpsing a tiny patch of snow in a high mountain gully and feel the same urge to climb towards it.
  • While on top of Everest, I looked across the valley towards the great peak Makalu and mentally worked out a route about how it could be climbed. It showed me that even though I was standing on top of the world, it wasn’t the end of everything. I was still looking beyond to other interesting challenges.
  • Good planning is important. I’ve also regarded a sense of humor as one of the most important things on a big expedition. When you’re in a difficult or dangerous situation, or when you’re depressed about the chances of success, someone who can make you laugh eases the tension.
  • I am hell-bent for the South Pole — God willing and crevasses permitting.
  • I think the whole attitude towards climbing Mount Everest has become rather horrifying. The people just want to get to the top. They don’t give a damn for anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn’t impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die.
  • I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men.
  • Adventuring can be for the ordinary person with ordinary qualities, such as I regard myself.
  • I will come again and conquer you because as a mountain you can’t grow, but as a human, I can.
  • With practice and focus, you can extend yourself far more than you ever believed possible.
  • I have discovered that even the mediocre can have adventures and even the fearful can achieve.
  • Human life is far more important than just getting to the top of a mountain.
  • There is precious little in civilization to appeal to a Yeti.
  • Well, we knocked the bastard off! (Comment to George Lowe while descending Everest)
  • I’ve always hated the danger part of climbing, and it’s great to come down again because it’s safe.
  • Once I’ve decided to do something, I do usually try to carry it through to fruition.
  • When you’re climbing at high altitudes, life can get pretty miserable.
  • Polypro wicks away the sweat. Cotton absorbs it. Ergo, cotton is for suckers.
  • No one remembers who climbed Mount Everest the second time.
  • You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things — to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.

Which of these Edmund Hillary quotes is your favorite? Did we miss any quotes that we should add to the list? Tell us in the comments below.

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