Episode 90: Hillary, Tenzing reach summit of Mount Everest
Today marks the 62nd anniversary of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest.
Here are some things you may not have known about the expedition:
First: The 1953 British expedition was under tremendous pressure to succeed. The French and Swiss had received approval to try to climb Everest in 1954 and 1955, respectively. The next opportunity for the British would have been 1956 at the earliest.
Second: Edmund Hillary did not command the expedition. In fact, he wasn’t even on the expedition leader’s first choice of teams to attempt the summit. Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans reached the south summit, about 300 feet short of the ultimate summit on May 26.
Third: Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit at 11:30 a.m. and buried some candy and a cross in the snow. The news was relayed by coded telegraph, which reached London on June 2, the morning of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.
Our question: What is the second-tallest mountain in the world?
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