A quarter of a century ago, two men stood on the summit of Mount Everest.?
AERIALS Everest Peak and South Face
GV Sir John Hunt and party returning to base (1953)
CU Sherpa Tenzing
SV Hillary and Tenzing
GV Aircraft landing in London (1953) and Hunt leads Everest party down steps (2 shots)
SV Tenzing welcomes and walking from tarmac
GV Everest party walking from tarmac
SV Hunt, Hillary and Tenzing sitting
SV newsmen and Hillary with Tenzing
CU Model of Everest and Hunt with Hillary and Tenzing (2 shots)
SV Lord Hunt walking in Snowdonia and joining Hillary and others in hillside 1978
CU Hillary and Hunt
CU Hillary listening and speaking (SOUND)
HILLARY: "Well, it's very pleasant indeed. I mean, it's a very nice experience to see all my old friends again in this beautiful location and we've talked a lot about families and what's happened over the last 25 years. In fact, the one thing we haven't talked about is the climbing of Mount Everest. I think that's really rather old stuff as far as we're concerned."
REPORTER: "But it's still very much in the imagination of the public. Tell me, how did you feel to be the first man -- or one of the first two men -- to get there. What was it like?
HILLARY: "Well, the reaction wasn't perhaps as violent as many people would expect. Certainly not as far as I was concerned. I was very much aware of the problems of getting down the mountain again, oxygen supply and these type of things. But it was a good moment and I has the feeling that when I got safely to the bottom it was going to be an even better one."
REPORTER: "It is a pity that your colleague at the time, Sherpa Tenzing, is not here with you, isn't it?"
HILLARY: "Yes it is. But he's tied up with activities in Katmandu and unfortunately couldn't come."
REPORTER: "So is he celebrating, as you're celebrating here?"
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A quarter of a century ago, two men stood on the summit of Mount Everest. Edmund -- now Sit Edmund -- and Sherpa Tenzing had realised what had always been, literally, one of man's highest ambitions. Last weekend (29 May) most of the men who made the assault on Everest were reunited on a much smaller hill in Wales.
SYNOPSIS: It was on the day that Queen Elizabeth the Second was crowned that news reached London of the conquest of Everest. Reaching 29,028 (8,880 metres) high, the summit had eluded twelve previous attempts had eluded twelve previous attempts to scale it, going back to 1921. But then, on May 29, 1953, a New Zealander and a Nepalese reached the top and earned themselves a place in history.
The assault was led by Sir John Hunt. With twelve climbers and 27 Sherpas, of whom Tenzing was one, the party made two attempts on the summit. The two men who broke through to the top were Edmund Hillary and Tenzing.
On its return to London the expedition was given a peerage, Hillary was knighted and Tenzing honoured by his own government. But, as Hunt consistently pointed out, the achievement was made possible only by teamwork and a maximum effort from all concerned during nearly two months in the Himalayas. Hunt had organised the climb with military precision. The rehearsals for the assault were the most thorough ever undertaken. Supplies of food, medical equipment and scientific exactitude. And the men who made the expedition had all been hand-picked for their skills and experience.
Some sixth people have climbed Everest since Hillary and Tenzing, but they remain synonymous with the world's highest mountain -- because they were first.
Last weekend, ten of the original party who set out in 1953 were reunited on a mountainside in Wales to mark the 25th anniversary of their achievement. Hillary, now 58, had this to say: