Death of famous mountaineer

George Lowe, a famous New Zealand mountaineer, died yesterday at the age of 89. He was born in Hastings and became a teacher. During the school holidays, he climbed in the Southern Alps where he met Edmund Hillary and they became good friends. In 1953, he was one of the climbers on the expedition to reach the summit of Mt Everest. On May 28th 1953, he set up the last camp just 300m below the summit. From this camp, Hillary and Tensing Norgay climbed to the summit the following day. They were the first climbers to reach the summit of the highest mountain in the world and return. George Lowe later made a film of this climb called the ‘Conquest of Everest’.

George Lowe worked with Hillary to set up the Himalayan Trust to build schools and hospitals for the people of Nepal. He was on the 1957/58 expedition which crossed the Antarctic by the South Pole. He made a film of this, called ‘Antarctic Crossing’.

As a young man he was extremely fit and strong. He was a model for young mountaineers. He was also a very humble man and did not want to be a celebrity.

The end of May this year will be 60 years since that first successful climb of Mt Everest. George Lowe prepared a book of photos for this celebration.

To learn more about Sir Edmund Hillary and Mt Everest, listen to August 13th 2011 and April 3rd 2008.


• expedition – an organised journey of a group of people to explore a place
• summit – highest point, the top
• conquest – victory, a win
• a Trust – a charity which raised money to help the people of Nepal
• Nepal is in the Himalayan mountains. Mt Everest is one of these mountains.
• model – an example of someone to copy
• humble – not proud
• celebrity – famous, a star

One Comments

  1. Very interresting story about the first man who reached the summit Mont- Everest in 1953.

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