Mount Everest Mount Everest

  • “You feel like you’re one giant lung, as if breathing is all there is to life.”

  • “We just lay on our bellies in the snow, gasping and immobile.” [1978, first oxygenless ascent after the Hillary Step]

  • “Hey, look, don’t worry too much about me.” [Hall’s last words via satellite radio-phone to his pregnant wife in New Zealand]

  • “Wouldn’t Mallory be pleased if he knew about this.” [said while Hillary was descending in 1953]

  • “We agreed that this was going to be no ordinary climb. For the time being, Everest was rather more than a mountain.” [Hunt was the leader of the 1953 expedition]

  • “But now that I was finally here, standing on the summit of Mount Everest, I just couldn’t summon the energy to care.”

  • “We will stomp to the top with the wind in our teeth.” [1924]

  • “Because it is there.” [This was Mallory’s answer to the question: “Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest?”]

  • “The highest of the world’s mountains, it seems, has to make but a single gesture of magnificence to be the lord of all, vast in unchallenged and isolated supremacy.” [1924]

  • “I was in continual agony; I have never in my life been so tired as on the summit of Everest that day. I just sat and sat there, oblivious to everything....” [1980]