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Edmund Hillary's Himalayan Trust

Posted by Richard Hammond at 10:52 on Friday 11 January 2008

Tributes have poured in from around the world for New Zealander Edmund Hillary (left) who has died aged 88. Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first men to climb Everest, on 29 May 1953.

New Zealand premier Helen Clark told the BBC: "He was an heroic figure who not only 'knocked off' Everest but lived a life of determination, humility and generosity".

After his ascent, Hillary championed the conservation of Everest and devoted his life to helping the Sherpas of Nepal's Khumbu region. In 1989, he created "The Himalayan Trust":http://www.himalayantrust.co.uk to provide basic infrastructure for the Sherpas to help them help themselves...

Left: Sir Edmund Hillary. Photo: World Expedition

The Himalayan Trust has been governed by 5 guiding principles:

1. To focus on basic infrastructure - Hillary wanted to give the Sherpas the basic resources to help them help themselves, so he supported projects that developed education, basic health, and forestry programmes to rejuvenate their natural resources.

2. To only do what was requested by the Sherpas - Hillary insisted that all projects originated from a specific request by a group or community of local people.

3. To involve the Sherpas themselves in the work.

4. To minimise all unnecessary costs - the Trust is staffed by volunteers.

5. Direct transfer of funds - the money would be carried direct to Nepal, originally by Hillary himself.

Patron of the Himalayan Trust is Chris Bonnington.

Tour Companies to Nepal who make donations to The Himalayan Trust include: Classic Journeys, Far Frontiers, Great Walks of the World, Himalayan Kingdoms, and World Expeditions - which each year commemorates Hillary's achievement with Everest Anniversary Treks in Nepal.

The Guardian has posted up a classic b/w video of Hillary and Tenzing celebrating their achievement in 1953 with a parade through Kathmandu. See: Sir Edmund Hillary conquers Everest.

See also: The American Himalayan Foundation.

Related articles:
Is it OK to go to Everest?
Is it OK to hire a mountain porter?

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