George Hillary

The Mountain isn’t going anywhere

Following a reconnaissance expedition to the Mount Everest region in 1950s, my grandfather famously said "I will come again and conquer you because as a mountain you can't grow, but as a human I can".

Well, nearly seventy years on, my brother and I will need to adopt this mindset.

Our plans to make an attempt on Mt. Everest this year have been postponed after our expedition was cancelled. The filming company who were set to film our expedition decided to withdraw their commitment to the project at very late notice, and subsequently the trip was cancelled.

By making an attempt on Mt. Everest, Alexander and I were set to be the third generation of Hillarys to climb on the mountain. Had we summited, the Hillary family would have joined only Tenzing Norgay’s family with three generations standing on the roof of the world.

For now, this adventure has been put on hold.

Mt. Everest requires a lot of physical and mental preparation, and after spending the last seven years completing climbs across the world with my Dad and brother, I felt as fit, strong and prepared as I ever have. The cancellation of our upcoming trip, however, demonstrated the need for an extra skill; patience and dealing with uncertainty.

Perhaps I will look back and view the cancellation of this expedition as merely a test along the road to prepare me for climbing Everest.

For now, it is time start looking toward 2021; arranging the logistics for an expedition, getting back into a good training routine, and preparing myself mentally for what will be the biggest challenge of my life.

After all, the mountain isn’t going anywhere.

George Hillary

Photographs by George and Alexander Hillary

Edmund Hillary