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Edmund Hilary and George Lowe, 1951 | by Archives New Zealand
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Edmund Hilary and George Lowe, 1951

On 29 May, 1953, Edmund Hiliary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest. New Zealander George Lowe was also a part of the 1953 British Everest Expedition party.


The photographs above show Edmund Hilary (left) and George Lowe (right). They come from a 1951 passport file that contains passport applications from the New Zealand Himalayan team.


Standing at 8,848 metres within the Himalayans, Everest is the world’s highest peak. In 1951 a New Zealand team of four travelled to India on a climbing expedition to the Garhwal Himalaya ranges. The climbing group was made up of Edmund Hillary, George Lowe, Ed Cotter and Earle Riddiford. After the climb Hilary and Riddiford were given the opportunity to join a reconnaissance expedition of Everest. Nepalese sherpa Tenzing Norgay was also part of the exploratory climb.


The passport photos come from a small and recently re-discovered set of records containing passport applications. These are mostly from well-known New Zealanders, politicians, sports people etc. They include former Prime-Minister Peter Fraser, 1952 Olympians and an All-Blacks tour squad heading to South Africa.


Archival Reference: ACGO 8333 IA1


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Material from Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga


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Uploaded on May 15, 2018