21st May 2024

Edmund Hillary and the Three Poles Challenge

Sir Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary

We all know of Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand as one of the first two to climb the world’s highest summit, Mt Everest. He also had another feather on his cap: He was the first person to have reached the three extremes – Mt Everest, the North Pole and the South Pole. Thus, the Three Poles Challenge was born.

Sir Hillary and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first mountaineers to reach the Everest summit on 29 May 1953. He reached the South Pole on 4 January 1958 as part of the Commonwealth Trans-Atlantic Expedition. He then flew to the North Pole, in the year 1985, setting foot there on 6 April 1985 along with the first man to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

Three Three Poles Challenge has inspired many adventurers since then. Some of the notable achievers are

Erling Kagge (Norway) – The first man to complete the challenge on foot

Antoine de Choudens (France) – The only man to complete the challenge on foot without using supplementary oxygen while climbing Everest

Tina Sjögren (Czechslovakia) – The first woman to reach all the three poles

Masha Gordon (British/Russian) – The fastest woman to complete the challenge

Colin O’Brady (USA) – The fastest man to complete the Three Poles Challenge

Leave a Reply