George Lowe, Everest Pioneer

George Lowe (third from left) with Edmund Hillary (second from right) and other members of the Everest expedition in England in 1953. Photograph: AP
George Lowe (third from left) with Edmund Hillary (second from right) and other members of the Everest expedition in England in 1953. Photograph: AP

George Lowe — a member of the first team to reach the top of Mount Everest — has died.  He was 89.

New Zealand-born Lowe had been responsible for the final leg of the expedition which led to the  Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reaching the peak of the world’s highest mountain on May 29, 1953.

From the U.K. Guardian:

“He helped set up the final camp 300 metres (1,000ft) below the summit which allowed Hillary and Norgay to reach the 8,850 metre peak and mark their place in history.

Lowe was the first to meet the duo as they descended the summit and Hillary, a close friend and countryman, greeted him with the words: “Well George, we knocked the bastard off.”

Family friend and historian Dr Huw Lewis-Jones described Lowe as a ‘”gentle soul and a fine climber” whose achievements deserved wider recognition.

“George is a hero of mine. I don’t often use that word but then it is not very often that you get to meet one,” he said.”

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