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Hillary: A View from the Top - The Early Years Television – 1997 Documentary

Hillary: A View from the Top - The Early Years

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These excerpts from part one of Tom Scott’s award-winning series on the life of Edmund Hillary look at his early years. Ed reflects on his youth as a gangly Auckland Grammar student, beekeeping, and a school trip to Ruapehu that sparked a “fiery enthusiasm” for alpine adventure. Coupled with a young man’s frustration with his “miserable, uninteresting life”, this passion for the hills soon led to a solo ascent of Mt Tapue-o-uenuku as an RNZAF cadet — famously done in a weekend’s leave from Woodbourne — and a 1947 ascent of Mt Cook with his mentor Harry Ayres.

I plunged on through the cloud until I could plunge on no further and I realised that I’d reached the summit of the mountain.
– Hillary, on climbing Tapue-o-Uenuku