29th May 1953, two people stood at the top of the world for the first time. No other human had climbed this high. They had battled the fight of their lives. Every step a battle. Every suffocating gasp for oxygen. The wind buffeted them and threw shards of ice in their faces. Both men knowing safety meant turning back. They had a job to do, to complete the agonising climb. The pair had conquered the last technical section of the ascent. A 12 metre wall of rock and ice (now called the Hillary step), which took all strength and will power to overcome. In a rare break of 50s reserves the standard handshake went out the window, with the excitement of the summit the two men bear hugged.
They took photos and waved the flags. Then they searched the area for signs of George Mallory and Andy Irvine, who’d gone missing in 1924. Hillary the left a crucifix and Tenzing left some boiled sweets. They spent 15 minutes on the roof of the world.