In May 1953 a 23 man expedition placed Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on the summit of the highest peak in the world. Over the course of April and May the team climbed steadily higher from the Khumbu Glacier, setting a series of nine camps as they ascended the Western Cwm. Reaching the South Col on the 26th May they experienced a treacherous night of -25ºc and a further two days pinned on the Col at Camp Nine, 7900m above sea-level. Enduring cold and altitude sickness forced a number of the team back, leaving Hillary and Norgay to ascend the upper ridge-line and summit on the 29th May.
Upon their return, a surge of public interest saw the publication of John Hunt’s ‘The Ascent of Everest’ a national lecture series and film ‘The Conquest of Everest’ gain significant acclaim and raise £100,000 in capital. From this, on the 3rd February 1955, Sir John Hunt announced the establishment of the Mount Everest Foundation, its aim to encourage the ‘exploration of the mountain regions of the Earth’.
Early supported expeditions made bold research in the Earth’s polar regions studying meteorology and glaciology and exploratory attempts in the Andes. Since then the MEF has been at the forefront of cutting edge mountaineering and science, supporting ever more ambitious objectives that have pushed the very limits of high end mountaineering and exploratory research. First ascents and new routes on Everest, Kangchenjunga, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Xixabangma, Nuptse, Kongur and the Ogre have all seen financial backing from the MEF.
Complimentary to this has been a diverse program of research that has introduced new understanding in the fields of medicine, biology, geology, glaciology and cartography. Today,
after six decades and
and New Zealand exploration, the MEF is devoted to developing and
widening the participation of remote research and mountaineering.
the next generation of climbers,
fresh research and high end ambitious mountaineering objectives at
the Earth’s most remote frontiers.
The Mount Everest Foundation is a Company Limited by Guarantee (No 543 894) and a Registered Charity (No 208206)
Registered address: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR
Patron: H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T.