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Edmund Hillary's Quotes

Edmund Hillary profile photo

Born: 1919-07-20
Profession: Explorer
Nation: New Zealander
Biography of Edmund Hillary

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While on top of Everest, I looked across the valley towards the great peak Makalu and mentally worked out a route about how it could be climbed. It showed me that even though I was standing on top of the world, it wasn't the end of everything. I was still looking beyond to other interesting challenges.

Tags: End, Great, While

Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it.

Tags: Hell, Money, Science

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.

Tags: Conquer, Mountain, Ourselves

People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.

Tags: Accomplish, Become, Decide

Becoming a 'Sir' is slightly uncomfortable at first, although it is a considerable honor. It is amazing how quickly you become accustomed to it.

Tags: Amazing, Become, Honor

Human life is far more important than just getting to the top of a mountain.

Tags: Far, Human, Life

I don't know if I particularly want to be remembered for anything. I personally do not think I'm a great gift to the world. I've been very fortunate.

Tags: Fortunate, Gift, Great

I hate being called an 'icon.' I just don't like it. That's all there is to it.

Tags: Hate, Icon

I think Himalayan climbers tend to mature fairly late. I think most of the successful Himalayan climbers have ranged from 28 to just over 40, really.

Tags: Late, Mature, Successful

I think that a good mountaineer is usually a sensible mountaineer.

Tags: Good, Sensible

It's not a real adventure when you have to pay for it.

Tags: Adventure, Pay, Real

Life's a bit like mountaineering - never look down.

Tags: Bit, Life

Many people have been getting too casual about climbing Everest. I forecast a disaster many times.

Tags: Disaster, Getting, Times

Once I've decided to do something, I do usually try to carry it through to fruition.

Tags: Carry, Once, Try

The Sherpas play a very important role in most mountaineering expeditions, and in fact many of them lead along the ridges and up to the summit.

Tags: Along, Fact, Lead

There is precious little in civilization to appeal to a Yeti.

Tags: Appeal, Precious

When I was climbing, I built up a close relationship with the Sherpa people.

Tags: Built, Climbing, Close

When you're climbing at high altitudes, life can get pretty miserable.

Tags: High, Life, Pretty

Despite all I have seen and experienced, I still get the same simple thrill out of glimpsing a tiny patch of snow in a high mountain gully and feel the same urge to climb towards it.

Tags: High, Simple, Snow

I don't spend a lot of time thinking about dying, but I like to think that I've - if it did occur - that I would die peacefully and not make too much of a fuss about it.

Tags: Die, Thinking, Time

I really haven't liked the commercialization of mountaineering, particularly of Mt. Everest. By paying $65,000, you can be conducted to the summit by a couple of good guides.

Tags: Couple, Good, Liked

I think I mainly climb mountains because I get a great deal of enjoyment out of it. I never attempt to analyze these things too thoroughly, but I think that all mountaineers do get a great deal of satisfaction out of overcoming some challenge which they think is very difficult for them, or which perhaps may be a little dangerous.

Tags: Challenge, Great, May

I think the really good mountaineer is the man with the technical ability of the professional and with the enthusiasm and freshness of approach of the amateur.

Tags: Ability, Enthusiasm, Good

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Much more quotes by Edmund Hillary below the page.

I'm sure the feeling of fear, as long as you can take advantage of it and not be rendered useless by it, can make you extend yourself beyond what you would regard as your capacity. If you're afraid, the blood seems to flow freely through the veins, and you really do feel a sense of stimulation.

Tags: Fear, Feeling, Yourself

My most important projects have been the building and maintaining of schools and medical clinics for my dear friends in the Himalaya and helping restore their beautiful monasteries, too.

Tags: Beautiful, Friends, Medical

When I was 50 years old, I actually decided to draw up a list of half a dozen things that I really hadn't done very well, and I was going to make efforts to improve. One of them was skiing, and I really did become a very much better skier.

Tags: Become, Done, Old

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?

Tags: Others

Do not do to others what you would not have them do to you.

Tags: Others

He who refuses to learn deserves extinction.

Tags: Deserves, Extinction, Learn

I spoke to my agent and learned that a Hollywood scout had seen my proposal in one of the publishing houses, and had faxed it to Hollywood, where it was generating a lot of interest.

Tags: Interest, Learned, Seen

I think if I had been writing fiction, where the work is entirely dependent on the writer's creativity and the potential directions the narrative might take are infinite, I might have frozen.

Tags: Creativity, Work, Writing

I was 8 years old when I went across the street from my house to a fair, and they always had a used book sale. For a quarter I bought a book called 'Come On Seabiscuit.' I loved that book. It stayed with me all those years.

Tags: Book, Old, Used

I was starstruck and completely confused; making a film of this story hadn't even occurred to me, and I hadn't written a single line of the book yet. I had no idea how this man knew anything about my book proposal.

Tags: Book, Confused, Single

I'm looking for a way out of here. I can't have it physically, so I'm going to have it intellectually. It was a beautiful thing to ride Seabiscuit in my imagination. And it's just fantastic to be there alongside Louie as he's breaking the NCAA mile record. People at these vigorous moments in their lives - it's my way of living vicariously.

Tags: Beautiful, Here, Living

In terms of writing about horses, I fell backwards into that. I was intent on getting a Ph.D., becoming a professor, and writing on history but I got sick 14 years ago when I was 19. Getting sick derailed that plan completely.

Tags: History, Sick, Writing

It only worked for a little while; the morning after I agreed to go with Universal, an article came out in the Hollywood trade papers, and the secret was out.

Tags: After, Morning, Secret

Louie and Seabiscuit were both Californians and both on the sports pages in the 1930s. I was fascinated. When I learned about his World War II experiences, I thought, 'If this guy is still alive, I want to meet him.'

Tags: Him, Sports, War

Most people, when they hear the disease name, it's all they know about it. It sounds so mild. When I first was sick, for the first 10 years or so, I was dismissed. I was ridiculed and told I was lazy. It was a joke.

Tags: Joke, Lazy, Sick

My agent and I put out my proposal one Thursday afternoon in August, 1998. Publishers started bidding immediately, and that process progressed for a few days.

Tags: Days, Few, Put

Since signing with Universal, I have been working closely with Gary Ross, the director, producer and screenwriter. We have spent many hours on the phone, and I've been sending him information and items that have been useful to the writing process.

Tags: Him, Working, Writing

This disease leaves people bedridden. I've gone through phases where I couldn't roll over in bed. I couldn't speak. To have it called 'fatigue' is a gross misnomer.

Tags: Bed, Gone, Speak

While it's really hard to do, at the same time, I'm escaping my body, which I really want to do. I'm living someone else's life. I get very intensely into the story, into the interviews and the research. I'm experiencing things along with my subjects. I have a freedom I don't have in my physical life.

Tags: Freedom, Life, Time

I have vertigo. Vertigo makes it feel like the floor is pitching up and down. Things seem to be spinning. It's like standing on the deck of a ship in really high seas.

Tags: High, Makes, Seem

Fatigue is what we experience, but it is what a match is to an atomic bomb.

Tags: Bomb, Experience, Match

I'm attracted to subjects who overcome tremendous suffering and learn to cope emotionally with it.

Tags: Learn, Overcome, Suffering

My illness is excruciating and difficult to cope with. It takes over your entire life and causes more suffering than I can describe.

Tags: Difficult, Life, Suffering

I am disabled, so I can't travel, and I have not been to any development meetings, but Gary and the others affiliated with the film keep me updated on everything.

Tags: Keep, Others, Travel

People think I must have been turning cartwheels on the night I sealed the movie deal - which was only two days after sealing the book deal - but I was really quite terrified.

Tags: After, Book, Night

But with nonfiction, the task is very straightforward: Do the research, tell the story.

Tags: Research, Story, Tell

For 'Seabiscuit,' I interviewed 100 people I never met.

Tags: Met

I had been writing professionally since 1988.

Tags: Since, Writing

I have to detach myself completely from aspirations. I hardly ever listen to music anymore because it arouses all of this yearning in me.

Tags: Anymore, Listen, Music

I think authors can get into trouble viewing the subject matter as their turf.

Tags: Matter, Subject, Trouble

I've used a cellphone exactly twice. Things move on. The world changes. And I don't know it.

Tags: Changes, Move, Used

My work was entirely nonfiction.

Tags: Nonfiction, Work

The biggest problem has been exhaustion. I've spent about 6 of the last 14 years completely bedridden.

Tags: Exhaustion, Last, Problem

The following Wednesday, I opted to go with Random House.

Tags: Following, House, Wednesday

And at that point, I think my experience in covering the subject helped me. I think editors felt comfortable with the idea of me telling this story because I had demonstrated that I know this business pretty well.

Tags: Business, Experience, Pretty

Books on horse racing subjects have never done well, and I am told that publishers had come to think of them as the literary version of box office poison.

Tags: Books, Done, Office

For me, being a writer was never a choice. I was born one. All through my childhood I wrote short stories and stuffed them in drawers. I wrote on everything. I didn't do my homework so I could write.

Tags: Choice, Short, Write

Having a lot of people suddenly depending on me to get the job done was a marvelous motivator. The book and movie deals seemed to flip a switch in my head, and off I went.

Tags: Book, Done, Job

Honestly, I expected to get a cold reception because of my subject matter. But when editors took a look at the story I had to tell, and saw that this was not a parochial story at all, they really warmed to it.

Tags: Matter, Story, Tell

I am actually in poor health due to chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome, and my ability to work is greatly diminished right now, so I have to get better before I can start another big project.

Tags: Big, Health, Work

I got sick when I was 19, and I'd been a really healthy 19-year-old, so I don't have a lot to compare it to. Does it feel like the pain after you give birth? I don't know.

Tags: After, Give, Pain

I identified in a very deep way with the individuals I was writing about because the theme that runs through this story is of extraordinary hardship and the will to overcome it.

Tags: Deep, Story, Writing

I lived for four years in the 1930s with these individuals and the only time that I wasn't thinking about dealing with physical suffering is when I was working on this book. I've never been more alive as when I worked on this book.

Tags: Book, Thinking, Time

I look at the film as an opportunity to see some bountifully creative minds do something that I could not do - tell the story with images. I can't wait to see what they do.

Tags: Creative, Tell, Wait