by Anura Guruge
From “Tenzin’s” 1958 book, which I have also had most of my life.
I am very familiar with this picture. From John Hunt’s book (above).
With the iconic photograph, shown at top, you can’t really tell who is under all that protective gear. So, it is easy to kind of think it is Hillary. It is NOT. It is Tenzing. The captions clearly state that. It is just that we tend to ind of forget that.
I was listening to this book (which is outstanding), i.e., Napoleon’s Hemorrhoids: And Other Small Events that Changed History, when this was mentioned, viz., there is NO photograph of Hillary at the summit. Just of Tenzing. I had to come home & check — twice. Wow.
Hillary has explained why there is no photo & it is quite amazing & amusing. Tenzing had never used a camera & ‘the summit of Everest was no place to give him his first lesson’! Classic. A beauty.
We even now know, decades later, that Tenzing leading, so he was the first of the two to step on to the summit. I love this stuff.
Hope you found this interesting.