First 10 People Who Climbed Mount Everest Successfully

It is obvious that the first 10 people who climbed Mount Everest successfully had to take great risks, as they were treading a lesser known path, full of dangers. Many had failed before these 10 people attained success. Stories of related to their success inspire mountaineers even today.
ThrillSpire Staff
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2018
Quick Fact!
Tenzing Norgay had participated in a Swiss expedition led by Edouard Wyss-Dunant. In their attempt to reach the summit, Tenzing Norgay and Raymond Lambert were able to climb to a height 8,595 m. They were unable to reach the summit.
Mount Everest is the ultimate challenge for any mountaineer looking to make it big in the field of mountaineering. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first ones to conquer Mount Everest. Their success inspired many others to take up the challenge of climbing this mountain. There are two routes taken by mountaineers to climb Mount Everest. The commonly-used route is the South East Ridge. This route is followed by those who start off their journey from Nepal's side. The other route is North Col-North East Ridge. This route is followed by those who climb Everest from its northern side; The North Col-North East Ridge lies on the Chinese side of the mountain. It is relatively difficult to climb the mountain from this route. Out of the first 10 people who climbed Mount Everest successfully, only 3 have taken this route.
First 10 Summiteers of Mount Everest
Climbing Mount Everest (8,848 m) is every mountaineer's dream. Reaching the summit of this Himalayan peak requires a Herculean effort and equal amount of planning. Here is the list of first 10 summiteers to have conquered Mount Everest.
1. Sir Edmund Hillary (29th May, 1953)
Route: South East Ridge
  • The first person to climb Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary was born on 20th July, 1919 in Tuakau, New Zealand. Before climbing Everest, Edmund Hillary had climbed mountains in New Zealand and Europe (the Alps).
  • Sir Edmund Hillary was part of a British expedition led by Lord John Hunt. He reached the summit at 11:30 am in the morning.
  • He developed interest in mountaineering when he was studying in secondary school. Ascending Mount Ollivier was the first major achievement by Edmund Hillary; he climbed the mountain in 1939.
2. Tenzing Norgay Sherpa (29th May, 1953)
Route: South East Ridge
  • Tenzing Norgay was born on 29th May, 1914 in Khumbu, Nepal.
  • Norgay climbed Mount Everest on 29th May, 1953; he was part of the British expedition - the first one to taste success - that included Edmund Hillary.
  • In 1952, Tenzing Norgay and Raymond Lambert took part in a Swiss expedition (spring) led by Edouard Wyss-Dunant. During this expedition they reached a record height of 8,600 m.
  • Norgay participated in two expeditions in 1952. The second one was led by Gabriel Chevalley in autumn. Bad weather forced the team to retreat from an altitude of 8100 m.
3. Ernst Schmied (23rd May, 1956)
Route: South East Ridge
  • Ernst Schmied was part of a Swiss expedition led by Albert Eggler.
  • When he climbed Mount Everest, Schmied was closely accompanied by Jürg Marmet. The expedition witnessed no accidents at all.
  • Explosives were used for blowing-up seracs during the expedition. While on this expedition, the mountaineers crossed the crevasses with the help of wooden beams and ladders.
4. Jürg Marmet (23rd May, 1956)
Route: South East Ridge
  • Jürg Marmet was born on 14th September, 1927 in Bern, Switzerland.
  • He had climbed Mount Asgard in 1953. Marmet was a commissioned mountain guide and chemical engineer by profession.
  • During his ascent of Everest, Marmet was accompanied by Ernst Schmied. Before climbing Mount Everest, Jürg Marmet had ascended several peaks with heights ranging between 5,000 m and 6,000 m, to get acclimatized to climbing.
5. Dölf Reist (24th May 1956)
Route: South East Ridge
  • Dölf Reist was part of the Swiss expedition of which Jürg Marmet and Ernst Schmied were also the members.
  • Everest was ascended by Dölf Reist in the company of Hans Rudolf von Gunten. Their ascent came a day after the ascent of Ernst Schmied, and Jürg Marmet.
  • Dölf Reist and Hans Rudolf von Gunten reached the summit from camp 7 after a 4-hour trek. They stayed at the summit for about 2 hours.
6. Hans Rudolf von Gunten (24th May 1956)
Route: South East Ridge
  • Hans Rudolf von Gunten was part of a Swiss expedition which included Dölf Reist, Ernst Schmied and Jürg Marmet.
  • The Swiss expedition which Hans Rudolf von Gunten's was one of the members, included 10 members, including a geographer and a glaciologist.
  • Hans Rudolf von Gunten's team ascended the Lhotse Peak before going for the Everest Expedition.
7. Wang Fu-chou (25th May 1960)
Route: North Col-North East Ridge
  • Wang Fu-chou was part of a Chinese expedition led by Shih Cahn-chun.
  • The Chinese expedition was the first to successfully ascend Everest by taking the North Col-North East Ridge route.
  • Initially, the credibility of the Chinese claim to have ascended Mount Everest was questioned by Western mountaineers. Unavailability of a summit photo of the Chinese team's ascent is the reason why their claim was under scrutiny.
8. Konbu aka Gonpa (25th May 1960)
Route: North Col-North East Ridge
  • Konbu aka Gonpa was the member of Shih Cahn-chun's Chinese expedition to Mount Everest.
  • Before becoming a mountaineer, Konbu was a soldier who served in the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
  • Konbu was the first person from Tibet to summit Mount Everest.
9. Chu Ying-hua (25th May 1960)
Route: North Col-North East Ridge
  • Chu Ying-hua was part of the same Chinese team as Konbu aka Gonpa and Wang Fu-chou. This team, led by Shih Cahn-chun, consisted of Chinese and Tibetan mountaineers.
  • He was the first person from the North (Tibet-China) to climb Mount Everest.
10. Jim Whittaker (1st May 1963)
Route: South East Ridge
  • Jim Whittaker was the first American to climb Mount Everest. He was born on 10th February, 1929, in Seattle, USA.
  • Whittaker was one of the members of the American expedition led by Norman G. Dyhrenfurth.
  • In his childhood days, Jim Whittaker and his twin brother Lou would practice climbing skills on a 30-foot artificial rock.
Although it is good to see more and more people taking interest in Himalayan mountaineering expeditions, the craze of climbing Everest is also causing damage to the glaciers and fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas. It is observed that tourists litter the mountain with plastic bottles, and cut down trees to obtain firewood. In the words of Sir Edmund Hillary, "They (tourists) behave as though they are lords of the area." It important to protect the tallest peak in the world and its surroundings from human 'invasion'.