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Hillary Peter (New Zealand)

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Hillary Peter

Hillary Peter

© Hillary Peter

Peter Hillary was born in Auckland in 1954. He is the son of Sir Edmund and Lady Louise Hillary, is married and has four children. He is an adventure travel operator and guide specialising in the Himalayas and Antarctica.

Peter Hillary also works as a professional public speaker and writer and is the author of several mountaineering and children's books. He writes magazine articles, works on outdoor equipment design and marketing for Fairydown Adventure, the same company that equipped his father and Tenzing in 1953.

Peter is a member of the American Himalayan Foundation, an organisation founded by his father to assist the local people of the Mount Everest region, where they have built and run 42 schools, hospitals and medical clinics. Since 1992, Peter has taken over 1,000 teenagers to assist with construction work on some of the American Himalayan Foundation hospitals and schools and other community projects.

Major Achievements

Over 38 mountaineering expeditions including Everest West Ridge, Makalu West Pillar, Mt Vinson, Aconcagua, Lhotse, Amadablam and Carstenz Pyramid.

  • 2003: a year of much celebration in the Hillary family. On the 29th May, 50 years ago, Sir Edmund Hillary made the historic first ascent of Mt Everest. To commemorate his father's achievement, Peter Hillary recently climbed to the summit of the world's highest mountain on a National Geographic sponsored expedition. The story of that expedition—and of the intervening years since the first climb in 1953, is retold in National Geographic's big film of the year, Surviving Everest.
  • 1995: Surviving the storm on K2, Peter Hillary turned his back on a climb of the world's second highest mountain, the notorious K2. He was just a few hundred metres from the summit. He survived, but the storm claimed the lives of seven others he'd been climbing with.
  • 1990: Peter first climbed Mount Everest, at which time he and Sir Edmund became the first father and son to have accomplished this pinnacle of adventuring achievement. They are also the first two generations of one family to have reached the South Pole overland from the Antarctic Coast. Both of them established new routes to the South Pole.
  • 1988: Landing small aircraft at the North Pole with Sir Edmund and astronaut Neil Armstrong.
  • 1986: The first ski descent of Mt Aspiring: the Matterhorn of the Southern Hemisphere.
  • 1981: The first high-altitude traverse of the Himalayan Range, 1981: a 3000 mile/5000 kms route from Mt Kanchenjunga in Sikkim through Nepal and India to K2 in Pakistan.
  • 1977: From the 'Ocean to the Sky': jetboating up the sacred Ganges river with his father in 1977, from the Sundarbunds in the Bay of Bengal to high in the Himalayas near Badrinath, where they made first ascents of Mount Nar Parbat and Mount Akash Parbat.
  • Shark frenzies in the Coral Sea: feeding and filming sharks with Ron and Valerie Taylor at the Osprey Reef 200 kms off the north Queensland coast.

Television, Film and radio

  • National Geographic documentary celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the climbing of Mt Everest, premiered April 2003.
  • The Late Show with David Letterman – In-studio interview in New York with David Letterman
  • Good Morning America – Two interviews; one live via satellite from Scott Base, Antarctica; the other an in-studio New York appearance.
  • Up Close and Personal – Feature interview with Ray Martin, Channel Nine, Australia (two appearances)
  • West Matukituki Ramble: Trekking and Climbing in New Zealand's South Island , Parts One and Two produced by Anyplace Wild for PBS
  • Sons of the Mountaineers: Trekking and Climbing in New Zealand , Parts One and Two, part of the series Anyplace Wild produced by Environmental
  • Recreation Group, Inc in Camden, Maine, aired in most states of the US on PBS during mid-1998
  • Everest Expedition video for the Australian Wool Corporation
  • The Escape programme for Channel 7, Australia, in 1987 and '88, as a programme presenter
  • The Everest Expedition film, 1987
  • The Rimo Expedition film, 1986
  • India, a personal encounter , 1986
  • Filming sharks on the Great Barrier Reef, 1985.
  • Return to Everest with the National Geographic, 1980 and 1983.
  • From the Ocean to the Sky with Sir Edmund Hillary, 1977
  • The Kaipo Wall with Sir Edmund Hillary, 1974
  • Numerous other minor documentary films and promotional films; and countless interviews for television and radio in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, including the BBC, NHK and Associated Press.

Books and Publications

  • A Sunny day in the Himalayas , Hodder & Stoughton
  • First Across The Roof Of The World, Hodder & Stoughton
  • Two Generations (with Sir Edmund Hillary), Hodder & Stoughton
  • Rimo: Mountain on the Silk, Road Hodder & Stoughton
  • Bridgit Was Bored , [children's story] Hodder & Stoughton
  • In the Name of the Father, Qantas Inflight Magazine, 1995
  • Everest Is Mighty, We Are Fragile, New York Times, 25 May, 1996
  • In the Ghost Country, Simon & Schuster, to be published in 2003
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