It’s always sad when one of your heroes dies. For anybody who doesn’t know, Sir Edmund Hilary passed away today at 88. Along with his sherpa Tenzeng Norgay, he was the first man to summit Mt. Everest in 1953. Growing up I always had a fascination with men like Hillary, Roald Amundsen and other great explorers. They are important to travel because they push the boundaries of the known world. Maybe that isn’t always the best thing for places that are pristine and untouched. The Wall Mart at 23,000 on Everest also known as Base Camp is an example of that, but if nothing else they inspire people’s dreams to see the world and that can’t help but bring tolerance. It should also be said that he spent much of his life after climbing helping the Sherpa’s of Nepal. As travelers we can all aspire to live up to his example.

Photo by Mariusz Kubik

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