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Quotes of the Day for 20 July 2004 – Mountains

Edmund Percival Hillary was born at Auckland, New Zealand on this day in 1919. His family moved to the smaller town of Tuakau where his father established a weekly newspaper but later turned to beekeeping. Edmund left university after two years to join his father and brother in that business but took up climbing as a hobby. He trained in the Alps, and by the time he made his first attempt at Mount Everest he had scaled eleven Himalayan peaks above 20,000 feet. He is generally credited as the first man to climb the 29,035-foot mountain, there is no evidence that George "because it's there" Mallory reached the summit before dying in his 1924 summit attempt. He was knighted shortly after the climb and has received mountains of additional honors. Sir Edmund has devoted much of his time to improving conditions for the Sherpas who serve as guides and porters on Himalayan climbs, raising funds and building twenty schools, two hospitals, and two airfields, as well as organizing to protect the fragile high-altitue environment.

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The quotes:

You never conquer a mountain. You stand on the summit a few moments; then the wind blows your footprints away.
     - Arlene Blum

Whatever the struggle, continue the climb. It may be only one step to the summit.
     - Diane Westlake

I do not ask to walk smooth paths nor bear an easy load. I pray for strength and fortitude to climb the rock strewn road. Give me such courage and I can scale the hardest peaks alone, And transform every stumbling block into a stepping stone.
     - Gale Brook Burket

You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.
     - René Daumal, 1908 - 1944

You defeated me! But you won't defeat me again! Because you have grown all you can grow ... but I am still growing!
     - Edmund Hillary, to Mount Everest


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