After many attempts by others, Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay finally conquered Mount Everest at 11:30 am local time on 29 May 1953. The event coincided with the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth and was a source of national pride.
Sixty years on and things are very different as you can see from this National Geographic photo taken at the summit on May 19, 2012.
In order to reach the top these days, you join a queue of climbers and wait your turn. The main danger now is running out of oxygen before getting there.
Climbers with large wallets and little experience enjoy the luxury of huge tents at the lower camps. For £50,000 you can have a group of Sherpas lay out rope to make the climb easy.
Last month a fight broke out between a group of British climbers and their sherpas. It is doubtful that the climbers even knew the names of their guides, a far cry from the time when Hilary and Norgay worked together to achieve their goal and neither would not say which one reached the summit first.
Conquering Everest may be on some people’s list of things to do before they die, it is definitely not on mine.