Peter Hillary

Everest and Hillary: the mountain and the family are forever linked.  On the 29th May, 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made the historic first ascent of the highest mountain on earth, Mt Everest.  Peter Hillary was born 18 months later.

Peter grew up climbing mountains and participating in many of his father’s expeditions and projects – travelling to the North Pole, up the Ganges River in India, climbing in the Himalayas, around the United States, and helping the mountain people of Nepal.

Peter’s first summit of Everest in 1990 meant the Hillarys became the “first family” of Himalayan mountaineering with two generations of Everest climbers. They are also the first two generations of one family to have each established new routes across Antarctica to the South Pole. Peter reached the South Pole in 1999, and climbed Mt Everest for the second time in 2002 in celebration of his father’s historic first ascent with Tenzing Norgay.  The expedition is the subject of the compelling National Geographic documentary Everest: 50 Years on the Mountain.  In 2008, Peter completed the Seven Summits, the highest mountain on each of the seven continents。

Peter’s philosophy is to live life to the full.  He has led a life of high adventure since his father first took him climbing at age seven.

Peter is the author of four mountaineering books and one children’s book. His sixth book, In the Ghost Country, written with Melbourne jounalist John Elder, has received critical acclaim for its literary merit.

Peter has been involved in numerous documentaries and films for National Geographic, PBS and Outdoor Life Network, as well as interviews for television shows including The Late Show with David LettermanGood Morning America with Diane Sawyer, Ray Martin Up Close and Personal in Australia and the Charlie Rose Show in New York.  He is the author of six books including “In the Ghost Country: A Lifetime spent on the Edge” and numerous newspaper and magazine articles, including the New York Times, and the Sydney Morning Herald.  He has appeared in numerous documentaries, including the National Geographic feature, Everest: 50 Years on the Mountain.

Himalayan Foundations is also part of the Hillary tradition, and in particular, giving back to the people of the Himalayas who make all Everest expeditions possible.


Climb Your Own Everest

In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary became the first man to stand on the summit of Mt Everest, the highest point on earth. Thirty seven years later, his son Peter also stood on the summit. In this presentation, Peter Hillary shares what it took to get the first father and son to the top of the world. His 10 Steps include hilarious and spine-tingling anecdotes about his climb that will transport your audience to another world. Most importantly however, it will leave your people with a “can-do” attitude to achieving goals in their own lives.

Hillary’s 10 Steps to the Summit of the World

  1. Nothing ventured; nothing gained
    If you don’t give it a go, you will never know what you can accomplish.
  2. Challenge = uncertainty = excitement
    Every great goal is a challenge, and the outcome is always uncertain – but that is what makes life exciting!
  3. Fear makes you focus. Fear makes you thorough. A little bit of fear is good.
  4. Passion gives you the confidence and the dedication to accomplish the goal.
  5. Fun makes for a great team. Having fun together helps cement a team, and makes the goal more achievable.
  6. Make sure you have lots to live for.
    Your survival is enhanced and your life enriched by the other dimensions in your life – the people you love; the other ambitions you have. If there is only one thing that matters to you in your life, you run the risk of having nothing else to live for if you lose it.
  7. Resist the flock factor
    There is safety in numbers, and strengths too, but only when everyone is thinking for themselves and contributing to the operation.
  8. You are all you have
    You must learn to be self-reliant.
  9. Powerful experiences are what memories are made of, but you must be prepared to risk defeat.
  10. A View from the Summit
    When you reach a goal, you have completed a dream. Never stop dreaming and setting new goals.

To The End of the Earth

A 15 year quest that took Peter Hillary to the North Pole, the South Pole, and the summit of Mt Everest: the Dream, the Drive, and the Dedication to the Goal.

Peter Hillary’s extraordinary life of adventure has taken him to the very ends of the earth:

  • to the North Pole at the top of our planet
  • to the summit of Mt Everest, the highest point on earth; and, recently
  • skiing overland to the southern-most point: the South Pole in Antarctica

This trilogy took 15 years to complete. It is a testimony to the value of perseverance and to Peter’s dedication to a life of adventure. He and his father, Sir Edmund Hillary, are the first father and son to have climbed Mt Everest and to have established new routes across Antarctica to the South Pole. For the North Pole they travelled together with astronaut, Neil Armstrong , using small ski-equipped aircraft. “To the Ends of the Earth” is a presentation which takes the audience to some of the most extraordinary, the most hostile, and the most hauntingly beautiful places on the planet. It shares the true spirit of adventure and encourages us to utilise the positivity and freshness of that spirit in every aspect of our lives.


  • The Dream, The Drive, and The Dedication to the Goal
  • Turning dreams into reality
  • Persistence and Perseverance
  • The importance of the People Factor
  • Dealing with tension and conflict in the team
  • Living outside your comfort zone for long periods of time
  • Seeking out and rejoicing in the beauty of our world
  • Setting new goals once you’ve achieved the dream

K2 Crisis

The story of those who died – and those who survived – on the world’s most savage mountain, K2. Because surviving is the name of the game.

Peter Hillary was the only survivor of a group of eight climbers heading for the summit of K2 in 1995. To the other seven climbers the conditions seemed fine for a summit bid. But not for Peter. His intuition made him question going on. It was a combination of not liking the look of a bank of cloud, and something less tangible; a feeling of unease and disquiet at ascending the final slopes to the summit. The words of his father, Sir Edmund Hillary, rang in his ears: “Never be afraid to stand alone.” Peter listened to his intuition and started back down the mountain. His climbing partners were calling out to “come on up!” For a short time he wondered if he would regret his decision, if his friends were to come down in triumph from successfully reaching the summit. But after a night of terror battling a ferocious storm, Peter Hillary was the only one of the group to come off the mountain alive.

In this presentation, Peter tells the gripping and often painful story of losing his colleagues, and explores how he came to make the right decision on the day.


  • The secrets of surviving against the odds
  • Listening to your inner wisdom
  • True success is surviving to make another attempt
  • Balancing risk with caution
  • Judging the situation for yourself
  • Becoming truly self-reliant
  • Learning from your mistakes
  • Life is the story of your challenges and what you learned from them.

Uncertainty and Change

In these challenging times, the one thing we can be certain of is change! Learning to adjust and adapt to the challenge of a constantly changing outlook is an essential skill of a mountaineer.

This presentation addresses the challenge of change and looks at the attributes and attitudes required to deal with it. Peter’s speech is a series of amazing stories from Himalayan mountaineering expeditions to polar journeys in Antarctica which illustrate how change is often inevitable and it is your ability to cope with it that is the critical factor.

We must learn to refocus on a new or changed objective when the situation changes, we need to learn to effect change and we need to revel in the experience! It is your enthusiasm and your adaptability that gets you through the challenge of change … with a smile on your face!

‘Change!’ principle themes:
•    Dealing with change
•    Effecting change
•    Revelling in & thriving with change.


David Lim

Leader, 1st Singapore Mt Everest Expedition; Motivational Speaker

Li CunXin 李存信

Mao's Last Dancer

Yossi Ghinsberg

The Power to Survive