Sir Edmund Hillary RIP

From the Foreword of his autobiography, 'Nothing Venture, Nothing Win'

The heoes I admired in my youth seemed to possess abilities and virtues beyond the grasp of ordinary men. My desire to emulate them was very great but I never succeeded in approaching their high standards. Fearful at heart in moments of danger, I found it difficult to produce the calm courage of the heroic mould. Having a certain rude strength, I lacked the quickness of hand and eye of the natural athelete. Well meaning enough and with a desire to help, I made few sacrifices in noble causes.
I discovered that even the mediocre can have adventures and even the fearful can achieve. In a sense fear became a friend - I hated it at the time but it added spice to the challenge and satisfaction to the conquest. I envied those who in success clung to a measure of peace and tranquillity - I was always too restless and life was a constant battle against boredom. But the compensations have been great - certainly more than I deserve. I had the world lie beneath my clumsy boots and saw the red sun slip over the horizon after the dark Antarctic winter. I have been given more than my fair share of excitement, beauty, laughter and friendship.

Fairwell to a true gentleman. Sir Edmund Hillary 1919 - 2008
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