“A few more whacks of the ice axe and a few very weary steps and we stood on the summit.”
But starting in 2003, fifty years after the legendary expedition, Sir Ed personally signed replicas of his famous ice axe to raise funds for worthwhile causes.
The replicas were created by an Auckland-based memorabilia company who worked closely with curators at the Auckland War Memorial Museum to make sure the replicas are faithful to the original.
Alan Johnson, Director of Hillary Ice Axe Ltd, said: “In 2003, on the 50th Anniversary of Sir Edmund’s successful ascent of Mt Everest, it was an opportunity not only to commemorate the event, but also to raise funds to support Sir Edmund’s humanitarian works in Nepal.”
Over the course of several sessions starting in 2003, Sir Ed personally signed all the replica ice axes. A percentage of the profit from the sale of each framed ice axe will go towards causes that he cared about, including the Himalayan Trust.
“I had the rare pleasure of being able to sit down with Sir Edmund for an hour or two at each of the signing sessions and we’d just chat. When he spoke, it was with a passion for adventure that very few of us will ever know, and a passion for the people of Nepal who he loved and respected so much,” said Alan.
The photos and plaque in the frame can be personalised for the buyer and many of the ice axes have already been sold to charities and organisations as fundraisers.
For more information about the replica ice axes, visit www.hillaryiceaxe.com