In 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach Mount Everest’s summit. According to National Geographic “the expedition had climbers carrying loads approaching 44 pounds apiece. Today, ultralight gear cuts significant weight from a climber’s load—often half the weight, or less, of Hillary’s pack load.”
Here are the high-tech pieces that Hilaree O’Neill, a 39-year old ski-mountaineer, will carry as she treks up the same path as Hillary and Norgay did 59 years ago.
- The North Face – Prophet 52 Backpack
- Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet
- Black Diamond Raven Ultra Ice Axe
- Smith Optics’ I/O Interchangeable Polarized Goggles
- Scarpa’s Phantom 8000 boots
- Black Diamond’s Sabretooth crampons
- Tiny handheld radios & cellphone
- Apple iPad
The article also goes on to compares today’s technology to what Edmund Hillary used.
The ice axe:
1953: Made by Claudius Simond in Chamonix, France, Hillary’s ice axe was constructed of forged steel with a European ash wood handle.
2012: Weighing just 12 ounces, the Black Diamond Raven Ultra Ice Axe (above) has a hollow aluminum shaft and a stainless steel head. It measures 20 inches in hand—about a foot shorter than Hillary’s.
See all the gear and comparisons and learn more about National Geographic’s hike of Mount Everest.