Sir Edmund Hillary: I never had a vision to climb Mt. Everest. As with everything else, it just more or less grew. I started in the New Zealand Alps and I got more competent, and I climbed harder mountains there, and I made a number of first ascents, and I had a year in the European Alps and I climbed there. Then we decided we’d like to go off to the Himalayas. Not Everest — we went off to the Indian Gahwal Himalayas and we were pretty successful. We climbed a half-a-dozen new peaks of well over 20,000 feet, and it really wasn’t until then that we read in the paper that the British had got permission to do a reconnaissance to the south side of Mt. Everest through Nepal which, up until those days, had been completely closed to foreigners. The idea that, “Gee it would be fun to go along on that reconnaissance,” certainly entered my mind, and we contacted the organizers in London and two of us were invited from that expedition to join up with the party and go into the south side of Mt. Everest. You know, it’s almost like a football team, even a team of climbers. If you’re pretty competent and if you don’t make any grave errors, once you’re in, you’re in. You’re sort of appointed next time. So on the Everest reconnaissance, we had a successful expedition. We came back next year and we had some more successful climbs, and then in ’53 we were invited to join the summit attempt. It was a growing process and a learning process. Never, in my early days, did I ever think of attempting to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.