Also in town for the anniversary was Sir Edmund Hillary, the New Zealand mountaineer who was the first person to climb Mt. Everest. He is in his eighties now, and doesn’t get around extremely well so we didn’t expect to see him. Last night when we were back at F6, we found out he was scheduled to stop at Lake Hoare today and so we hiked 4 miles over the glacier to come see him. It was unclear as to whether they would stop because it was the last event in a long day and he gets tired very easily. He even has his own doctor traveling with him. We made it to Lake Hoare in time to find out that they were indeed stopping, but only briefly. The six of us that were here brought tea and scones out to the helicopter for him, the pilot and the 5 other Kiwi DVs. It was a wonderful visit. Sir Ed stayed in the helicopter seat but shook all our hands and took a group picture with us. Everyone else got out and milled around for 20 minutes or so. I got a chance to talk to him, his son-in-law and one of the pilots that was the first to fly in Antarctica- boy was he a riot! Sir Ed has been to and worked in Antarctica before, and was actually the first to drive a Caterpillar to the South Pole! I feel pretty lucky to have met him- definitely worth the hike over, even for just 20 minutes!
Sir Edmund Hillary and the Lake Hoare crew.