Peter Hillary

Mountaineer, Philanthropist, Writer & Speaker

When mountaineer Peter Hillary reached the summit of Denali in Alaska, the highest mountain in North America, and the final in his “Seven Summits” series, he was elated. It was 4 am in the morning and with windchill caused by an intensely cold wind it was minus 70 degrees C.

The Seven Summits are the highest peaks on each of the seven Continents, and to complete them is a goal of many mountaineers. For Peter Hillary though it was Mt Everest that provided the greatest challenge: the extreme altitude, the legacy of his father Sir Edmund Hillary who made the first ascent with his partner Tenzing Norgay and the incredible draw of putting everything on the line.

Peter Hillary is articulate, humorous and engaging as he relates his stories. He analyses how goals are achieved and what it takes to be successful in mountaineering expeditions where disaster could cost you your life. He relates these experiences to our ordinary lives and enjoys immersing his audiences in scenarios where they feel like they are high in the Himalayas with him and heading for the summit. Peter uses video and still photos to illustrate his presentations.

Peter’s incredible experiences include:

  • Reaching the summit of Mt Everest and becoming the first second generation climber to follow in his father’s footsteps to the highest point on earth.
  • Traveling to the North Pole with Sir Edmund Hillary and astronaut Neil Armstrong: the first man on the moon and the first man to summit the world’s highest mountain.
  • The first high-altitude traverse of the Himalayan Range: a 5000 kilometre, ten month-long journey from Sikkim through Nepal and India to Pakistan at an average altitude of over 4,000 metres, which Peter undertook with fellow mountaineers Graeme Dingle and Chewang Tashi.
  • The “best adventure of them all” was a remarkable journey with his father jetboating up the sacred Ganges River from the Bay of Bengal, across the Gangetic Plains to high in the Himalayas, watched by hundreds of thousands of enthralled Indians.
  • Shark frenzies in the Coral Sea: feeding and filming sharks with Ron and Valerie Taylor in North Queensland.
  • Survive the savage mountain – K2: Eight climbers were headed for the summit of K2, one of the world’s most treacherous mountains. Peter turned away 400m from the summit just in time to retreat as a horrifying storm hit the mountain, taking the lives of all seven of his colleagues.
  • The key to the Hillarys is that they don’t just climb mountains but they also give back to the local people living there. Collaborating with local mountain communities in the Himalayas.

Peter’s extensive mountaineering experience includes more than 50 alpine expeditions in the Himalaya, the Karakoram, New Zealand’s Southern Alps, the Andes, Antarctica and North America. He has led and been part of climbing teams on some of the world’s highest peaks, including Everest, K2, Makalu, Lhotse, Aconcagua and Vinson.

More about Peter

Peter has made countless radio and television appearances, been involved in television documentaries including two for National Geographic, authored five mountaineering books and two children’s books; written magazine articles, manufactured outdoor equipment and operates an adventure travel business specialising in the Himalayas and Antarctica.

Philanthropy: Peter is the chairperson of the Himalayan Trust that was founded by his father to assist the local people of the Mount Everest region. They have built 42 schools, hospitals and medical clinics and helped establish the Sagarmatha National Park, the park of Mt Everest. Peter is on the board to Himalayan charities in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Peter is married and has four adult children who work in travel, finance, philanthropy and law.

Peter Hillary talks about:

Climb Your Own Everest – Peter’s 10 steps to the summit of the world including: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained; Fear; Passion; and Resist the Flock Factor,

To the Ends of the Earth – The Dream, the Drive and the Dedication to the Goal. A 15 year quest that took Peter to the North Pole, the South Pole and the summit of Mt Everest.

K2: Survive … And Thrive – The story of those who died – and those who survived – on the world’s most savage mountain, K2. Because surviving is the name of the game.

Making a difference – Community programmes in the high Himalayas at the request of the local people and with their collaboration. Schools, hospitals, scholarships, environmental programmes and infrastructure development.

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