This LIFE magazine cover from July 13, 1953 features Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay as they trek through the Himalayas after completing the world's first successful climb to the summit of Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain. Their amazing climb has inspired mountaineers for decades, and this year's summer rush to climb Mount Everest has just begun.
On May 29, 1953, New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The two were fast friends, but their historic climb was muddled by international politics and jockeying for credit and supremacy.
This street banner, like most in Katmandu, singled out Sherpa Tenzing for the honors of Everest. The climbers were first officially welcomed outside of Banepa, 20 miles from the Nepalese capital. A British embassy party brought beer and sandwiches, while the Nepalese hung flowers on the heroes and sprinkled them with kumkum, a vermilion powder of rejoicing, according to LIFE.com.
In this photo from LIFE.com, Tenzing Norgay arrives in India after his historic ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. Norgay was hailed as a hero across the world, but especially in India. According to LIFE.com, an Indian newspaper raised 12,000 rupees ($2,520) to buy Tenzing a house.
In this photo, Edmund Hillary, center, and Tenzing Norgay, right, are joined by John Hunt, left. John Hunt was the British army officer charged with leading the 1953 expedition to the top of Mount Everest.
It's been 60 years since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to summit the world's tallest mountain. LIFE.com takes a look back at the pair's amazing feat. See the full gallery at LIFE.com.