Hillary, Peter 1954–

views updated

Hillary, Peter 1954–

PERSONAL: Born December 26, 1954, in Auckland, New Zealand; son of Sir Edmund (a mountaineer) and Lady Louise (a musician; maiden name, Rose) Hillary; married; children: four. Education: Attended University of Auckland. Religion: "Physical monist."

ADDRESSES: Home—Auckland, New Zealand. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Free Press, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Mountaineer, 1972–. Commercial pilot, 1976; ski instructor in New Zealand ski areas, 1975–80; Fairydown Adventure (manufacturer of outdoor equipment), advisor; adventure travel operator; speaker. Appeared in documentary films, including Return to Everest, National Geographic, 1980 and 1983; The Rimo Expedition, 1986; The Everest Expedition, 1987; Escape, Channel 7 (Australia), 1987–88; "Sons of the Mountaineers: Trekking and Climbing in New Zealand" (two parts), Anyplace Wild (series), PBS, 1998; "West Matukituki Ramble: Trekking and Climbing in New Zealand's South Islands" (two parts), Anyplace Wild; National Geographic documentary celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the climbing of Mt. Everest, 2003. Member of Himalayan Trust, dedicated to the support of schools and hospitals for the hill people of Nepal.

MEMBER: New Zealand Alpine Club.


A Sunny Day in the Himalayas, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1980.

(With Graeme Dingle) First across the Roof of the World, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1982.

(With father, Sir Edmund Hillary) Two Generations, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1984, 1st U.S. edition published as Ascent: Two Lives Explored—The Autobiographies of Sir Edmund and Peter Hillary, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1986.

The Rimo Expedition to Central Asia, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1987.

(With John E. Elder) In the Ghost Country: A Lifetime Spent on the Edge, Free Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Author of children's book Bridgit Was Bored, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England); contributor to periodicals, including the New York Times and Quantas Inflight.

SIDELIGHTS: Peter Hillary is the son of Sir Edmund Hillary, who, with Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay, was the first person to ascend Mount Everest. In 1990, the Hillarys were the first father-and-son team to climb Everest, thirty-seven years after Sir Edmund's record-breaking feat.

Among the younger Hillary's autobiographical books is In the Ghost Country: A Lifetime Spent on the Edge, an account of his failed attempt to travel 2,000 miles on foot with two other explorers to the South Pole and return. The team was unprepared, and they blamed each other for their situation. Hillary writes of his loneliness and talking to the "ghosts" of the title, his mother and sister who were killed in a Himalayan plane crash. A Publishers Weekly contributor described In the Ghost Country as being "moving and insightful, scraping away the hubris of the adventure-book genre to examine the forces that propel explorers through godforsaken places."

Peter Hillary once told CA: "I began climbing when I was fourteen years old and was hiking and camping ever since I can remember. Climbs on New Zealand's highest peaks and Himalayan expeditions to the Lhotse, Makalu, and Everest peaks are my most important mountaineering experiences. Writing about these climbs has been an expression of my commitment to them and my enjoyment of them. I consider the books to be an honest reflection of my experiences and an insight into my personal values. My principal hope is that the stories convey a little of the charm of the Himalayas, its people, and the extraordinary adventures that exist there."



Library Journal, December, 2003, Olga B. Wise, review of In the Ghost Country: A Lifetime Spent on the Edge, p. 148.

Publishers Weekly, October 27, 2003, review of In the Ghost Country, p. 52.

Tradeshow Week, October 31, 2005, Gary Tufel, "Peter Hillary: Climb Every Mountain," p. S6.

Wilson Quarterly, winter, 2004, Rebecca A. Clay, review of In the Ghost Country, p. 134.


Peter Hillary Home Page, http://www.peterhillary.com (February 16, 2006).

About this article

Hillary, Peter 1954–

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article