You don't have to be a hero to accomplish great things---to compete. You can just be an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.
Becoming a 'Sir' is slightly uncomfortable at first, although it is a considerable honor. It is amazing how quickly you become accustomed to it.
While on top of Everest, I looked across the valley towards the great peak Makalu and mentally worked out a route about how it could be climbed. It showed me that even though I was standing on top of the world, it wasn't the end of everything. I was still looking beyond to other interesting challenges.
Ever since the morning of May 29, 1953, when Tenzing Norgay and I became the first climbers to step onto the summit of Mount Everest, I've been called a great adventurer.
I think the really good mountaineer is the man with the technical ability of the professional and with the enthusiasm and freshness of approach of the amateur.
I think I mainly climb mountains because I get a great deal of enjoyment out of it. I never attempt to analyze these things too thoroughly, but I think that all mountaineers do get a great deal of satisfaction out of overcoming some challenge which they think is very difficult for them, or which perhaps may be a little dangerous.
I realised a little bit to my astonishment that I can give a lecture for a thousand people, and there will be this tumultuous applause, so, you know, I have the feeling well, it can't be all that bad.
Many people have been getting too casual about climbing Everest. I forecast a disaster many times.
If I wished to do something, even if I couldn't find anyone who wanted to make the effort with me, I would go out solo climbing. I did find solo climbing very challenging and a little frightening. You knew that you were completely on your own, and you had to overcome all the problems and possible dangers.
Good planning is important. I've also regarded a sense of humor as one of the most important things on a big expedition. When you're in a difficult or dangerous situation, or when you're depressed about the chances of success, someone who can make you laugh eases the tension.
No one remembers who climbed Mount Everest the second time.
I think Himalayan climbers tend to mature fairly late. I think most of the successful Himalayan climbers have ranged from 28 to just over 40, really.
I don't regard myself as a cracking good climber. I'm just strong in the back. I have a lot of enthusiasm, and I'm good on ice.
When I was climbing, I built up a close relationship with the Sherpa people.
When you're climbing at high altitudes, life can get pretty miserable.
I enjoyed climbing with other people, good friends, but I did quite a lot of solo climbing, too.
When you go to the mountains, you see them and you admire them. In a sense, they give you a challenge, and you try to express that challenge by climbing them.
I like to think of Everest as a great mountaineering challenge, and when you've got people just streaming up the mountain - well, many of them are just climbing it to get their name in the paper, really.
I've always hated the danger part of climbing, and it's great to come down again because it's safe.
Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it.