Tenzing Norgay

The infamous 'Hillary Step', the final obstacle in the ascent to the summit of Everest. Photo: AFP

Plan for safety ladder on Everest's 'Hillary Step' gains support

It was the final obstacle, 12 metres of technical climbing up a near-vertical rock face which pushed Sir Edmund Hillary to the limit. Once climbed, the way to the summit of Mount Everest lay open. Now, almost exactly 60 years after the New Zealander and his rope-mate Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, stood on the highest point in the planet, a new plan has been mooted to install a ladder on the famous "Hillary Step", as the crucial pitch at nearly 8,850 metres has been known since it was first ascended. The aim is to "ease congestion".