In 1961, Hillary began what he says is his most rewarding work. He returned to Nepal with funds to help the Sherpa people (inhabitants of the Everest region) build a school, the first in the region. He wanted to repay the Sherpas for their help on the Everest expedition. Eventually, the whole Hillary family became involved in helping the Sherpas.

But in 1975, tragedy hit. On March 31, Louise and Belinda were flying to meet Sir Edmund in the Himalayan Mountains when their plane crashed. Hillary was devastated, and mourned their death for many years.

Hillay with Sherpa People. Source:
Anne B. Keiser
Photo: Anne B. Keiser