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Everest Mountaineer George Lowe Dies at 89

In this August 8, 1953 file photo, Sir Edmund Hillary, left, and his fellow New Zealander George Lowe, are welcomed home to New Zealand following their arrival by air at Auckland.
George Lowe, the last surviving climber from the team that made the first successful ascent of Mount Everest, has died at age 89.

Family members say Lowe passed away on Wednesday in the town of Ripley, England.

In 1953, Lowe took part in an expedition aimed at climbing Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain. The expedition gained fame when two other climbers in the group, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, reached the summit on May 29, 1953.

After descending, Hillary told Lowe, "Well, George, we knocked the bastard off." The two men, friends for many years, were both from New Zealand.

The successful ascent of Mount Everest, in the Himalayas, was one of the 20th century's greatest feats of exploration.