Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal

The Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal

Sir Edmund Hillary

Schmitz and Hawley (2003)spacerFreake (2006)spacerByers (2008)spacerMacLennan (2010)spacerAng Rita (2011)spacerBisht (2013)spacerIves (2015) spacerPortocarrero (2016) spacerReinhard (2017)

The Hillary Medalists

Johan Reinhard selected for 9th Hillary Medal

American anthropologist and mountain archeologist Dr. Johan Reinhard will receive the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal at the Mountain Museum in Pokhara, Nepal on Dec. 11, 2017, in conjunction with the Mountain Festival.


Johan Reinhard

Ing. César A. Portocarrero Rodríguez has received the 8th Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal

César A. Portocarrero, a Peruvian civil engineer responsible for many of the most critical GLOF hazard mitigation projects in the Cordillera Blanca, was selected receive the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal at a ceremony in Kathmandu on Dec. 11, 2016, at the Hotel Tibet International in Boudhanath, Kathmandu.

Mr. Portocarrero also appeared as the guest of honor at an ICIMOD Knowledge Forum on December 12.


Cesar Portocarrero

Hillary Medal Sponsors

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JD Ives monographs published by the Himalayan Association for the Advancement of Science (HimAAS)

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Dr. Jack D. Ives receives Hillary Medal

Jack D. Ives, eminent montologist and Honorary Research Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University (Ottawa), has received the first Lifetime Achievement edition of the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal. The presentation took place on October 29, 2015, in Ottawa at an event hosted by the New Zealand High Commissioner to Canada.

Montology is the interdisciplinary study of all aspects of mountains, including highland-lowland linkages, and focuses particularly on mitigating and managing disasters, improving stewardship of mountain ecosystems, and sustaining mountain livelihoods and culture.

Jack Ives had a distinguished career as a geomorphologist and glaciologist before broadening his interests to include areas usually associated with human geography, development and other fields. Early research focused on the onset of glaciation and dynamics of glacial movement, avalanche mapping, and impact of cloud seeding. Later projects have ranged from the development of community-based trekking tourism in Lijiang (Yunnan Province, China) to the first scientific study of Glacial Lake Outbreak Floods (GLOFs) and the initiation of efforts to reduce those hazards as well to mitigate the economic disruption of exaggerated claims regarding assumed imminent disasters. More

Jack D. Ives, winner of 2015 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Lifetime Achievement Medal

2013 Hillary Medal awarded to
Dr. Harshwanti Bisht

Professor of economics, and conservationist, and mountaineer Dr. Harshwanti Bisht has been selected to receive the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal. According to Dr. Beau Beza, Program Director in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the award is presented "for remarkable service in the conservation of culture and nature in mountainous regions. The medal both recognizes Sir Edmund Hillary's own service on behalf of mountain people and their environment and also encourages the continuing emulation of his example."

In 1981 Harshwanti Bisht, Rekha Sharma and Chandra Prabha Aitwal were the first three women to summit the main peak of Nanda Devi (7,816m). Bisht was also a member of the Indian expedition to Mt. Everest, in 1984. However, as Beza points out, the Hillary Medal is awarded for philanthropic achievements, not for sports achievements. More

Harshvanti Bisht, winner of 2013 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal

2011 Hillary Medal goes to
Ang Rita Sherpa

Ang Rita Sherpa, Senior Program Manager for The Mountain Institute, received the 2011 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal in the course of festivities for the Khumjung School Jubilee Celebration in Sagarmatha National Park on May 29, 2011. Mr. Sherpa has dedicated his career to the management of remote mountainous protected areas. His focus has been on conserving ecosystems while expanding sustainable livelihoods for mountain communities. [ More ]

Ang Rita Sherpa

Scott MacLennan wins 2010 Hillary Medal

Scott MacLennan, founder and Executive Director of The Mountain Fund, was presented with the 2010 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal at a dinner hosted by the RMIT University on November 17. MacLennan's projects in Nepal include school for HIV-affected children, two clinics and a training hospital as well as the rehabilitation of two monasteries and the staffing of a public school. He has also set up voluntourism programs and mentored new NGOs around the world. More

Scott MacLennan

The first Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal was awarded in May 2003 to Michael Schmitz and Helen Cawley, jointly, for their work on keystone cultural and ecological projects in the Solu-Khumbu districts of Nepal, including the restoration of Tengboche Monastery. More

The 2006 Hillary Medal was awarded to Dr. Alton C. Byers for his outstanding achievements in applied conservation research in the Mt. Everest (Nepal), Makalu-Barun (Nepal), and Huascarán (Peru) national parks. In 2007, he established the Alpine Conservation Partnership Project with the American Alpine Club, which, in collaboration with local communities, is now actively protecting and restoring alpine ecosystems in all three of these areas. More

In 2008 British national Mr. Anthony "Papa Tony" Freake received the Hillary Medal for his humanitarian and development efforts in Phortse, Nepal, over a span of twenty years. More

2003 Hillary Medalists Cawley and Schmitz
2006 Hillary Medalist Alton Byers 2008 Hillary Medalist Tony Freake
Top: Cawley and Schmitz (2003)
Above left: Byers (2006). Above right: Freake (2008)
Schmitz and Hawley (2003)spacerFreake (2006)spacerByers (2008)spacerMacLennan (2010)spacerAng Rita (2011)spacerBisht (2013)spacerIves (2015) spacerPortocarrero (2016) spacerReinhard (2017)

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