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Thousands of New Zealanders flocked to a charity open home on Sunday, March 1, to raise money for the Himalayan Trust.

The Auckland home of Sir Edmund Hillary is going up for auction on March 15, and members of the public were yesterday invited to view the former dwelling of the mountaineering legend.

“The house itself breathed Ed and it breathed the Himalayas,” Hillary’s biographer Pat Booth told the Sunday Star Times. “It was full of precious things, of things that were precious to him, referencing the things he had done, and the people he had met.”

Hillary – known as Sir Ed to his fellow New Zealanders – was an adventurer famous for being the first person to ascend Mt Everest in Nepal and for his humanitarian work with the Nepalese Sherpas since the 1960s. He passed away in January 2007.

People who visited the home yesterday were asked to donate a gold coin ($1 or $2 in New Zealand) to the Himalayan Trust, a non-profit organization Hillary established in 1960 to provide the basic infrastructure needs that the Sherpas of Nepal really want (education, health, forests, monastery repairs and response to natural disasters).

To view the property and for auction details go to www.bayleys.co.nz and enter the property code #360901.

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