WOW Facts about Mount Everest

kathmandu: Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain (above sea level) at 8,848m (29,029 ft), and once seemed insurmountable.

We've collected some interesting and amazing information about Mount Everest for your consideration. Maybe you'll consider coming to see it yourself... If so contact us.

Everest's Names
Originally Peak XV: In 1865 Peak XV was renamed in honor of the Surveyor General of India, George Everest.

Nepalese name: Sagarmatha ‘Forehead (or Goddess) of the Sky'
Tibetan name: Chomolungma ‘Mother Goddess of the Universe'
Chinese name: 珠穆朗玛峰 Zhūmùlǎngmǎ Fēng /joo-moo-lung-maa fong/

Mountain Facts
Not famous until 1856: No one knew that Everest was the highest mountain in the world until 1856, when the Great Trigonometric Survey of India established its height.

Technically NOT the tallest! Although Mount Everest is the highest mountain above sea level, Hawaii's Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain base-to-peak: 10,210m (33,500 ft), 4,205m (13,796 ft) above sea level.
A young mountain! — geologically speaking: Mt Everest is only about 60 million years old.
It rises 40cm/century! The Himalayas are being formed by uplift of the Eurasian Plate by the Indian Plate sliding underneath. Everest grows about 4mm (0.2”) a year.

Harsh Climate

View of Everest from gokyo riView of Everest from Gokyo Ri with prayer flags
The lowest temperature on the peak is -40°C (-40°F); with wind chill -60°C (-76°F)!
Coldest month: February — average -27°C (-17°F) over 7,500m
Warmest month: August — average -20°C (-4°F) over 7,500m
Snow line: From 5,300m (17,400 ft) there's snow and ice all year.

The death zone in mountaineering is above 8,000m (26,000 ft), where oxygen is insufficient to sustain human life (25% that of sea level). 844m of Everest is in the death zone.

See our Mount Everest attraction page for a weather forecast and more detail on tourism for this mountain celebrity.

Mountaineering on Everest
Two main ways up: the Southeast Ridge from Nepal (easier and more popular) and the North Ridge from Tibet, China.

Two (touristy) base camps: There are two Everest base camps (EBCs) below the snow line — Nepal-side and China-side.

Number of summit climbs: over 5,000 by over 3,000 people
Climbed yearly: The last year that no one climbed to the Everest summit was 1974.
Litter: 120+ tons, including oxygen tanks, tents, and other kit

Deaths on Summit Attempts

Death rate: about 1/15 for summit attempts (over 200 deaths; exact number unknown)
Most dangerous area on Everest: the Khumbu Ice Fall — 19+ deaths
Biggest causes of death: avalanches, followed by falls
First recorded deaths: 1922 — seven Sherpa porters killed by an avalanche on a British expedition.

Notable Summit Records

First confirmed ascent: 1953 — Edmund Hillary, NZ, and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, Nepal (Norgay had tried to summit six times previously.)
First American to summit: James Whittaker, 1963
First female ascent: 1975 — Junko Tabei (Japan)
First summit without bottled oxygen: 1978 — Reinhold Messner (Italy) and Peter Habeler (Austria), in May, 1978. Messner summited solo without bottled oxygen in 1980.
First winter ascent: February 1980 — Leszka Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki (Poland)
First trek from sea level to summit: 1990 — Tim Macartney-Snape (Australia) without bottled oxygen.

Expedition Facts
Average summit expedition cost: 30,000 USD per person including sherpas
Nepal government Everest permit cost: 10,000–25,000 USD Chinese government Everest permits cost: technically free, but a Chinese travel agency (like us) must apply for the documents.

Bottled oxygen: typically needed from 7,900m (26,000 ft), making the last 900m (3,000 ft) possible for most climbers (average 3,000 USD)

Summit expedition duration: average 2 months, including getting there and back and acclimatization
Sherpas are hired to carry kit: Sherpas are a nomadic people of eastern Nepal, who also use “Sherpa” as their last name. Usually their first name is the day of the week on which they were born. Sherpas can suffer altitude sickness like everyone else, but are less likely to.

Interesting Mount Everest Facts

► World’s Highest Mountain:Mount Everest is the highest Mountain in the world with an altitude of 8,848 m (29,029 ft). The height 8,848 m (29,029 ft) of the Mt. Everest is officially given and recognized by government of China and Nepal. They claimed that the data was the most precise and accurate one to date, basing on the highest point of rock not the snow and ice cape on the Mountain.

► Location: Mount Everest is located on the border between China’s Tibet Autonomous Region and Nepal. It lies at the south edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which is also known as Qing Zang Gaoyuan in China. Mount Everest is a part of the Great Himalayan Range stretching more than 2,500 km along China, Indian, Bhutan and Sikkim.

► Local Names: The Mount Everest is also called Qomolungma in Tibetan and Sagarmatha in Nepali.

►Climbing Routes: There are two main climbing routes on Mount Everest. One is the technically easier one form the southeast ridge in Nepal and the other is challenging one from the north ridge in Tibet.

► First climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest: Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest from the Southeast side on May 29, 1953. The time they reached on the top was at 11:30 a.m. And Tenzing later admitted that Edmund Hilary was the first one set his foot on the summit.

► First people to climb the Mount Everest without the use of suppleFacts about Mount Everestmental oxygen: Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler, on May 8, 1978

►The first solo climber: Reinhold Messner also climbed to the summit of Mount Everest through the north ridge routes, solo. He arrived the summit on Aug. 20, 1980.

►Oldest climber: Bahadur Sherchan successfully climbed Mount Everest at 76 years old on May 25, 2008

► The oldest woman to summit: Anna Czerwinska on May 22, 2000. Anna Czerwińska is a Polish mountaineer; she was the oldest woman to Summit Mount Everest at the age of 50.

► Fastest Ascent from Southeast side: Babu Chiri Sherpa was a Sherpa mountaineer from Nepal. He was a legendary guide who reached the summit of Mount Everest ten times. He spent 21 hours on the summit of Everest without auxiliary oxygen, and he made the fastest ascent of Everest in 16 hours and 56 minutes.

► Fastest Ascent (north side): Australian climber Christian Stangi was recorded to have made the fastest ascent in 2007.

► Youngest climber: On May 24, 2001, at the age of 16 years and 14 days, he became the youngest ever person to climb Mount Everest.

► The Changing Height of the Mt. Everest: According to the plate tectonics theory, the height of the Mt. Everest is adding and the tectonic of the mountain is moving northeastwards. It is suggested that the Mt. Everest is 4 mm (0.16 in) per year (upwards) and about 3-6 mm (0.12--.24 in) northeastwards per year. There are also other ideas that think the northeastwards movement is faster as 27mm (1.1in) and the Mt. Everest is not growing higher but shrinking.
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