Mt Everest, world’s highest peak, brings hundreds of adventure aspirants in a season from around the world.
If anyone asks you why do you climb Mt Everest, then pat comes the famous answer of climber George Mallory: “Because it is there!”
Nepal’s high mountains have always lured them (foreigners) since conquering the Everest is a lifelong dream for any climbers.
1) The summit of Mount Everest is 8,848 meters above sea level.
2) The first person to officially climb Mount Everest was New Zealander Edmund Hillary on the 29th of May 1953. He achieved the feat alongside Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
3) Some people believe that George Mallory and Andrew Irvine might have been the first to summit in 1924. However, it is unknown whether they died on the way up Everest or on the way back down from the top. Their story remains shrouded in mystery.
4) Mallory’s body was found in 1999, but it’s thought Irvine was carrying the camera for the ascent. To date, Irvine’s body and the camera he was carrying has never been found. If found, the history of mountaineering could be changed forever.
5) The youngest person to climb Mount Everest is Jordan Romero. He achieved the incredible feat in May 2010 at the age of just 13 years, 10 months and 10 days.
6) The oldest person to climb Mount Everest is Japan’s Yuichiro Miura. He reached the summit at the age of 80 years, and 224 days.
7) More than 296 people have died trying to climb Everest. The dead bodies on Everest, of which there are believed to be more than 200, make it the highest open grave in the world.
8) Most of the corpses on Everest remain where they died because it can require six to ten sherpas, and can cost anything between £20,000 and £55,000, to bring them back down.
9) Despite the number of deaths that have occurred on Everest over the years it is not, statistically speaking, the most dangerous mountain in the world. With a fatality-to-summit ratio of 32%, that unwanted title belongs to Annapurna with 61 deaths to 191 successful ascents.
10) The last year without a single recorded death on Everest was 1977.
11) Stats from 2017 revealed that there had been 8,306 successful ascents of Everest by 4,833 different climbers. These numbers will obviously have gone up since then but it does give an indication of how many people have summited the world’s highest mountain.
12) Nepal’s Kami Rita Sherpa has summited Mount Everest more than any other climber. He’s been to the top of the mountain an astonishing 24 times.
13) Kenton Cool has climbed Mount Everest 13 times. He’s the UK’s most successful Everest climber.
14) Everest sits on the border between Nepal and China.
15) It is named after Sir George Everest, a British surveyor and geographer who died in 1866.
16) The Nepalese call it Sagarmatha, which means “Forehead of the sky.”
17) The Tibetans call it Chomolungma, which means “Goddess Mother of Mountains.”
18) On Everest’s summit, you are breathing in a third of the amount of oxygen you would be normally.
19) Mount Everest is home to the Himalayan jumping spider. It feeds upon springtails and flies, and lives at elevations of up to 6,700 metres above sea level.
20) Everest is over 28 times taller than the Shard (London’s highest building).
21) If mountains were measured from base to summit, rather than height above sea level, then Everest would fall behind Hawaii’s Mauna Kea in the world’s tallest mountain stakes. Most of Mauna Kea is underwater, but it measures over 10,000m from top to bottom.
22) Scientists estimate that Everest is between 50 and 60 million years old.
23) Reinhold Messner cemented his place as one of Everest’s most legendary climbers when he became the first person to solo the mountain without supplementary oxygen. He achieved this in 1980.
24) Mount Everest obviously makes up part of the Seven Summits (a collection of mountains that represent the highest point on each of the world’s seven continents).
25) In May 2005, Pem Dorjee and Moni Mulepati became the first two people to get married on the summit of Mount Everest.
26) Everest is over 10 times taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The Burj Khalifa is 830 metres high and, at the time of writing, the world’s tallest building.
27) The deadliest day in Everest’s history occurred in April 2015 when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake killed 9,000 people in Nepal (22 people perished in an avalanche at Everest Base Camp).
28) The 2015 film ‘Everest’ is based on the Everest disaster of May 1996 when eight climbers got caught in a blizzard and died during attempts to descend from the summit.
29) The 1996 tragedy is also the subject of Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book ‘Into Thin Air’. Krakauer, a journalist by trade, was part of the expedition led by New Zealand mountaineer Rob Hall. Hall lost his life in the disaster and his body remains on Everest to this day, just below the South Summit.
30) The final 848 metres of Everest are situated in what mountaineering circles call the “Death Zone.” These 848 metres are above the 8,000 metres mark, a height where there’s not enough oxygen to breathe. Most of the 200-plus climbers to have perished on Everest have died in the death zone.
31) Everest actually has two base camps. The South Base Camp is in Nepal, at a height of 5,364 metres. The North Base Camp is in Tibet, at a height of 5,150 metres.
32) There are two commonly climbed routes up Everest. The South Col Route and the Northeast Ridge.
33) In the last 26,000 years, Everest has grown roughly a full mile in height. It is currently growing by about half an inch every year. This is caused by the creeping collision of the Indian and Asian plates.
34) Wind speeds on Everest can hit over 200mph.
35) At its coldest, the temperature on Everest can get as low as -60c.
36) In October 2000, Davo Karničar completed Everest’s first full ski descent.
37) In May 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind person to summit Everest.
38) In May 2017, Anshu Jamsenpa summited twice in the space of just five days.
39) In 1998, Bear Grylls achieved his childhood dream of climbing Mount Everest. He accomplished the feat 18 months after breaking three vertebrae in a parachuting accident.
40) Climbing Everest can cost anywhere between £30,000 and £50,000. The cost includes climbing permits, Sherpa hire, support team hire, transfers, international flights, government taxes, and mandatory life insurance.
41) In 1988, Jean-Marc Boivin became the first person to paraglide from the summit.
42) In 2001, Marco Siffredi became the first person to descend Everest on a snowboard (Norton Couloir). He returned to the mountain in 2002, but went missing attempting to snowboard the Hornbein Couloir.
43) Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei was the first woman to reach the summit of Everest. She achieved the feat in 1975. Tabei was also the first woman to successfully ascend all of the Seven Summits.
44) In 2011, Kenton Cool became the first person in history to send a tweet from the summit of Mount Everest. “Everest summit no 9! 1st tweet from the top of the world thanks to a weak 3G signal & the awesome Samsung Galaxy S2 handset! @samsunguk,” he wrote.
45) Decades of commercial mountaineering has led to Everest being dubbed the “world’s highest rubbish dump,” with discarded equipment, empty gas canisters, and even human poo littering the route to the summit. In a bid to combat this, the Nepalese authorities began implementing a $4,000 rubbish deposit – refunded if the climber brought down at least 8kg of waste.
46) Because of popular demand, Everest now has a problem with “human traffic jams.”
47) The oldest woman to climb Mount Everest is Tamae Watanabe. She made it to the summit on the 19th of May 2012, at the age of 73 years and 180 days.
48) The first successful winter ascent of Everest occurred in February 2017, when the Polish pair of Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy made it to the summit.
49) The first twins to climb Everest together were Tashi and Nungshi Malik in May 2013.
50) On the 25th of May 2003, just four days before the 50th anniversary of Everest’s first ascent, first climber Sir Edmund Hillary’s son Peter Hillary phoned his dad from the summit.
(with inputs from Mpora)