We all know that the iconic Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on the planet. An intriguing fact is that the tallest peak in the world can be climbed successfully. Yes, more than 6000 different climbers made history by scaling it. Mt. Everest holds unparalleled great satisfaction and pride in being on top of the world.
But did you know there are still some unique facts about Mount Everest that are unheard of or lesser discussed?
Indeed, Mt. Everest has some notable, oft-repeated claims, lesser-known traits, and fascinating stories. Let's check out the top 25 amazing facts about Mount Everest, which make the Everest climb one of the most challenging and iconic climbs in the world.
Geographical Facts of Mount Everest
1. History of Mount Everest Route
The history of the routes to Everest can be traced back to the early 20th century. In 1921, a British expedition led by George Mallory explored the mountain and identified potential routes, but they didn't reach the summit.
Mallory returned to Everest in 1922 with another British expedition. But once again, they were unsuccessful. It wasn't until 1953 that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mt. Everest via the South Col route, starting from Nepal. This route has since become the most popular and well-known route to the summit.
In 1960, a Chinese expedition successfully climbed Everest via the North Col route, which started from Tibet. This route is less popular due to the political situation in Tibet. Likewise, many climbers used courses like the West Ridge and the Kangshung Face. But these are considered more complex, so climbers attempt these routes less frequently.
2. Mount Everest has six different names
Sagarmatha: This is the Nepali name of Mt. Everest which literally means "Forehead of the Sky."
Chomolungma: This is the Tibetan name of Mt. Everest, which means "Goddess Mother of the World."
Qomolangma: This is the Chinese name for Mt. Everest, pronounced similarly to the Tibetan name, and means "Goddess Mother of the Mountains."
Peak XV: In the 19 century, British Surveyors named Mt. Everest as Peak XV before it was officially named.
Jomolungma: Sherpa people of Nepal called Mt. Everest Jomolungma
Mount Everest: This is the English Name for the mountain, named after Sir George Everest, a British surveyor responsible for mapping much of the Himalayas in the 19th century.
3. What is the age of Mount Everest?
One fun fact about Mount Everest is that it is almost 60 million years old. It was formed during the Cenozoic Era due to the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates colliding and pushing against each other, causing the Himalayan Mountain range to rise. However, the actual age of the rock formations that make up Mt. Everest may vary, as they have been subjected to various geological processes over the years.
4. Where is Mount Everest located?
Mount Everest lies in the Himalayan Mountain range on the border between Nepal and Tibet. The mountain is situated in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas and is part of the greater Himalayan range. The coordinates for the summit of Mt. Everest are approximately 27.9881° N, 86.9253°E.
5. Why does Mount Everest continue to grow taller?
The height of Mount Everest is changing due to various geological and natural factors. The increase in height is attributed to multiple geological factors like tectonic plate movements and the ongoing collision between the Indian and Eurasian continental plates. In addition, natural elements such as snow accumulation, erosion, and melting glaciers can also affect the peak's height.
In 2020, a team of Nepali surveyors and international experts measured the height of the peak. They said it had increased by 86 centimeters (2.8 feet) since the last measurement in 2005. The size of the mountain is still changing due to tectonic activity. The new height of Everest is 8848.86 meters (29031.7 feet).
6. Mount Everest is not the Earth's Tallest Mountain
Mount Everest is widely considered the tallest mountain in the world based on its height above sea level, which is 29,031.7 feet (8,848.86 meters). However, if measured from base to summit, Mount Everest is not the tallest mountain in the world. The title belongs to Mauna Kea, a Hawaii volcano measuring 33,474 feet (10,203 meters) from its underwater base to its summit. However, only about 19,796 feet (4,205 meters) of Mauna Kea's height is above sea level.
7. Did you know the top of Mount Everest is not the farthest point from the earth's center?
Due to the planet's shape and rotation, it is the highest point of Earth above sea level but not the farthest point from the Earth's center. The distance from the earth's center to the summit of Everest is approximately 6,380 kilometers (3,965 miles). In comparison, the distance from the Earth's center to the point on the planet closest to outer space (known as the center) is about 6,357 kilometers (3,950 miles).
This means that the summit is about 21 kilometers (13 miles) closer to outer space than the point on the Earth's surface closest to the planet's center.
Climbing Facts about Mount Everest
8. How long does it take to climb Mount Everest?
The duration of an Everest climb can vary depending on the route and the climber's experience and fitness level. Generally, it takes about two months to complete the climb, including acclimatization and rest days. However, some experienced climbers may attempt to summit in a shorter period, while others take longer.
9. How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?
The cost of climbing Everest can vary greatly depending on different factors, such as the route, the number of support staff, the quality of equipment, the length of the expedition, and the climbers' experience level. Generally, the cost ranges from $ 30,000 to $100,000 per person. However, it's important to note that some expeditions cost well over $100,000, depending on the required support and customization.
You must pay a permit cost of $11,000 per climber to the Government of Nepal. The rest of the price includes permits, guide and porter fees, food and accommodation, transportation, equipment, training, insurance, and travel expenses, which can add up to several thousand dollars.
10. Preparation for climbing Mount Everest
Preparing for an Everest climb is a long and arduous process that typically takes several months or even years. Here are some key steps in preparing for an Everest climb:
Physical Conditioning: Climbing Everest requires a high level of physical fitness. Climbers must be in excellent cardiovascular shape and have strong legs and core muscles. Many climbers will spend several months training and conditioning their bodies for the climb.
Altitude acclimatization: Climbing at high altitudes can be dangerous due to the lack of oxygen. Therefore, climbers must acclimate their bodies to the thin air at high altitudes. This typically involves spending several weeks at a high altitude, gradually increasing the altitude to allow the body to adapt.
Technical Training: Climbing Everest requires various technical skills, including using ice axes, crampons, ropes, and harnesses. Climbers need to be proficient in these skills and have experience climbing on steep and icy terrain.
Gear and equipment: Climbers need the right gear and equipment for the climb, including warm clothing, a down jacket, a sleeping bag, a tent, and a range of other items.
Mental Preparation: Climbers must have a strong mindset to deal with the physical demands of climbing at high altitudes, the extreme weather conditions, the isolation, and the potential risk involved. Mental preparation consists in developing strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety, building mental toughness and resilience, visualizing success, and setting realistic goals.
11. Have you heard about the "two o'clock rule" on Everest?
The "two o'clock rule" on Mount Everest is a safety guideline that advises climbers to turn back from the summit no later than 2 PM to ensure a safe descent before nightfall. This guideline is based on the fact that weather conditions on Everest tend to be more stable in the morning, with high winds and storms more likely to occur in the afternoon.
12. What is the best time to climb Mount Everest?
The best time to climb Mount Everest is during the pre-monsoon season, i.e., late April to early June. The weather is generally more stable, with less precipitation and wind. Additionally, there is usually a higher chance of clear skies and good visibility during this period, essential for a safe and successful summit attempt. Also, within the pre-monsoon season, the best summit window falls in mid-May when the winds are calm, and the weather is more favorable. So, this time is when most expeditions aim to make their summit push.
13. How many people have climbed Mount Everest till 2023?
According to the Himalayan Database, it is estimated that approximately 6338 people have successfully climbed Mount Everest till January 2023. Since 1953, after the first climbers, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the top, there have been more than 11,300 summit ascents.
14. Has Mount Everest been climbed in winter?
Yes, Mount Everest has been climbed in winter. A Polish team made Everest's first successful winter ascent on February 17, 1980. The group consisted of Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy. They climbed the summit via the standard South Col route.
Historical Climbing Facts of Mount Everest
15. List of Historical Climbing Records of Mount Everest
• First Ascent: The first successful ascent of Mt. Everest was made on May 29, 1953, by Sir Edmund Hillary (New Zealand) and Tenzing Norgay (Nepal)
• Fastest Ascent from South Side (Nepal): Nepalese Mountaineer Pema Dorje Sherpa, May 21, 2004 (8 hours and 10 minutes)
• Fastest Ascent from North Side (Tibet): Italian Climber Hans Kammerlander, May 24, 1996 (16 hours and 45 minutes)
• Older Person to Summit: Japanese Climber Yuichiro Miura, 2013 (at the age of 80 years)
• Youngest Person to Summit: Jordan Romero of the United States, 2010 (at 13 years)
• First Woman to Summit: Junko Tabei of Japan, May 16, 1975
• First Double Amputee to Summit: Chinese climber Xia Boyu, May 14, 2018 (at the age of 70)
16. List of Mount Everest climbers without supplemental oxygen, also known as "going oxygen-less"
• Reinhold Messner (Italy): He was the first to summit Everest on August 20, 1978.
• Peter Habeler (Austria): He was the second person alongside Reinhold Messner on May 8, 1978.
• Francys Arsentiev (USA): She was the first American woman to summit Mount Everest on May 22, 1998.
• Phurba Tashi Sherpa (Nepal): He holds the record for the most Everest summits without supplemental oxygen, having reached the summit seven times between 2007 and 2013.
• Ang Rita Sherpa (Nepal): He holds the record for the most Everest summits without an oxygen cylinder by a single person, having reached the summit 10 times between 1983 and 1996.
• Kilian Jornet (Spain): He summited Everest without supplemental oxygen twice in one week in 2017, setting a new record for the fastest known ascent without supplemental oxygen.
• Adrian Ballinger (USA): He summited Everest without supplemental oxygen in 2017.
17. List of Sherpas Climbers Creating Mountaineering History
• Tenzing Norgay: Frist person to reach the summit of Mount Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953.
• Kami Rita Sherpa: First person in the world to climb Mount Everest many times. He has summited Everest 26 times. This spring, he is again trying to climb Mt. Everest for a record 27 times.
• Ang Dorge Sherpa: He guided the first Indian woman to reach Everest's Summit.
• Lakhpa Sherpa: First Nepali woman to summit Mt. Everest.
• Babu Chhiri Sherpa: Longest stay of 21 hours at the summit of Everest without bottled oxygen in May 1999.
• Mingma Gyabu Sherpa: Youngest person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders. He held the Guinness World Record for "Fastest time to climb Everest and K2" within 61 days.
Mount Everest Death Facts
18. What is the death rate on Mount Everest?
According to statistics, the overall death rate on Mt. Everest is around 1.3 % meaning that for every 100 climbers who attempt to summit the mountain, around 1 or 2 will die. However, the death rate can vary significantly from year to year.
19. What is the death zone on Mount Everest?
The "death zone" is the term used to describe the high altitude above 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) on Mt. Everest. At this altitude, the air pressure and oxygen levels are so low that the human body cannot function properly. The term "death zone" was coined due to the high risk of death associated with climbing in this region. The lack of oxygen can lead to severe altitude sickness, pulmonary edema, cerebral edema, and other life-threatening conditions.
20. How many people have died on Mount Everest?
According to statistics, 309 people (199 Westerners and 110 Sherpas) died on Everest from 1924 to 2022. Of the deaths, 170 dies attempting to summit without using supplemental oxygen. While 87 died on the descent from their summit.
21. Famous Dead Bodies on Mount Everest
• Green Boots
Green Boots is the nickname given to a deceased climber whose body is visible in a limestone cave near the summit of the northeast ridge route of Mt. Everest. The climber is believed to be Tsewang Paljor, an Indian Climber who died in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. The name comes from the green climbing boots that the climber wore at the time of his death, which are still visible on his feet in the cave.
• Sleeping Beauty
This is the nickname given to the deceased climber of Francys Arsentiev, an American climber who died while attempting to summit Everest in 1988. Her body is visible on the North Face of the mountain at around 8,200 meters and is often covered in frost and snow, giving it the appearance of a "sleeping beauty."
• The German Lady
This is the nickname given to deceased German climber Hannelore Schmatz who died while descending from the summit of Everest in 1979. Her body is still visible at around 8,400 meters on the mountain's Southeast ridge and has become a landmark for climbers on the route.
Other Interesting Facts of Mount Everest
22. Did you know that a helicopter can fly to Mount Everest?
Yes, a helicopter can fly to the top of Mt. Everest, but it has been done only once. In 2005, Didier Delsalle landed a helicopter at the top of Everest. However, it's important to note that the conditions in the region can make flying challenging and potentially dangerous. The high altitude, extreme cold, unpredictable weather, and winds can make helicopter flights risky.
23. Daring couple got married on Mount Everest
Moni Mule Pati (Nepalese-Newar Mountaineer) and Pem Dorjee Sherpa married at Mount Everest's summit in 2005. Moni Mule Pati, from California, had trained for two years to climb the mountain. While Pem Dorjee Sherpa, a native of Nepal, is an experienced mountaineer who has summited Everest several times.
24. Is there any sign of life on top of Mount Everest?
At the top, the conditions are incredibly harsh, with extremely low temperatures, high winds, and low oxygen levels. Due to these conditions, it's challenging for humans to survive at the summit for an extended period without oxygen supplemental oxygen or proper equipment. Therefore, there are no permanent signs of life at the summit of Everest.
25. What view can you see from the top of Everest?
The view from the summit of Everest is glorious and provides a unique perspective on the beauty and grandeur of the natural world. Here are some things you might be able to see from the top of Everest:
• Other Mesmerizing Himalayan Peaks
You'll get a phenomenal view of the surrounding Himalayas from the summit, including Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Makalu.
• The Curvature of the Earth
From the summit of Everest, the curvature of the earth is also visible, providing a unique perspective on our planet's shape and size.
• The Tibetan Plateau
To the north of Everest, you can see the vast Tibetan Plateau, with its high-altitude desert landscapes and scattered nomadic communities.
• The Khumbu Valley
From the summit, the incredible view of Khumbu Valley stretching out below, with its winding rivers and rugged terrain network, will take your breath away.
• Glaciers and Icefalls
Many glaciers and icefalls that make up the Everest massif, including the Khumbu Icefall, are visible from the top.
• Cloud Formations
The views from the summit of Everest can be awe-inspiring on a clear day. Because of its extreme elevation, the summit of Everest is often above the clouds, offering a chance to behold incredible cloud formations and patterns.
• Sunrise and Sunset
If you're lucky enough to reach the summit of Everest at sunrise or sunset, you'll be treated to a stunning display of colors as the sunrises or sets over the Himalayan peaks.
Undoubtedly, only a few people have not heard of Mount Everest or its grandeur. Nonetheless, the more you explore, the more you'll fall in love with Mt. Everest, one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world. With these top 25 amazing facts about Mount Everest, we hope we have enlightened your curious minds. However, if you know any other interesting facts about Mount Everest we haven't covered here, please drop us a line!
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