Have you ever wanted to climb Mount Everest? I can tell you with certainty I am not that adventurous. Good luck to those of you that are. This article will highlight some climbing facts and other interesting information about Mount Everest. Sit back and enjoy the virtual climb.

Mount Everest

According to National Geographic Mount Everest is the tallest point on earth at 29,035 feet above sea level. Mount Everest is in the Himalayan Mountain range which bisects Nepal and Tibet in what is called the Mahalangur Himal section. There are two possible climbing routes. The north and south ridge. The north is somewhat shorter, but the vast majority of the climbers use the southeast ridge which is said to be easier. to climb (https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/mount-everest) (https://www.livescience.com/23359-mount-everest.html)

Traffic jams along the summit of Mount Everest.

George Everest, the Surveyor General from India surveyed this mountain in the nineteenth century, and the mountain was named after him thanks to Andrew Waugh. There are several lesser peaks in the Himalayan Range – Lhotse at 27,040 feet, Nuptse at 25,791 feet, and Changtse at 24,803 feet. There is very little vegetation at these heights. Climber Alan Arnette likened climbing Mount Everest to trying to climb the Empire State Building. (https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/mount-everest) (https://www.livescience.com/23359-mount-everest.html)

Alan Arnette, British climber of Mount Everest.

Surveyor, George Everest.

During the 1920’s and 1930’s several groups attempted to make it to the summit from the Tibetan side. When China took over in 1951 that route was closed off. In 1922 Bill Tillman, Charles Houston, Oscar Houston, and Betsy Cowles tried to make it to the peak along a southerly route. (https://www.livescience.com/23359-mount-everest.html)

Major Bill Tillman and his team climbing Mount Everest.

Climbers George Mallory, Geoffrey Bruce, George Finch, and Charles Granville Bruce set forth to make it to the peak back in 1921. Their ascent was thwarted by an avalanche making it impossible to reach the summit. Mallory along with Andrew Irvine tried again in 1924 and died along the way. In 1999 Mallory’s body was unearthed because the ice surrounding it had melted due to climate change. (https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/mount-everest) (https://www.livescience.com/23359-mount-everest.html)

George Mallory climbing Mount Everest.

Edmund Hillary, who hailed from New Zealand, is believed to be the first to actually make the summit along with his Tibetan guide, Tenzing Norgay. That was in 1953. He and his sherpa jointly hold the record and managed to take some pictures as proof. Sherpa Nawang Gombu became the first person to reach the summit twice in 1965. He died in 2011. Yasou Kato, a Japanese climber, was the first non-sherpa person to reach the summit twice in 1973 and 1980. He died trying to again reach the summit in 1983. (https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/mount-everest) (https://www.livescience.com/23359-mount-everest.html)

Sir Edmund Hillary (left) and Tenzing Norgay (right) 1953 Everest.

Indigenous people inhabit the areas near Mount Everest. Some are called Sherpa people which translates into guide. They got their expertise from living and traversing Mount Everest and are available to all who want to attempt to make it to the peak. Most climbers believe that making this difficult climb would be impossible without the experience and guidance of the sherpa. Sherpa people have been exploited and taken out of their traditional roles in this area to assist with people who wish to make the summit. As such, they also have a very high death rate and diminishing rates of pay for their highly desirable services to climbers. (https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/mount-everest)

Thrill seekers gravitate to Mount Everest because of the danger involved in making it to the peak. It has become a very controversial and popular destination for climbers of all levels of expertise. In order to climb Mount Everest, one must be in exceptional physical condition, have experience at other mountains of various heights, and have the proper equipment to make this trek possible. It is a tremendous undertaking. The altitude alone is one of the most dangerous things about climbing this tall tall inhospitable peak.  If you have no experience in climbing at this height and you do not know the dangers of altitude sickness and even brain swelling which can plague the best of climbers beware. Therefore, climbers are required to bring bottled oxygen along with them as they climb. At around the 26,000-foot level Mount Everest is called the “death zone” because the air gets so thin. Depending on the season there can be a lot of bad weather that adds to the danger of climbing. Avalanches can and do occur with regularity and have been known to take many lives of the unsuspecting climber. (https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/mount-everest)

The prestige of climbing such a tough and unforgiving mountain has spurned a lot of popularity for climbing. Because it has become so popular there are often traffic jams along the summit. These jams have contributed to climbers staying too long at the upper altitudes and getting slammed in the “death zone” for extended periods of time. Many people who climb also leave trash along the way and this pollution is bad for this once pristine environment. Another awful site is the dead bodies strewn along the hike/climb. It is not always feasible to try to bring those bodies down once a tragedy has occurred. Thus, climbers need to be prepared for some rather gruesome sights. (https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/mount-everest) (https://www.livescience.com/23359-mount-everest.html)

Frozen bodies on the route to the summit on Mount Everest.

Over the decades Everest’s glaciers have been melting making traversing it more treacherous and less difficult. Avalanches are occurring more and more frequently. For instance, the South Col Glacier has lost 180 feet in the past twenty-five years. Innovations in technology have helped to make climbing such behemoths safer. And sometimes if you are unable to make it back down a helicopter can fly you back to safety. Nonetheless this is still a very serious and dangerous climb. (https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/mount-everest) (https://www.livescience.com/23359-mount-everest.html)

Melting glaciers on Mount Everest.



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