30+ Interesting Facts About Mount Everest

  1. Mount Everest is a mountain in the Great Himalayas. This tall mountain in southern Asia is on the border between Nepal and Tibet, an autonomous region of China.
  2. Mount Everest is the highest mountain above sea level, having an altitude of 8,848 m (29,029 ft.). However, the tallest mountain on Earth is Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Its summit is 10,210 m (33,500 ft.) high, but its large portion is beneath the Pacific Ocean. The highest point above Earth’s center is the peak of Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador. It is due to this mountain’s location where the Earth’s bulge is the greatest. (Source)
  3. Mount Everest was recognized as the highest point on the surface of Earth in 1852. Its initial name was Peak XV, but was later renamed in 1865 to honor Sir George Everest, who remained the surveyor general of India from 1930-43. There are other names for this mountain in local languages: Nepalese and Tibetan.
  4. There are a total of 17 routes to climb Mount Everest. However, the main routes are Southeast Ridge (Nepal) and North Ridge (Tibet). The years for the initial ascent from these routes are respectively 1953 and 1960.
  5. The first disputed ascent on Mount Everest occurred during a 1924 expedition when two British climbers lost their lives after possibly reaching the summit. Research shows that their death was the result of a powerful storm. A storm of a similar strength caused the death of 8 climbers on the mountain in 1996. (Source)
  6. Edmund Hillary (a New Zealander) and Tenzing Norgay (a Nepali Sherpa) climbed Mount Everest for the first time in 1953. Reinhold Messner (an Italian) and Peter Habeler (an Austrian) completed the first oxygenless ascent of Everest in 1978. Messner was also the first to climb Everest solo without oxygen in 1980. Two Swiss mountaineers initially climbed Everest from the north face without oxygen and ropes in 1986. (Source)
  7. The height of Mount Everest changes due to the movement of tectonic plates, earthquakes, and the amount of snow and ice on its top. China and Nepal agreed on a standard height for this mountain in 2020 after using modern technology for its measurement. (Source)
  8. After 1974, there was no ascent to the summit of Mount Everest for the first time after four decades in 2015. It happened due to a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in April that took the lives of 24 people on the mountain, the highest in a day. In 2014, an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas above base camp. (Source)
    An avalanche on Mount Everest
    An avalanche killed 16 Sherpas above Mt. Everest base camp

  9. A Swiss expedition collected three plant samples from Mount Everest in 1952 at an altitude of 6,400 meters, one of the highest elevations for plants. Scientists studied them in 2017 after their rediscovery from a herbarium. Their research has found their unique stems, shapes, and other features that enable them to tolerate extreme temperatures and high levels of UV rays at that height. (Source)
  10. More plants are now present at the high altitude of Mount Everest, primarily due to climate change. Satellite data from NASA between 1993 and 2018 shows that the highest increase in plant life during 25 years has occurred between 5,000 and 5,500 meters above sea level. (Source)
  11. The Himalayan Jumping Spider is the highest-living spider on Earth. A naturalist discovered this arthropod at an altitude of 6,700 m on Mount Everest under frozen stones. Its food includes springtails, flies, and other small animals that reach this height through strong wind. (Source)
  12. The jet stream is a major danger to climbers on the top of Mount Everest. It is a fast-moving cold wind that circulates high above Earth’s surface. These freezing winds can blow at 120 km/h (70 mph).
  13. Junko Tabei, a Japanese mountaineer, became the first woman and the 36th person to summit Mount Everest in 1975. A Nepalese woman, Lhakpa Sherpa, has climbed Mount Everest more times than any woman. She completed her 10th ascent to the mountain in 2022.
  14. Climbing Mount Everest during winter is most difficult, but the Nepalese government issues permits for adventurous climbers during this season. Two Polish mountaineers climbed the mountain for the first time during winter on February 17, 1980. (Source)
  15. In 2019, scientists installed the first-ever weather station on land above 8,000 meters on Mount Everest. However, strong winds destroyed it after seven months. The latest highest terrestrial weather station is at 8,810 m (28,904 ft.) on Everest. Scientists and Sherpa installed this new highest weather station in May 2022. (Source)
  16. Thousands of mountaineers have climbed Mount Everest so far, but hundreds have also died during their attempts. Some of these dead are famous due to varying reasons. These include Green Boots (an Indian with neon green boots), Sleeping Beauty (the first American woman to climb Everest without oxygen), and David Sharp (a British who died because he could not receive support from 40 passerby climbers).
  17. Mount Everest has recently become a commercial asset for Nepal. The number of climbers has increased nearly ten times in the last two decades. It started in the early 1990s when the Nepalese government allowed unlimited permits to climbers, while the previous limit was one Everest permit per season. The average cost of climbing Everest per person is $66,000. Mount Everest tourism accounts for nearly 10% of Nepal’s GDP. (Source)
  18. Kami Rita, a Nepali Sherpa, has climbed Everest 28 times, the most by a person. His fellow countryman, Pasang Dawa, is closely behind him with 27 ascents. (Source)
  19. Kenton Cool, a British climber with 17 ascents, has achieved the highest ascents by a non-Nepali. He completed his latest climb in 2023. (Source)
  20. The Western cwm, also known as the “Valley of Silence” due to scarcity of wind, is a flat and broad glacial valley basin on the southeast route. It becomes unbearably hot on a windless day, making it difficult to pass.
  21. An area above 8,000 m (26,000 ft.) on Mount Everest is known as the “death zone” due to extremely low oxygen that deteriorates the brain, lungs, and other body parts. Climbers can only stay for a limited time at this altitude, and some deaths are due to overcrowding. Other dangers for climbers at this elevation are snow blindness, insomnia, and muscle wasting. (Source)
  22. A region above 8,000 meters on Mount Everest is known as the “Rainbow Valley” due to the bright colors of clothing of dead bodies. According to estimates, the area contains nearly 200 bodies because it is almost impossible to bring dead bodies from this altitude. (Source)
  23. The best time to climb Mount Everest is during April and May before the onset of monsoon. The ascent is also possible after monsoon for a few weeks in September. The mountain becomes extremely inhospitable for climbers during monsoon (July to August) and winter (October to March).
  24. Everest base camp at Khumbu Glacier in Nepal is melting due to climate change and human impact (urination and burning of fuel). Therefore, it is no longer safe, and the government plans to establish the new base camp at 200 to 400 meters lower altitude, an area without year-round ice. (Source
    Map of Everest and Khumbu Glacier
    Everest base campat Khumbu Glacier is melting and unsafe

  25. Mount Everest is now known as the “world’s highest garbage dump” due to overcrowding and garbage. Due to overcrowding, climbers usually have to wait in line for hours to reach the top. A person generates 8 kg of trash on average during a stay on the mountain. This waste includes food containers, human feces, abandoned tents, and empty oxygen canisters. (Source)
  26. According to estimates, Mount Everest is 50 to 60 million years old. It formed after the collision of Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. The continuous collision of these plates is increasing the height of its summit by a quarter of an inch every year.
  27. A former Gurkha soldier of the British Army created history in 2023 by becoming the first double above-the-knee amputee to climb Everest. Before him, two below-the-knee amputees had reached this peak in 2006 and 2018. (Source)
  28. A Slovenian couple became the first married couple to reach the summit of Mount Everest. They climbed this mountain on October 7, 1990. (Source)
  29. In 2005, two Nepalese climbers became the first couple to marry on the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the 45-member team that reached the summit. Their wedding ceremony lasted only 10 minutes. (Source)
  30. Nirmal Purja of Nepal climbed Mount Everest in 25 hours and 1 minute between May 15 and 16, 2022. It is the fastest climb to Everest and Lhotse without supplementary oxygen. (Source)
  31. The hotel at the highest altitude is near the Everest base camp in Nepal. The Hotel Everest View is at a height of 13,000 ft. (3,962 m). (Source)
  32. In 2013, a brawl between Sherpas and three climbers took place at about 23,000 feet on Mount Everest. The climbers had to retreat to the base camp when Sherpas attacked and threatened to kill them after a dispute.

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