Around 60 million years ago, there took place the formation of what we know as Mount Everest. The mammoth structure, and the rest of the Himalayas formed as a result of the collision of the Indian tectonic plate against that of Asia. The place which was honored to be the home to this giant, comprises the border between Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal, and Tibet, China. In Nepal, the mountain is admiringly known by the name "Sagarmatha", which stands for "Goddess of the sky." And the Tibetans call it "Chomolungma". It means "Goddess mother." The Everest got its name after British surveyor-general of India, Sir George Everest. Before this, it was known as Peak XV.
Facts and Information About Mount Everest
May 29, 1953 was the day when the giant was conquered by men. Edmund Hillary (New Zealand) and Tenzing Norgay (Nepal) were the ones to create history. Respecting the tradition of Buddhist offering to Gods, they buried cookies in the snow of the mountain.
Yet again in the year 1963, the summit of Mount Everest was visited by Americans. The first woman to land her feet on the summit was Junko Tabei. This expedition took place on May 16,1975.
A scenic view of Mt. Everest and Nuptse from Kala Patthar.
In the year 1978, Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler completed an ascent of Mount Everest without the aid of any oxygen cylinders. Also, Reinhold Messner made the first solo ascent of the mountain on 20 August, 1980, and even this time without any oxygen cylinders.
8 hours and 10 minutes was the time set by Pemba Dorje Sherpa of Nepal, while completing his ascent of Mount Everest. This has been the fastest time till now.
Mt. Everest covered in clouds.
Temba Tsheri was a mere 22 when he climbed Mount Everest. But, what is more amazing is when Sherman Bull did the same. He was 64 then.
All the people mentioned above, were in good physical shape when they led the expedition. Erik Weihenmayer climbed the mountain on 25th May, 2001. What's so great about him? He was visually disabled. Not only this, the man has accomplished his expeditions on the Seven Summits - the highest peak on every continent.
Once climbers manage to cross the 8,000 m mark, they are said to enter what is known as the "death zone." This area of the Everest presents climbers with significant challenges against survival. It is said that, any part of the body, when exposed to air in this region, can easily get a frostbite. Fast blowing winds are another potential threat to life, apart from the drastically low atmospheric pressure. At the summit, climbers have access to only a third of the oxygen we normally require to breathe.
How long would you take to cover a distance of 1.72 km on foot? What about on Everest? Well, most climbers do not make it in less than 12 hours.
A view of Mt. Everest from the Tibetan side.
About 4000 people attempted to conquer this giant. However, only 660 had the mettle to actually do it. A sad part of this story is associated with the demise of about 142 people while climbing the mountain.
In the year 1993, about 129 people took up the challenge of reaching the summit of Mount Everest. Unfortunately, 8 of them lost their lives. In 1996, 98 people attempted and only 83 of them could make it.
When the talk is about the important facts of Mount Everest, we ought to speak of another brave heart, Kushang Sherpa. The mountaineers which I have mentioned till now must have climbed 1 or 2 sides of the Everest. But, this guy managed to leave his footmarks on all the 4 sides.
May 10, 1993 could be regarded as one of the most historical days on Earth. This day saw the ascent of about 40 climbers on the Everest.
A view of Buddhist prayer flags, with Mt. Everest in the background.
Scientists say that the mountain is moving in a northeast direction, about 3 inches a year. To add to this, every year, the mountain is rising about 1/3 inches.
Experienced mountaineers say that the best side to approach the mountain is from the southern, Nepalese, side. The northern side is said to be the most difficult route for it has less snow and more rocky formations.
How many people do you suppose would say that one of their hobbies is to climb the Everest? If you ask the Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Apa, I am certain that he would. Also known as "Super Sherpa", and rightly so, he holds the record of reaching the summit of the mountain twenty one times; every year between 1990 and 2011. And as of May 2011, he stills holds the record. I wonder, if it could be broken ever!
For those who wish to give it a try to pay a visit to the summit, early May, i.e. prior to the monsoon season, is the ideal time.
A view of sunrise in Mt. Everest.
A Chinese team of about 410 members began their expedition to the Everest in 1975. It was the largest team ever.
Age is no bar, when it comes to Min Bahadur Sherchan. At 77, and on his very first attempt, this Septuagenarian reached the top of Sagarmatha.
The first ski descent from the mountain was done by Davo Kamicar, and the first paragliding descent was done by Jean-Marc Boivin. Boivin also holds the record for the fastest paragliding descent from the mountain; he made it in a mere 11 minutes.
To close this article on the facts of Mount Everest, people might think that the mountain does not support any kind of living organism. On the contrary, the slopes of this mountain have been reported to serve as a habitat for the jumping spider. Reportedly, it has been found at a height of 6700 meters of the mountain. It could be possible that this spider was the one who climbed the Everest first!