About Everest

Some facts about Mount Everest

  • Is Part of the Himalayas mountain range, in the Mahalangur section
  • Also known as Sagarmatha in Nepal and Chomolungma in Tibet
  • Its Earths highest mountain above sea level 8848m, some say 8850m
  • Everest’s summits are either by the Northern side in Tibet or the Southeast side in Nepal, with the international border running precisely across the summit point. There are also less frequently climbed routes, and always a determined plan for the next route up.
  • Everest was first attempted by a British expedition team in 1921 who managed to reach 7000m via the Northern Route. 1922 saw the British team ascend to 8320m, in 1924 Climbers ascended to 8550m. On the 8.6.1924 Mallory and Irvine made a historical attempt to summit but were never seen again and the jury is still out if they were indeed the first to summit. Various other attempts were made with the first Southern Route been attempted in 1950.
  • Evans and Bourdillon came within 100m of the summit on 26.5.53 but ran out of Oxygen. On the29th May 1953 the first official ascent of Everest was made by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary.
  • The next successful attempt was in 1956
  • Reinhold Messner was the first climber to summit without supplementary oxygen in 1978, and made the first solo summit (no porters) in 1980.
  • The first South African to summit was Cathy O’Dowd in 1996
  • Mount Everest was known as Peak B or Peak XV and from 1802 various people tried to estimate its height with theodolites, weighing 500kg each and requiring 12men to carry them. This was obstructed by the Nepal government as well as weather and ill health of the surveyors with many falling ill to malaria. Difficulties of light refraction, barometric pressure, temperature and the estimation over a vast distance lead to the official announcement of Everest’s height only in 1856 by Waugh of 8840m
  • Waugh calculated Everest to be 29000ft(8839.2m) but declared it was being 29002ft (8839m) to avoid people thinking that the exact height was just a rounded estimate. This lead to Waugh being credited with the ‘first person to put 2 feet on top of Mount Everest
  • As there were so many local names Waugh Named Peak XV after George Everest, his predecessor as Surveyor General of India.
  • 1999 saw an American Expedition anchoring a GPS on the highest bedrock and an elevation of 8850m was obtained, in 2005 Chinese Scientists calculated the height at 8844,4m with 3.5m of snow.
  • Mauna Kea in Hawaii is the tallest mountain when measured from its base on the ocean floor; its height is 10200m but only 4205m above sea level
  • A closer look at Everest reveals different ‘colours’ or formations which are ‘separated’ by faults.
  • The top part 8600 to 8848m, a grayish to dark grey area is made up of limestine, dolomite and other rocks. The second fault, 7000 to 8600 is most noticeable by the upper yellow band. Below 7000m the rock is thought to have been a partial melting of different rocks some 20 to 24million years ago.
  • At 6700m a black jumping spider can still be found, making it the highest non microscopic resident!
  • Birds like the Chough have been seen at altitudes at 7920m
  • Plants only weigh in at 6480m with a certain moss growing here
  • The Mount Everest webcam is situated on the nearby peak of Kala Patthar, while the Mount Everest weather station is situated on Everest at 8000m
  • A Jet stream is the tuft of ‘ice blowing ‘off the top of Everest. In fact it’s due to fast flowing narrowing currents, where there are adjacent air masses of significant temperature differences.
  • Summits are normally attempted in May before the summer monsoon season, as the monsoon approaches the jet stream is pushed northward reducing average wind speeds. (Winds can be 200mph)
  • October summits are more difficult with unstable weather patterns and more snow.


Facts courtesy of Wikipedia.

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