Mount Everest - Highest Mountain in the World
Mount Everest - Highest Mountain in the World
Mount Everest – Highest Mountain in the World

The Himalayan Mountains formed itself around 60 million years ago, but its history actually goes back a lot further. There are traces of limestone and sandstone rock at the mountain’s summit, which was once part of sedimentary layers below sea level 450 million years ago. Over time, ocean floor rocks were forced together and pushed upward at a speed of up to 11 centimeters (4.5 in) per year, eventually reaching the current position.

The upper mountains of Everest now contain marine fossils of sea creatures and shells that were in the ocean earlier. Noel Odell, a famous explorer, was the first to discover the fossils embedded within Everest’s rocks in 1924, thus proving that Everest was once below sea level. Swiss climbers in 1956 were the first ones to collect rock specimens from Everest and followed by the American team in 1963.

  • Height:  8,848 meters (29,029 feet)
  • Location: Nepal and  Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
  • First ascent: 29 May 1953
  • Mountain range: Himalayas
  • First ascenders: Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay
  • Other names: Sagarmatha in Nepali, Chomolungma  in Tibetan

Where is Mount Everest located?

Mount Everest is known in various other names such as Sagarmatha and Chomolungma in Nepali and Tibetan respectively. Mount Everest shares the border between Nepal and Tibet at the crest of the Himalayan mountain chain. The mountain is closer to the equator at a latitude of 28 degrees approximately.

Reaching the top of Mount Everest is a potentially deadly task due to various reasons such as extreme altitude, avalanches, icefalls, and other hazards.

How tall is Mount Everest?

So how tall is Mount Everest exactly was a confusion between borders until 2010. The measurement varies as its height depends on the perspective you see from which side of the border you are on. Earlier Nepal claimed that the height of Mount Everest is 8,848 meters (29,029 ft) whereas China said that it is 8,844 meters (29,016 ft). China also argued that the height should be measured only until the tip of the rock excluding the snow at the top. In 2010, both the countries agreed and came to a conclusion by settling the official height as 8,848 meters.

Drainage and Climate

The slopes of Mount Everest are covered with glaciers to its base. Individual glaciers covering the slopes of the mountain are:

  • Kangshung Glacier to the east
  • Pumori Glacier to the northwest
  • Khumbu Glacier to the west and south
  • Rongbuk or Rongpu (East, Central, and West) glaciers to the north and northwest

Glacial action is the main cause for the heavy erosion of Everest. The Mountains drainage pattern is towards southwest, north, and east. The Khumbu Glacier melts into the Lobuche River of Nepal. The Kama River of Tibet originates from the Kangshung Glacier and the Rong River from the Pumori and Rongbuk glaciers. Both these rivers flow into Arun river.

The climate is not at all friendly to the living things. The warmest average daytime temperature on the summit is only about −2 °F (−19 °C), in July. In the coldest month, January, the average temperature at the summit is −33 °F (−36 °C) and it can go low as −76 °F (−60 °C).

Temperatures can drop sharply unexpectedly due to sudden storms. On an average the wind speed at Mount Everest can reach more than 160 km/h (100 mph). 

How Crowded is Everest?

Mount Everest’s popularity rose in the 1990s. Mount Everest draws thousands of tourists and  mountaineers every year. In 2018, 347 individual climbing permits were issued to foreign climbers by the Nepal Ministry of Tourism. Despite the risk, by the end of 2016 there were 7,646 summits by 4,469 people. On an average, around 35000 tourists visit the Everest region every year.

How Many Routes Are There to The Top of Everest?

Although there are about 17 different routes to the summit of Everest, almost every climbers chooses one of two routes namely South Ridge and North Ridge. One of the routes is via Southeast Ridge from Nepal, the line created by Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. The North Ridge from Tibet is another route which climbers commonly use. In 1924, George Mallory a famous mountaineer disappeared in the North Ridge, his ultimate fate was unknown until his body was discovered 75 years after the incident.

Experienced mountaineers claim that the challenges are different and the overall difficulty of the two routes is comparable.

Southeast Ridge is slightly a shorter route but the mountaineers will have to race through the hazardous Khumbu Icefall. It is also easier to descend quickly in case of any emergency.

On the North Ridge, it is possible to drive jeeps until the base camp. The difficult part with North Ridge is that the mountaineers will have to travel several kilometers of terrain above 27,000 ft to conquer the summit.

How do the Natives Pronounce?

The mountain is formally known as Everest.  Native Tibetians call it “Chomolungma”, meaning “Goddess – Mother of Mountains”. In Nepal the Mount Everest is known as “Sagarmatha”, meaning Forehead in the Sky.

The mountain was only named “Everest” by a British surveyor Andrew Waugh, who failed to find a commonly used local name. After studying maps of the surrounding areas and still being unable to make a decision, he named the mountain after General George Everest, an Indian Surveyor, head of the British team that first surveyed the Himalayas. But the colonel objected to the honor. Like any usual act of British government, they officially changed their name for the mountain from “Peak XV” to “Mount Everest” in 1865.

Is It Really the Highest?

Mount Everest is not the Tallest Mountain, Everest is the highest point on Earth from sea level, but on the other hand, Mauna Kea, an inactive Hawaiian volcano, holds the record as the world’s tallest mountain.

Just the fact that Everest’s peak is at a higher altitude but that doesn’t make it taller. Mauna Kea may only reach a height of 4,205 meters (13,796 ft) above sea level, but the volcano extends deep down to an incredible depth 6000 meters below the water’s surface.

It was measured from its base on the ocean floor; its full height stands at 10,200 meters (33,465 ft), making it almost a mile taller than Everest.

Depending on how we measure it, Everest is neither the tallest nor the highest. Chimborazo, in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes, only reaches 6,267 meters above the sea level. Still, it’s the highest point from the exact center of the Earth, and it is because Chimborazo lies just one degree south of the equator. The Earth’s structure bulges at its midsection because Ecuador’s sea level sits farther from the planet’s center than Nepal’s.

Interesting Facts About Mount Everest

  1. Mount Everest grows 4mm higher every year due to geologic uplift.
  2. Over 2000 people have reached the top of Mount Everest.
  3. Everest was created about 60 million years ago.
  4. There are more than 7,000 Peaks on Mount Everest.
  5. An expense of altleast 30,000 USD is required to climb Everest.

Records

  1. The first summit was on May 29th, 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa from Nepal, climbing from the southern slopes of Nepal.
  2. Jim Whittaker is the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 1, 1963.
  1. Junko Tabei from Japan is the first woman to summit Mount Everest in 1975.
  1. Kami Rita Sherpa holds the record for the most successful summits at 24.
  2. In 1978, Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner along with the Austrian mountaineer Peter Habeler became the first climbers to summit Everest without bottled oxygen.
  3. Erik Weihenmayer from America is the first blind person to reach the summit, he achieved this on May 25, 2001.

Question and Answer Related to Mount Everest

Where is Mount Everest located?

Mount Everest is located between Nepal and Tibet, an autonomous region of China.

How tall is Mount Everest?

8,848.86 mètres.

How long does it take to climb Mount Everest?

The entire climb takes six to nine weeks. The first week is used to arrive at base camp with a trek from Lukla for the south or a drive from Kathmandu or Lhasa in the north. And the upcoming three to four weeks are spent going up and down the mountain with food, fuel and oxygen.

How many people have died on Mount Everest?

Over 300 people have died on Everest (exact number unknown).

Who climbed Mount Everest first?

Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay from Nepal.

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