Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. Located in Himalaya on the Nepal-China border, it has a peak of 8,848m. Everyone knows it for its high peak. Thousands of mountaineers try to reach the summit and many lose their lives. Mount Everest also has some interesting facts that you should know. In this article, I will tell you a few less know things about Mount Everest.
Also see: Highest Mountains in the world
Less Known Things about Mount Everest
1. Who Actually reached the peak first?
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay are known to reach the mountain’s summit on May 29, 1953. As per records, they were the first to reach the summit of the highest mountain. However, many people have tried to conquer the mountain before them. A few may have reached the top but they are not recorded. In 1924, George Mallory led a ream with Andrew Irvine to reach the top of Mount Everest but they died on their trip.
As per locals, they were seen climbing to the top but they were never seen again. A search team found the body of Mallory’s in 1999, a few thousand feet from the top. But it is not confirmed if he was going up or returning back. His camera couldn’t be found that could give some evidence.
2. Other names of the mountain
Mount Everest was named after Sir George Everest who was leading a team doing a survey of mountains. His team members found this peak and one of them guessed the height of it using trigonometry calculations. Initially, the mountain was called Peak “B” and later as Peak XV. In March 1856, It was proposed to give the mountain a name because the British couldn’t find any local name. Mount Everest was one of the several proposals received. Other proposals include several local names like “Deva-dhunga” or “Gaurisankar.” Everest himself objected to using his name because it was hard for local people to pronounce and write. But in 1865, the Royal Geographical settled for the name “Mount Everest.”
But this mountain already had a few names. People living there know about the mountain for centuries. Tibetan people call it “Chomolungma” which means “Goddess Mother of the World.” In Sanskrit, it used to be called “Sagarmatha” which means “Peak of Heaven.” Both the names confirm that people know about this mountain much before the team lead by Sir George Everest found it.
3. Who Has Climbed Everest the Most?
Climbing the highest mountain in the world is not easy and people put their lives at risk. It is a lifetime moment to reach the top of the peak. But there are a few people who have been there for not one or two but several times. A climber Kami Rita Sherpa has been there at the top of Mount Everest on 22 separate occasions. If I talk about women, Mountain guide Lhakpa Sherpa climbed to the highest point nine times.
Dave Hahn from America holds the record for most summits by a non-Sherpa and he made the trip to Mount Everest peak 15 times.
4. Fastest Ascents
It takes several days to reach the top of the peak and return back to base camp. But there are a few extraordinary people who have surprised us by reaching to the top in record time.
People climb Mount Everest from two base camps located at South Side in Nepal and North Side in Tibet
From South Side in Nepal
In 2003, Lakpa Gelu Sherpa managed to go from base camp to the peak in just 10 hours and 56 minutes. He spent a few minutes there and came back in less than 8 hours. The total time taken in this round-trip journey was just 18 hours, 20 minutes. This is the fastest Everest summit from the South Side in Nepal.
From North Side in Tibet
If I talk about the fastest from North Side in Tibet, the record was set by Italian mountaineer Hans Kammerlander back in 1996. It took 16 hours and 45 minutes in the round trip.
5. Oldest and Youngest Climbers
When it comes to fulfilling the dream, people don’t even care about their age. If you look at the list of people who made it to the top, you will feel that Age is just a number.
If I talk about the oldest climber to ever reach the summit, he was Yuichiro Miura from Japan. He topped the peak in 2013 at the age of 80 years, 224 days. Yuichiro Miura was also the famous guy who skied down Everest in 1971. Miura again tried to reach the summit in 2017 at the age of 85 and passed away on Everest.
American climber Jordan Romero is known to be the youngest person to ever summit the mountain. His age was just 13 years, 10 months, and 10 days when he reached the peak of Everest in 2010.
Now governments of Nepal and China have agreed to out the age restriction on climbers. So, the record of the youngest climber will always be there. Because new rules clearly state that the climber must be at least 16 years old before attempting the mountain. There is no limit for upper age, but senior climbers may be required to pass a medical exam.
6. Height of Mount Everest
Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world but its exact height is often disputed. Back in 1955, it was measured to be 29,029 feet tall above sea level. This was recognized as the official altitude by both the Nepali and Chinese governments.
In 1999, a team from National Geographic placed a GPS device on the summit and recorded the altitude as 29,035 feet. A Chinese team in 2005 used more precise instruments measured the height to be 29,017 feet.
Scientists clam that the mountain is still growing half an inch a year but it may have even decreased after a major earthquake in 2015. Now Nepalese mountaineers are planning to measure it again and their work should be completed in 2020.
What is the exact height of Mount Everest?
It is controversial, but the official number is 29,029 feet. You can remember this.
7. Longest time spent at the peak
Elevation above 26,000 feet is considered the “Death Zone” in the mountains. It is because of the low oxygen level. So, mountaineers try to leave as soon as they reach the peak. Most of the climbers are already exhausted by the attempt and they try to return back to avoid any running out of oxygen. They cannot get much time to rest or enjoy the view.
But there was a man who remained at the peak for over 20 hours without supplementary oxygen. This man was Babu Chiri Sherpa who set this record in 1999. Babu Chiri Sherpa reached the summit of Mount Everest ten times.
In 2001, Chiri was attempting the peak eleventh time but fell into a crevasse while capturing photographs near Camp II (6,500 m).