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50 Shocking Facts You Didn't Know About Mount Everest

50 Shocking Facts You Didn't Know About Mount Everest

Did you know? Mt. Everest is the highest mountain peak above sea level in the world. You might not be aware of this fun fact about Everest, but how many of you know that this is not by far the farthest point on the earth?

What is the height of Mount Everest (Sagarmatha)? (with Fun facts)

  1. Everest is a massive 8848 meters tall—wait, it’s 8848.86 m.
  2. The standard height of Mount Everest is two, 8,844.43 meters (actually without the snow height).
  3. Mount Everest's height grows to 44 millimeters every year in addition to the geological height of Everest, i.e., 8,844.43 meters.
  4. Radhanath Sikdar was the first person (an Indian mathematician and surveyor) to calculate the height of Everest under the surveillance of Andrew Scott Waugh.
  5. Andrew submitted a report to the Royal Geographical Society, citing Mt. Everest as the world’s highest recorded mountain peak.
  6. Now we see why Mt. Everest is not the highest point on Earth.
  7. Mt. Everest is not the tallest mountain because Mauna Kea stands 9,330 m (30,610 ft) tall (including depth below sea level).
  8. Mauna Kea (inactive volcano in Hawaii), however, is, in comparison, just 4,207.3 m (13,803 ft) above sea level.
  9. World's highest weather station is The Pyramid International Everest Research Station, located at 5,050 meters (16,568 feet) on the base of Everest.

How did Mt. Everest get its name?

Everest has been there on the border of China and Nepal for years now (60 million years old). But human civilization became aware of its incredible height quite later. Mt. Everest has only had one name, so what are the other names and facts about Everest?

  1. Mt. Everest is the “rooftop of the world," a height above sea level.
  2. Mt. Everest was originally known as “Peak B” and then changed to “Peak XV” before getting its name.
  3. Andrew Scott Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India, named this in honor of George Everest.
  4. George Everest, the leader of the Great Trigonometrical Survey, was the one who hired Andrew Scott Waugh.
  5. Were you mispronouncing Mount Everest? It’s not Ever-est, it's Eve-rest.
  6. Mt. Everest in Nepal is known as Sagarmatha, which means ‘Goddess of the Sky’.
  7. Tibetans call Everest by its alternative local name, Chomolungma, meaning ‘Goddess Mother of Mountains’.

How long does it take to summit Everest?

If you are summiting, it can take 8 to 12 days to reach Everest Base Camp. But, the series of ascents and descents to camp on Everest vary depending on individual physical abilities.

  1. On average, experienced mountaineers take 39-40 days to summit Everest.
  2. An average Everest climber needs 35 hours of bottled oxygen to summit Everest.
  3. Everest has been summited over 9,000 times, including some failed attempts.
  4. Nepali climber Babu Chiri Sherpa spent 21 hours atop the Everest Summit without auxiliary oxygen.
  5. The fastest Everest summit record for Lakpa Gelu Sherpa is 10 hours and 56 minutes.
  6. Nepali climber Pemba Dorje Sherpa completed the quick round trip ascent and descent in just 8 hours and 10 minutes in 2004.

Interesting records of Mount Everest summit

  1. Kami Rita Sherpa holds the Guinness World record for the most successful summits 29 times. 
  2. The mountaineer legend Kami Rita broke his own record to scale the world's highest peak for the 29th time on May 12, 2024,  (nearly a year after 28th summit on May 22, 2023). 
  3. Edmund Hillary, the veteran climber, was the first person to summit Mount Everest.
  4. George Mallory and Andrew Irvine attempted to climb the summit in 1924 before Edmund Hillary.
  5. However, the first successful summit on top of Mount Everest became possible on May 29, 1953.
  6. Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay from Nepal, made historic first ascent records on Everest
  7. Nepal Sherpa Ang Rita was the first person to summit Everest ten times.
  8. The only year when no one tried to climb Mt. Everest in history was 1974!

Is a winter summit on Everest possible?

Challenges? Hell, yes, from history, climbers have been taking challenges for the Everest summit. Some have honored their name with risks and challenges on Everest, while a few lost their precious lives. Take a look at the endeavoring challengers of Everest climbers.

  1. Two Polish climbers, Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy, made the first successful winter summit in February 2017.
  2. Swedish climber Göran Kropp became the first person to bicycle to Everest, climb it without oxygen, and then bicycle back.
  3. Francis Arsentiev became the first American woman to summit Everest without any oxygen supply in 1998.
  4. Francis Arsentiev died two days later on the descent due to hypothermia and cerebral edema and was honored as “Sleeping Beauty on Mount Everest.”
  5. Lincoln Hall, a veteran Australian climber, collapsed at the death zone, but he was still alive with no proper clothing or oxygen supply for a day in 2012.

Age no Barrier: Who is the oldest and youngest person to summit Everest?

  1. The youngest person to summit Everest was Jordan Romero in 2010, at the age of 13.
  2. Yuichiro Miura from Japan is the oldest person to summit Everest at age 80.
  3. He first set a record as the oldest person to climb at the age of 70 in 2003.
  4. Later, he beat his record for the oldest person to climb to the top of Everest in 2013.

Couples to get married at Everest summit

Destination weddings are quite common now. Say it couple goals, but in 2005, two Nepalese climbers became the first couple in history to get married on the Everest summit.

  1. Moni Mulepati and Pem Dorjee set a record for marrying at the highest altitude in a short 10-minute ceremony at the top of Everest.
  2. James Sissom and his bride, Ashley Schmieder, got married after 3 weeks of trekking at Everest Base Camp on March 16, 2017.

But were you aware of the first married couple to summit Everest? On October 7, 1990, Marija and Andrej Štremfelj became the first married couple to reach the summit. On that very day, Marija Štremfelj set the record for the first Yugoslav woman on the Everest summit.

Inside the 1996 Mount Everest disaster

We all know that the temperature at Everest is very harsh. The warmest temperature ever recorded on the summit of Everest is -20°C, while it can get as cold as -59°C. Violent storms with strong winds are common. But do you know about the 1996 Mount Everest disaster?

  1. 1996 was the deadliest year in Everest history, with 15 deaths.
  2. Journalist Jon Krakauer wrote a book on the Everest disaster ‘Into Thin Air’ in 1996.
  3. A storm struck on May 10, 1996, killing several climbers on both the south and north sides of Everest.
  4. Climber and filmmaker David Breashears filmed the 2015 IMAX feature Everest, partially shot at Everest, about the same incident.
  5. Green Boots is the name given to a dead body in the death zone of Everest.

What are the documents required before the Everest summit?

China and Nepal are the joint owners of Mount Everest. However, a major portion lies in Nepal, and you need the necessary documents to summit Everest. Let's take a look at what they are.

  • Everest Climbing Pass from the Government of Nepal
  • Proof of previous climbing Experience
  • High-altitude climbing and mountaineering practices
  • A medical professional certificate in fitness
  • Purchase of rescue Insurance on Everest (for evacuation)
  • The hiring of a licensed Sherpa guide
  • Mountaineering license issued by the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

If you want to summit Everest from the North, then you will require the below-stated documents from China. ( North side of Everest)

  • Tibet Travel permit by Tibet Tourism Bureau
  • Frontier pass from Armed Police Tibet Frontier Corps in Lhasa
  • Alien’s Travel Permit issued by the Public Security Bureau when traveling above 5000 m altitude
  • Mountaineering license issued by the Tibet Mountaineering Association.

How much does it cost to summit Everest?

If you also want to summit Everest, you not only need guts but also big pockets. Like the height of Everest, which is whooping 8884 m, you need at least 30,000 USD to climb Mount Everest. And the margin can extend above that.

  1. The Everest south summit can cost between USD 30,000 and USD 90,000.
  2. The oxygen level drops to 8%, so you need oxygen support for at least 35 hours.
  3. The charges you need to pay for Sherpa guides are around $5,000 for a month's expedition, which can increase with experience.
  4. Even the rescue of a corpse can cost $40,000 to $80,000, so imagine how expensive it can get.

New rules on Everest sustainable climbing

Tons of human poop are found frozen on Mount Everest. But not anymore, as the government of Nepal is taking action on this behalf. The chairperson, Mr. Mingma Sherpa, from Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, stated on the 11th of February -2024 conference that,

“ Now climbers on Mount Everest must clear up their poo and bring it back to base camp for disposal. “

Human Settlement, Flora and Fauna in Everest Region

Only an airplane can fly over Everest, at an altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level. Do you imagine life at the frozen top of Everest, which even the helicopter fails to reach?

1. Himalayan Jumping Spider on Everest

The Himalayan Jumping Spider can live up to 6,700 meters above sea level. That’s only 75% of the total height of Everest; what about the rest? This Himalayan Jumping Spider feeds on springtails and other small invertebrates to sustain itself at such heights on barren, snow-covered paths.

2. The last Settlement village on Everest

Gorakshep (5,164 m) is the last human settlement area before the Everest base camp. Since there is no life on the top of Mount Everest, the challenges can extend from that point onward.

3. High-altitude plant species on Everest

The plant species growing at high altitudes is a special variety of moss that grows at 6,480 m (21,260 ft) on Mount Everest. However, the highest flowering plant in the world is the sand wort Arenaria bryophylla, which blooms as high as 6,180 m (20,280 ft).

4. Migratory birds in Everest region

The bar-headed goose from Central Asia is the highest-flying bird in the world. Records claim that these spring migratory birds can even fly over Everest at heights of up to 30,000 feet. And human eyes have witnessed their spring migration over the Everest peaks.

Strategies to climb Mt Everest: Based on success stories

Everest Summit requires strong physical fitness, technical climbing skills, and prior climbing experience above 7000 m above sea level. Here are a few strategies experienced climbers on Everest have considered.

  1. "2 O'clock Rule" where you need to reach by 2 p.m. to avoid harsh weather
  2. Solid alpine living and ice-climbing skills with technical knowledge for ascent above 8000 m
  3. Strong cardiovascular training, low-intensity exercise, and training before 9 months for Everest in harsh conditions.
  4. Consult experienced climbing professionals for preparation for the Mt. Everest summit.
  5. The weather can reach as low as −59 °C, so prepare for the cold with the right mountaineering gear.
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