How well do you know about the Himalayas mountain and Mountain Everest? From the tallest mountain on Earth above sea level to the climbers who have made it to the summit successfully. Even the death rate and more of such facts are below.
#1. Named After A Welsh Surveyor
Did you know that before the discovery of Everest, the mountain was known by the surrounding countries Nepal, Tibet, and China?
In 1856, the Great Trigonometric Survey of India (GTS India) was the first to survey the mountain. They measured the height of Everest and named it the highest mountain in the world. Afterward, the mountain gained its popularity globally. The GTS India named it Peak XV.
However, in 1865, it got its current name, Mountain Everest, when it was named after Welsh surveyor George Everest. His surname is pronounced Eve-rest and that is how Everest should be pronounced.
#2. Geological Wonders
This might be a surprise but Everest is not the tallest mountain on Earth. Everest is the highest mountain above sea level. But, if you measure from below sea level, Everest is not the highest. Mountain Mauna Kea is the highest mountain below sea level but not the highest above sea level.
Everest is 8,848 meters (29,028 feet) above sea level while the Hawaiian volcanic beast Mauna Kea is 4,205 meters (13,796 feet) above sea level. Mauna Kea extends about 6,005 meters (19,700 feet) below the Pacific Ocean making it 10,210 meters (33,496 feet). However, over half of this mountain is submerged in water.
The Himalayan mountain is very old. It is estimated to be about 60 million years old. And did you know that each year, the mountain grows? Yeah, each year it grows and increases by a quarter of an inch. This growth is possible because of the collision force of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates.
#3. First-Ever Attempt To Climb Everest
After the discovery of Everest, the very first attempt by any mountaineer to climb Everest was a group of British mountaineers. They attempted it in 1921 but were however unsuccessful. They made another attempt in 1924 but unfortunately, they died on their way to the summit of Everest. The group comprised George Mallory and Andrew Irvine.
#4. First Mountaineers At The Peak
After George Mallory and his team attempted Everest in 1921 through 1924 when they died on the mountain, several climbers tried to reach the summit but were all unsuccessful. Some climbers returned safely while a few died.
Roughly 32 years after the first attempt, two climbers made the success to the summit of Everest. They were Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa from Nepal and India. They made it to the summit on May 29, 1953.
Tenzing Norgay, became one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century after the epic climb. He was promoted to be the first director of field training at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling, India the next year after climbing Everest in 1954.
#5. Most Hiked Mountain With Over 9,000 Summits
Can you guess the number of summits since 1953? So far there have been over 6,000 mountaineers who have made it to the summit successfully. Each year, there are over 130,000 visitors to Nepal and Tibet who come to Everest to have a glimpse of this amazing spectacle but only a few try to climb the mountain.
Most mountaineers are aided with oxygen bottles due to the humidity at around 6,000 to 8,000 meters of Everest. Most reach the summit at Nepal while the remaining few reach the summit at Tibet.
Roughly 66 percent summit Everest in Nepal thus the South Col and the remaining in Tibet, known as (you guessed it) the North Col. In 2018, there were around 800 mountaineers who summited Everest — the highest number of people reaching the summit in a year.
#6. Maiden Year For Mountain Everest
Since the discovery of Everest, there have been mountaineers climbing the mountain each year. But did you know that there was a year when no one attempted to climb the mountain? This is very strange but in 1974, no one climbed Everest. The year 1974 is called “The Maiden Year For Mountain Everest.”
#7. Mountaineers To Reach The Summit: Youngest, Oldest, And First Woman
On May 22, 2010, Jordan Romero made history by becoming the youngest ever person to reach the summit of Everest. Born on July 12, 1996, in the United States, he was only 13 years old when he pulled out this historic stunt. At that age when most young teens are thinking of going to high school, finding their first love, or making their presence known on social media, Romero’s attempt to climb Everest was successful.
This may not surprise people the origin where the oldest climber comes from. He is from Japan, the country with the oldest population in the world. He is Yūichirō Miura, and he made this record in 2013 at the age of 80.
Surprisingly, he was the record holder for the oldest climber in 2003, when he made it to the summit at age 70. He has now furthered the age to 80 years. Incredibly enough he underwent two heart surgeries during the 10 years but still made it alive to the summit.
Another historic feature about Everest was accomplished by (you guessed it) another Japanese. The first woman to reach the summit of Everest was Junko Tabei. She made history in the year 1975. She is a great mountaineer and has many records in mountaineering.
She is the first-ever woman to also reach the summit of all the seven highest mountains on each continent. These seven highest mountains on seven continents are seven summits. She made this record in 1992.
#8. First Wedding At The Everest’s Peak
Weddings are special events in people’s lives when they are adults. Where will you wanna get married if you are not yet married? Have you ever thought that the summit of a mountain would be ideal for your marriage?
Well, a Nepalese couple had the idea of getting married at the summit of Everest. And that became the first-ever wedding at the summit of Everest. Though it was a very short ceremony on the mountain, the couple, Pem Dorjee (male), 23, and Moni Mulepati (female), 24, got married in 2005 atop Everest.
#9. The Two O’Clock Rule
Did you know that there is a mystery behind Everest at 2 p.m.? At two o’clock, when you’re climbing Everest and have yet to reach the summit, you’re advised to return to the various camps at the bottom to prevent injuries and finally death. This rule is applied because there are extreme weather conditions on the mountain from 2 p.m. that make it unbearable to survive. It becomes very cold from an altitude of 7,000 meters.
#10. Dead Bodies Serve As Directions For Mountaineers
Almost every one of the top 20 highest mountains in the world has fatalities. But did you know that Everest has the lowest death rate? It is about that the current death rate in Everest is just one percent. Just over 300 deaths have been recorded on Everest.
These few deaths recorded on the mountain are not buried due to the nature of the mountainous land. The corpses are left there on their own on the mountain. These corpses are used by climbers as a direction to know that they are on the right path to the summit.
Out of these corpses, the most popular one easily recognized is known as Green Boots. The late person is Indian climber Tsewang Paljor who died in 1996 but the “green boots” he was wearing on the day of his death make him easily recognizable.
What’s Even More?
Did you know that the dirtiest mountain in the 7,000+ meters is Everest? There are more than 50 tons of climbing waste, scattered on the mountain. There are lots of refuse, human excreta, and even dead bodies on the mountain. This waste makes Everest the dirtiest mountain in the world.
Let us know if you’ve hiked Everest or plan to hike. We’d like to share your story!
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Written by: Joseph Mensah, Tue, Aug 01, 2023.