Interesting Facts about Mount Everest

highest peaks in the world Mount Everest

Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world — this fact is so well known all around (and thus, boring!). But mind you, a bagful of very interesting facts are associated with the Mount Everest. For example, not many people know that this highest peak is still rising even higher! You also might not know that a climber has to summit on Everest before 2:00pm otherwise it gets too cold up there and weather can take unpredictable turn. Let’s have a look at some more of such facts in details.

1. Mount Everest was Named after George Everest

Sir Geroge Everest was the Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843. He hired  Andrew Scott Waugh, who made the first formal observations of the mountain, and Radhanath Sikdar, who calculated the height of the Mount Everest, then known as the Peak XV. Later Andrew Scott Waugh succeeded George Everest to become Surveyor General of India. In 1856, when the results  the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India were published, Waugh proposed that the Peak XV be named Mount Everest, in honor of Sir George Everest.

2. Two Feet were Added to the Height of Mount Everest

Radhanath Sikdar had calculated the height of Mount Everest to be exactly 29,000 feet (8,839.2 m). But Waugh publicly told that the height was 29,002 feet — just to avoid the impression that it was just a rounded-off estimated height. Because of this incident, Waugh is credited with being “the first person to put two feet on top of Mount Everest”.

Note: According to the latest calculations, the real height of Mount Everest is 29,029 feet.

3. Mount Everest is still Rising

Mount Everest was created due to collision between Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, about 50 million years ago. These plates created an upward force giving rise to the Mount Everest. Even after so long, this force is still working and increasing the height of the mountain about quarter of an inch every year.

4. It Takes a Lot of Money to Climb Mount Everest

Climbing Everest is an expensive affair. It takes about US$ 45,000 to make an attempt. This money goes into hiring transport, guides, trainers and the mountain climbing gear. This also includes the fee for climbing Mount Everest. The Nepal Government charges a royalty fee of US$ 11,000 per person for climbing the Mount Everest.

5. It’s Harsh Weather Up There

On top of the Mount Everest, temperature remains colder than -20°C (-4°F). At an altitude above 8,000 meters, the air pressure becomes about one-third of the pressure we are used to with at the sea-level. This makes breathing very difficult. Climbers have to carry oxygen cylinders to be able to breath enough oxygen into their lungs. The portion of Mount Everest above 8,000 meters is called the Death Zone because of its harsh conditions. Professional climbers take up to 12 hours to walk the last distance of 1.72 kilometers (1.07 mi) from South Col to the summit.

highest peaks in the world

6. Other Names of Mount Everest

In Nepal, Mount Everest is known as Sagarmatha, meaning Goddess of the Sky. In Tibet, it is known as Chomolungma, meaning Goddess Mother of the World.

7. Climber Deaths

More than 300 people have died so far while attempting to summit the Mount Everest. Almost every year when climbing is allowed, people die in their efforts to win the coveted peak. The biggest reason of deaths is the harsh weather conditions on top of the mountain.

8. Climbers with Disabilities

Beating all the odds, many people with disabilities have reached the Mount Everest summit. Following are some of these people:

  • Mark Inglis: A citizen of New Zealand, Inglis became the first double amputee to scale the Mount Everest on 15 May 2006. He does not have either legs and took 40 days to climb the mountain.
  • Sudarshan Gautam: First person without arms to have scaled the world’s highest mountain. Sudarshan, a Nepali at the time of expedition, reached the summit on 20 May 2013.
  • Arunima Sinha: The Indian lost a leg when she was pushed out of a general coach of the train by robbers wanting to snatch her bag and gold chain. Sinha reached the Summit on 21 May 2013.

9. Olympic Torch has Reached the Mount Everest

On 08 May 2008, for Beijing Olympics, the Olympic Torch was taken to the top of Mount Everest. This was the first and only time the Olympic Torch reach the highest peak on the face of the Earth.

10. Mount Kia is Taller than Mount Everest!

This might come as a surprise to many, but Mount Everest is the highest peak only when measured from the sea-level. Mount Kea in Hawaii is the tallest mountain in the world if we measure from the base. Mount Kea’s base lies in the ocean and from base to top it rises 10,200 meters (33,464.6 ft). But from the sea level, Mount Kea’s height is only 4,205 meters (13,796 ft).

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