Mount Everest or Mount Chomolungma, is the highest mountain in the world with the official altitude at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). Located in the Himalayas on the Nepal and China border Everest is still rising with 1.6 to 3.9 inches (4 to 10 centimeters) per year due to the shifting tectonic plates.
First to recorded the location of Everest was Sir George Everest in 1841 which was then called “Peak XV”. In 1865, Mt. Everest received its actual name from the Geographical Society to honor Sir George.
The flora and fauna on Mt Everest is poor due to its high altitude. Some species of birds have been seen here such as Bar-headed Goose and Chough.
Everest has two main climbing routes, the southeast ridge from Nepal and the northeast ridge from Tibet, as well as many other less frequently climbed routes. Of the two main routes, the southeast ridge is technically easier and is the more frequently used route. It was the route used by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953 , the first successful ascent .
Despite the fact it is the highest peak in the world, hikers from all over the world come and climb this mountain despite all difficulties. The highest mountain in the world attracts many experienced mountaineers as well as novice climbers who are willing to pay substantial sums to professional mountain guides to complete a successful climb. The mountain, while not posing substantial technical climbing difficulty on the standard route (other eight-thousanders such as K2 or Nanga Parbat are much more difficult), still has many inherent dangers such as altitude sickness, weather and wind.
If one follows the standard route to climb Everest, it is quite safe to climb it The real problem for the climbers is not the low temperature, but the reduced level of oxygen of the air, because of the high altitude. The climbers need to go through a process called acclimatization. They have a camp at the base of the mount. They climb for some hundred feet and then they go down again, to rest oxygenate and eat allowing the body to gain strength again . The rule is climb high, sleep low. It’s important that the climbers don’t stay down too long because it’s possible to lose some acclimatization in the process. The wind is also very powerful, striking with almost 118 miles/hour.
Here are the altitude of the camps on Mt Everest :
- Base Camp – 17,500ft (5,400m)
- Camp 1 – 20,000ft (6,100m)
- Camp 2 – 21,300ft (6,500m)
- Camp 3 – 24,000ft (7,400m)
- Camp 4 – 26,000ft (8,000m)
- Summit – 29,035ft (8,850) At the summit, you can expect temperatures of minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you have luck the temperature can also reach minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
By the end of the 2008 climbing season, there had been 4,102 ascents to the summit by about 2,700 individuals. Climbers are a significant source of tourist revenue for Nepal, whose government also requires all prospective climbers to obtain an expensive permit, costing up to US $ 25,000 per person. By the end of 2009 Everest had claimed 216 lives, including eight who perished during a 1996 storm high on the mountain. Conditions are so difficult in the death zone (altitudes higher than 8,000 m/26,246 ft) that most corpses have been left where they fell. Some of them are visible from standard climbing routes.
The Tibetans consider Everest as being holy and maybe that’s why for so many years they didn’t want any strangers to climb it. They call it Chomolangma.