We all can agree with the fact that Mount Everest is the highest peak in the world. Also, the mountain holds some of the interesting facts you may or may not know. We have collected 30 interesting facts about Mount Everest.
30 Mind-Blowing Facts About Mount Everest, Height, Location, Climbers
Table of Contents
The elevation of Mount Everest is 8848.86 meters (29,031.7 feet) above sea level. It was recently measured in 2020 with the authority of Nepal and the China governments. The mountain was named after George Everest, a former Surveyor General of India. Its Nepali name is ‘Sagarmatha’ meaning “The head of great blue sky”. Likewise, the Tibetan name of Everest is ‘Chomolungpa’ meaning “Holy Mother”
We've given our best to present 30 interesting and amazing facts about Mount Everest and climbing it for your information and entertainment. Hope you enjoy it and maybe you'll consider coming to see it yourself...
1. The Name Everest Was Originally Proposed By Andrew Waugh
The most renowned mountain was named after George Everest who was the British Surveyor General of India. But, the original idea of naming Everest was by Andrew (Scott) Waugh.
Andrew Waugh was a British Army Officer and Surveyor General of India who served under Sir George Everest. He was willing to give a different name to the mountain because he wanted to preserve the local name. On the other side, every mountain has its local name (e.g. Annapurna, Dhaulagiri). So, he decided to name it after his superior.
After Sir Waugh’s decision, there was an argument going on about the name. Everest himself and the Royal Geographical Society deny the name cause it was hard to pronounce for Indian natives and could not be written in Hindi.
Sir Waugh even proposed a name after the refusal. In 1865, The Royal Geographical Society officially accepted the name of the highest peak in the world as ‘Mount Everest’.
2. China And Nepal Are The Owners Of Mount Everest.
Are you wondering where is Mt Everest Located? The summit of Mt Everest is on the border of Nepal and China. The southern side is owned by Nepal and the Northern side by China. It might be interesting cause it is one of the coolest borders in the world. Above all, Nepal and China are the owners of Mount Everest.
Since Mt Everest belongs to Nepal and China, both countries have access to the top of the world. Both countries share eye-catching views of Everest. It does not matter where you observe the mountain it is equally beautiful. Nepal has Kalapatthar; which will climb during Everest Base Camp Trek and Gokyo Ri & 5th Lake for the best view and Tibet has the Tibetan Plateau to admire Everest.
Mount Everest has two main climbing routes, the South Col route, and the North Col route. There are other alternative routes but these are frequently used routes. Among the two routes, the South Col route is easier whereas North Col is comparatively longer and more technical. Similarly, the North Col route is a summit from Tibet, and the South Col route from Nepal.
3. Mount Everest Is Technically NOT The Tallest!
Yes, technically Mount Everest is not the tallest mountain. Everest has a height of 8848 meters above sea level. Hawaii’s Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain base-to-peak at the height of 10,210 meters but only 4,205 meters above sea level.
Mauna Kea is the dormant volcano island of Hawaii. It is the highest point in the state of Hawaii as well as the second tallest peak on the Island in the world. Some authorities have leveled Mauna Kea as the tallest in the world, from its base beneath sea level. Moreover, it is the only Hawaiian Volcano with evidence of glaciers.
As mentioned above, Mauna Kea is 4,205 meters above sea level. If the altitude is measured from base to peak then, Mount Everest won’t be standing as the tallest mountain in the world.
4. Mount Everest Is Now 8,848.86 Meters High.
We have already discussed the altitude of Mount Everest. The Foreign Ministers of Nepal and China have confirmed the new height of Mout Everest at 8848.86 meters above sea level. The mountain has increased by 86 centimeters. Before it was 8848 meters.
The height of Everest was measured by the Survey of India in 1954. Since then, the height was globally accepted as 8848 meters above sea level. Whereas, china claimed the height of Everest as 8844 meters. In 1999, the US team even measured the height higher at the elevation of 8850 meters which was sponsored by the National Geographic Society, US.
After the earthquake in 2015, the new height of Everest was the topic of curiosity for scientists around the world. With the joint authority of China and Nepal, the process to measure new height was forwarded. In 2020, the official height was confirmed at an altitude of 8848.86 meters above sea level.
5. Mount Everest Rises 40 cm Per Century!
The peak of Mount Everest is gradually increasing by approximately 40 centimeters per century. This phenomenon is caused by the uplifting of the Eurasian Plate by the Indian Plate sliding underneath which results in an uplift of the Himalayas. The process can be broken by natural calamities like earthquakes.
About 50 million years ago, the Indian Plate collided with Eurasian Plate which formed The Himalayas and The Tibetan Plateau. The process continues today, which means the mountains are growing eventually every year.
In 1954, the Survey of India measured the height of Everest at 8848 meters. Recently, in 2020 the new height of Everest was confirmed at 8848.86 meters. Compared to the past century, the mountain has gained 86 centimeters now. Some experts have claimed that the earthquake in 2015 has played a vital role in the increment of the height.
6. Mount Everest Has Two Heights.
With the latest survey in 2020, the authorities have presented two different heights of Everest. It might sound weird that a single mountain with two different heights. However, both heights are logically correct. The heights of Everest are described below:
- 8,848.86 meters: The height is also called snow height. The height is measured along with the surface covered with snow or ice. The height was officially recognized by China and Nepal governments in 2020.
- 8,844.43 meters: It is the geological height of Everest. Also, recognized as the ‘rock height’. The rock height is measured without any snow or ice. It was measured by China. Later, it was confirmed by Nepal too.
7. Everest's Summit is Not The Farthest Point From The Earth Center.
Mount Everest is without any doubt the highest mountain in the world. Although standing as the tallest peak, it is not the farthest point from the earth’s center. Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador, South America has the farthest point from the earth’s center.
Earth is not a perfect sphere. The shape of the earth is particularly oval having thicker at the equator. And that is where Mount Chimborazo is located making it the radically farthest point. However, the mountain is just 6,263 meters above sea level. It is 2,585 meters below the summit of Mt Everest.
If you want to stand on top of the world Mount Everest is a perfect choice. But, if you want to stand closer to the Moon then, Mount Chimborazo is what you should choose. Let’s not forget, the distance between the summit of both mountains from the earth’s center is around 2.5 kilometers.
8. Mount Everest Is About 60 Million Years Old.
“What is the age of Mount Everest?” is always a hot topic to discuss. No one knows the actual age. But according to some research and experts, it is estimated that the age of Everest is around 60 million years ago the time when the Himalayas was formed due to the collision of the Eurasian Plate and Indian Plate.
In 1924, Noel Odell became the first person to discover marine fossils on Mount Everest. The statement proves that the mountain was under the ocean before the Eurasian and Indian plate collision. More than that, the limestone and sandstone on the summit were considered to be submarine sedimentary rocks. Also, it is estimated that it can be approximately 450 million years old.
However, geologists have considered that Mount Everest is 60 million years old the time when the Himalayas was formed.
9. Everest’s Climate Is One Of The Harshest In The World.
Everest has one of the harshest climates in the world. How wouldn’t it be, with unimaginable altitude and all you see is glaciers and snowy mountains. Above 5,300 meters the mountains are capped with snow and ice all year round. Violent storms with strong winds are common. If you ever dream of Everest Base Camp and Everest Expedition you should always wear protective gear as required.
The warmest temperature ever recorded on the summit of Everest is -20°C. People who head for Everest Expedition must wear specially-designed warm clothes to prevent exposure and frostbite as well as goggles to prevent snow blindness. Sometimes the weather can be challenging and deadly.
Everest climate is one of the extremes. The temperature can drop up to -60°C. Cold is still acceptable with the essential equipment and gears. Another harsh challenge of Everest is hurricane-force wind. The highest wind force recorded is 285 km/h. Somehow, the wind stays clams in May and that is the month every climber tries to summit Everest.
10. Nothing Lives On The Top Of Mount Everest.
There is no sign of life on the top of Mount Everest. Also, nothing lives on the summit. How could it support life when the temperature is always below -20°C. Also, there is no source of food to survive. Harsh weather and lack of oxygen are other reasons for not supporting life on the top of the world.
Surprisingly, there is life below 6,700 meters. The Himalayan Jumping Spider is a small and toxic jumping spider that can live up to 6,700 meters above sea level. It is the only highest known permanent resident on earth. Below the altitude of 6,000 meters, you can spot other animals such as Snow Leopard, Himalayan Tahr, and Himalayan Yak.
At an altitude of 5,167 meters, Gorakshep is located where hotels and lodges are available. Plus, it is the highest point you can find a human settlement on Everest. However, there is no life on the top of Mout Everest.
11. Dead Bodies Are A Common Scene On Mount Everest.
When climbers die climbing Everest, their bodies are left on the mountain. It is almost impossible to bury a dead body due to ice-hard ground. Dragging or carrying dead bodies requires more physical effort and causes short of oxygen. So, dead bodies are a common scene on Mount Everest.
It is believed that there are over 200 dead bodies on Mount Everest. No one is sure about the exact number yet. Two-thirds of the people who had died while climbing is still resting in peace on Mount Everest. The rescue of a corpse can cost $40,000 to $80,000.
If you ever tried to summit Everest, for sure you can encounter some of the corpses en route. Likewise, there are some famous bodies. ‘Green boots’ is one of the famous images. He was identified later as he was Tsewang Paljor from India.
(Green Boots. Picture credit to Wikipedia)
12. About 300 People Have Died On Mount Everest.
While climbing Mount Everest, climbers face life-threatening obstacles and every step is a risk. As of January 2021, the study has stated that 305 people have died while attempting the summit of Everest. Also, the majority of corpses are still there.
The major causes of death are avalanches, hypoxia, exhaustion, and hypothermia. Some of the rare events like falls and other absurd accidents are also the reason for some deaths. Khumbu Icefall is one of the deadliest zones on the way to the summit. It is said that the glacier has claimed most of the lives.
Our deepest sympathy to all of the beautiful souls who rested on Mount Everest.
13. The Average Death Rate Is About 1% On Mount Everest.
As we have talked about before that over 300 people have died while summiting Mount Everest. Over 5,000 people have already submitted to the top of the world. Although the number of deads is increasing, relatively the death rate has decreased below 1%.
According to the database of BBC, between the years 1970-1990 have most death rate ever recorded. BBC has stated that most of the deaths occurred by the avalanche and then by altitude sickness. After 1990 the success rate increased vastly and hence, the death rate decreased.
14. The Death Zone Is Above 8,000 Meters.
The death zone is defined as the region above 8,000 meters on Mount Everest. At such a high altitude, the oxygen concentration is very low. Normally, at residential altitude, the air consists of 20% oxygen due to air pressure. Above 6,000 meters, there is still 10% oxygen. But when you cross 8,000 meters then the oxygen level drops to 8%.
When you reach above 8,000 meters you are breathing 12% less oxygen than usual. In which supplemental oxygen is very important. Without supplemental oxygen, one can just survive for a few minutes. Also, consequences can turn for the worst.
At an altitude of 8,000 meters, your body cannot acclimatize or sustain itself. Your body will slowly die because of hypoxia and Hypothermia. That’s why it is called Death Zone.
15. There Is A "2 O'clock Rule" When Climbing Mount Everest.
Every climber follows the 2 o’clock rule when climbing Mount. Due to harsh and unpredictable weather, climbers must reach the summit by 2 pm. The result can be devastating. You can get caught in the death zone and fall short of reaching back to camp. In addition, it gets dark sooner and falling temperature is another issue too.
Furthermore, there is tragedy story about Mount Everest. In 1996, Rob Hall and Scott Fischer along with their team attempted the summit. But they miscalculated and made poor decisions. They successfully summited Mount Everest however they ignore the consequences of descending. The tragedy happens on the way back to their camp.
Later, Fischer described it as the ‘2 o’clock rule’. It means that the climber should reach the summit of Mount Everest before 2 pm. If a group cannot reach the summit before 2 o’clock then they must abandon the summit and proceed to descend before it’s too late.
16. Jon Krakauer Reached Everest's Peak But His Team Was Lost "Into Thin Air".
Jon Krakauer is an American writer and was a reporter for Outside magazine. In 1996, Krakauer followed a mountaineering team to climb Mount Everest. He and his team successfully reach the summit. However, he did come back safely but his 8 members died while descending. They were all caught in blizzard weather on their way back.
In 1997, Krakauer publish the book ‘Into Thin Air’ in which he wrote the truth of the disaster. It is also recorded as one of the deadliest Everest disasters in history. After that in 2014, 16 Sherpas were killed by an avalanche. In the following year 2015, the earthquake killed 22 climbers who successfully summited and return to base camp making it the deadliest Everest disaster.
17. The Movie "Everest" Was Partially Filmed On Mount Everest.
We have just talked about the Everest disaster ‘Into Thin Air’ in 1996. The book was later presented in movie title as ‘Everest’. The movie shows the true story of the mountain disaster in a realistic version. Talking about the movie, only some parts of the action were filmed on Everest. Most of the scenes were filmed in studios.
The movie ‘Everest’ was released in 2015. Although the movie is based on the true story of Everest, the movie was filmed partially in Everest Region. Pinewood Studios from England is in charge of making the movie. The scene of Lukla Airport, Namche Bazaar, and Everest Base Camp was filmed in Nepal.
In 2014, when the second unit shooting crew went for shooting to Camp II, the avalanche struck killing 16 Sherpas. However, the filming crew remained unharmed because they were not there where the disaster took place. Later, the movie was completely filmed on greenscreen with CG imagery from studios.
18. Francys Arsentiev Is Known As “Sleeping Beauty On Mount Everest”.
Francys Arsentiev is the first woman from America to reach the summit of Mount Everest without any oxygen supply. Sadly, she died on the way back due to Hypothermia and Cerebral Edema. Since then, she has been sleeping on Everest. And then she is recognized as ‘Sleeping Beauty on Mount Everest’.
In 1998, Francys Arsentiev along with her husband Sergei Arsentiev set off for Everest Expedition. They were climbing without oxygen so they slowly ascended to the summit which force them to say a night above 8,000 meters. At the time of descending, she was not in good condition. On the way down some Uzbek Expedition Team found her body lying on snow still attach to a guide rope.
At that time, Arsentiev was 40 years old and she had a son. She was such a bold and brave woman. Her corpse is nicknamed “Sleeping Beauty”.
19. Everest Has Been Summited Over 9,000 Times.
Isn’t it an interesting fact that the world’s highest mountain has been summited over 9,000 times? The first record of the summit of Everest was in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. Since then, more than 5,000 people have stood on top of the world over 9,000 times. Among them, some of the Sherpas have climbed more than once.
In 2018, around 800 people have summited Everest breaking the record of most people summited in a single year. The previous record was in 2013 when 667 people summited Everest. Interestingly, there were not any expeditions recorded in 1974.
Two routes are frequently in practice by the climbers. One is from Nepal and another from Tibet. Up to date, 66% have been summited from Nepal which is South Col, and the remaining 34% from the Tibet side known as North Col.
20. Kami Rita Sherpa Has Climbed Mount Everest The Most Times.
Kami Rita Sherpa is a Sherpa guide who reached the summit for the 25th time on May 7, 2021, making the record for climbing Mount Everest the most times. He breaks his own record which he held in May 2018.
Moreover, He has another record for the most 8,000 meters summit. Along with Mount Everest, he has summited 38 times. In which, Kami Rita climbed Everest 25 times, Cho Oyo 8 times, Manaslu 3 times, and Lhotse and K2 just once.
Likewise, Kami Rita Sherpa, age 52, climbed Mount Everest (8,848.86m) for the 26th time to wear out his own record for the most climbs of the world's highest peak. The Sherpa reached the top at 18:55 local time, Saturday, May 7th-2022 along with other 10 Sherpas through the southeast ridge route.
Not only himself, but Rita’s father was also a professional Sherpa climbing guide. Likewise, his brother is also a climbing guide and has already scaled Mount Everest 17 times. He was born in 1970 AD, at Thame village, Solukhumbu, Nepal.
21. Mount Everest Has Many Firsts And Climbing Records.
With all those interesting facts, we try to present some records created by legendary people on Mount Everest.
Mount Everest was first summited on May 29, 1953, by Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand mountaineer, and a Sherpa from Nepal Tenzing Norgay. They scale Everest from South Col Route.
A Chinese mountaineers group of Wang Fuzhou, Gong Bu, and Qu Yinhua became the first Chinese to summit Mount Everest in 1960. It was also the first summit of the South Col Route from Tibet.
Junko Tabei, a Japanese woman, became the first woman to climb Mount Everest in 1975. Also, she became the first woman to ascend to all Seven summits in 1992.
On May 1, 1963, Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit Mount Everest alongside his Sherpa guide Nawang Gombu.
Erik Weihenmayer was the first blind person to reach the summit in 2001.
A Nepalese couple, Pem Dorje and Moni Mulepati got married on the summit of Mount Everest in 2005 and became the first people to get married on the top of the world.
On May 8, 2008, the Beijing Olympic torch arrived on Mount Everest at 9:17 am, marking the first time in human history that the Olympic torch had been carried to the world's highest peak and the highest place to hand on the torch in the Olympic history.
Jordan Romero from America took the youngest climber to reach the summit record on May 22, 2010, at 13 years and 345 days old.
22. An Average Everest Climber Needs 35 Hours Of Bottled Oxygen.
According to Nepal National Mountain Guide Association, they have stated that on average a climber use 7 bottles of supplemental oxygen for both up and down. Each bottle can last up to 5 hours. So, it means that a climber needs 35 hours of bottled oxygen.
Without oxygen, we cannot even survive for a minute. Oxygen is very important to function your body properly. It oxidizes the food and releases energy to work. When oxygen levels drop in the human body, it can cause heavy breathing and headaches. In other cases, it can malfunction the brain and heart too.
Above 5,000 meters, the oxygen level drops half of the sea level. As altitude increases, the oxygen level decreases. When a person reaches above 7,000 meters and 8,000 meters (Death Zone), supplemental oxygen is mandatory.
Make sure to check 15 important tips before trekking to Everest Base Camp. Hope it might make you stress-free for your next trip.
23. Tons Of Human Poop Are Frozen On Mount Everest.
The campaign to cleaner Everest has estimated that about 8,000 kilograms of human feces have been left on Mount Everest. It is making a serious issue on health and environmental problems. Feces does not decompose at the frozen higher altitude.
Now, mountaineers have to carry human waste from the mountain. The rule has been implemented but still, the system is problematic. Some of the porters and Sherpas have mentioned that they were not able to carry the extra weight of waste due to harsh weather, altitude, and slippery slopes.
Experts have said that the excrements have threatened the water resource of the mountain. The drinking water that climbers are using is contaminated with human feces. Aftermath, they suffer from a stomach illness. Some experts have said that it can even affect drinking water resources where humans are inhabitants.
24. Everest Climbers Pee And Poop In Their Tents If They Can…
Just now, we discussed the topic of waste and human feces on Mount Everest. Using a toilet on the mountain is a matter of curiosity. Some climbers build tent toilets whereas some of them pee and poop in their tents. Climbers carry disposable bags for bodily waste and bottles for pee which they have to bring back. Also, some of the climbers wear diapers.
It takes more time than you expected to build a tent on the mountain. Then, digging latrines on the frozen ground is out of the question because it takes more effort. Also, exposing skin in the frozen zone can cause frostbite and hypothermia in other scenarios. So, it is reasonable to use the tent for excrement.
As we talked about before, human waste has been an issue of complication. The waste carried from Mount Everest is dumped at Gorakshep, a frozen lake bed. It is at a high risk of contaminating drinking water streams. In 2003, a mountaineer, Garry Porter, propose a solution to the problem as the waste can be turned into fertilizer and methane gas for cooking.
25. It Takes 10 Weeks To Climb Mount Everest.
Climbing Mount Everest? Well, it is not just a normal adventure. It can take 10 weeks or more than 2 months to reach the summit and descend successfully. All those times are utilized for acclimatization to adapt your body to higher altitudes. Also, waiting for good weather can consume some extra time too.
Everest Base Camp is at the height of 5,364 meters which only takes some days to reach, not even 2 weeks. The majority of days are spent on the climbing route. It does not require much time to reach the summit but what goes up must come down. So, jointly (ascending and descending) can take up to 2 months. In some cases, it can take more than that.
Here is one of the interesting facts. On 21 May 2004, Pemba Dorje Sherpa ascended the summit of Mount Everest at the time of 8 hours 10 minutes, creating a world record for the fastest ascent on the top of the world.
26. It Takes At Least 30,000 USD To Climb Mount Everest.
It is a common question among hodophile and nature enthusiasts “How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?”. It takes at least 30,000 USD to climb Mount Everest. The cost can be higher or even can cost less. The cost can depend upon the standard, days, Sherpas, and other expenses.
The normal cost range can be from $30,000 to $85,000. The fully custom expedition can cost up to $115,000 or even more. A climber must pay $11,000 to Nepal Government for the permit to climb Mount Everest. Normally, the cost includes transportation, camps/tents, Sherpas, food, and supplemental oxygen.
Other expenses while Everest Expedition is personal equipment and gear. You need to spend from $6,000 to $8,000, according to the quality of your equipment.
27. Sherpas Are The Best Guides On Mount Everest.
Whenever it comes to scaling mighty mountains, one thing that strikes our mind is ‘Sherpas’. From the first person to climb Mount Everest (Tenzing Norgay Sherpa) to date, Sherpas have been assisting to climb your favorite mountains. Without a question, Sherpas are the best guide in the world.
Sherpas are the ethnic group of Nepal native to the mountain region of Nepal. Not only Nepal, but some of them are also scattered around Tibet, India, and Bhutan. They are renowned for climbing mountains and endurance at higher altitudes. Sherpas are the people who can climb Everest without supplemental oxygen.
For past centuries, Sherpas have been providing guide service for mountaineering teams. Also, it has been the main source of income for them. Apart from guiding, Sherpas also provide porter service for an expedition.
28. Sherpa Guides Get Paid US $5,000 Upwards For An Expedition.
A moment ago, we just talked about the legacy of the Sherpa guide. They are the best climbing guide to choose from. Ever wonder how much a Sherpa guide costs? Well, Sherpa guides get paid $5,000 for two months' expedition.
As mentioned before, the climbing guide is the main source of income for Sherpas. Sherpas who lead the expedition team earn around $2,000 to $5,000. The price differs depending on the time interval of the expedition. Whereas Western guides make $50,000 at the same time.
Sherpas have good skills in climbing mountains. Moreover, they are life-saving while climbing to the summit. They are pretty much strong and help to carry your supplies along with other equipment too. Trust me, Sherpas are not ordinary people.
29. Helicopters Can't Fly To The Top Of Mount Everest.
Helicopters need a certain density of air to lift and fly. Generally, helicopters can fly up to 5,000 meters. But on Mount Everest, the air density is very thin. Therefore, the helicopter can not fly to the top of Mount Everest.
Typically, helicopters are designed to fly a short distance and relatively lower altitude than planes. In addition, helicopters fly by rotating blades. Some high-performance helicopters can fly to Gorekshep as well as to Everest Base Camp too.
The interesting fact is there is only one gentleman, Didier Delsalle landed a helicopter on the summit of Everest in 2005.
If you want to admire Everest, then Everest Base Camp Trek with Heli can be ideal for you. We, Nepal Mother House, provide all the services you want with undeniable offers.
30. Planes Can Fly Over Mount Everest.
Yes! The plane can fly over Mount Everest. Today’s aircraft can take flight at an altitude of 8,000 to 10,000 meters. Most commercial airplanes have a certified maximum elevation of 12,000 meters to 13,000 meters.
Flying over Mount Everest is not a big deal, however, flight routes don’t travel through Everest. The unpredictable weather increases the risk of turbulence. Hurricane-force wind and snowstorms are the main reason for making Everest a no-fly zone.
The closest airport to Everest is Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla which is at the height of 2,860 meters. It is situated 60 km away from the summit. It is one of the most dangerous airports in the world.
We just present you with the 30 interesting facts about Mount Everest. Hope you like our presentation. If you or your friends/family ever consider visiting Everest Base Camp to witness Everest, Nepal Mother House is always at your service.