how tall is mount everest in mile

how tall is mount everest in mile


Joe Phelan

published 26 December 21

It depends how you measure height.

It’s no secret that Mount Everest, the jewel in Nepal’s Himalayan crown, is the world’s premier mountain. It’s one of those facts embedded in childhood, like knowing that Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon or that blue whales are the largest animals ever to have lived.

You may be surprised to hear, then, that other peaks could conceivably be considered Earth’s tallest; it just depends how you measure them.

how tall is mount everest in mile

So, judging by different parameters — including tallest by altitude, tallest from base to top and tallest based on being the farthest point from Earth’s center — what is the tallest mountain in the world?

Related: Why don’t mountains grow forever?

Mount Everest, located deep in the Mahālangūr Himāl subrange of the Himalayas, is undoubtedly the most famous — and alluring — of all our planet’s mountains. Also known as Chomolungma, meaning “Goddess Mother of the World” in Tibetan, Everest was first scaled on May 29, 1953 by Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa of Nepal, and New Zealander Edmund Hillary, and has since been successfully climbed by around 4,000 people (opens in new tab). The mountain has also claimed the lives of over 300 since records started being kept in 1922, according to the Guardian (opens in new tab).

Researchers have measured Mount Everest many times over the past few decades, but the latest assessment, announced in November 2021 (opens in new tab), puts it at 29,031.69 feet (8,848.86 meters) above sea level, which is almost 5.5 miles (8.8 kilometers) tall. It’s a pretty impressive height, but it does raise a question: Why do we use “above sea level” when determining the world’s tallest peak? 

“In order to have comparability in measurements, it is necessary to have a consistent baseline,” Martin Price, a professor and founding director of the Centre for Mountain Studies at the University of Highlands and Islands in Scotland, told Live Science.

“Historically, and even now, elevation is usually given as height above mean sea level,” Price told Live Science in an email. “However, this has to be with reference to a standard mean sea level, which has to be defined. Sea levels are different in different parts of the world, and they’re changing due to climate change.”

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  • As a result, “elevation is now measured in relation to the mathematically defined geoid of the Earth,” he said. The geoid is, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (opens in new tab), “a model of global mean sea level that is used to measure precise surface elevations.” This average is used to ascertain the height of mountains, a process that sometimes requires an aeroplane to fly “back and forth over a mountain in a series of parallel lines to measure how much gravity pulls down on its peak,” according to GIM International (opens in new tab). These measurements, in conjunction with GPS readings, provide incredibly accurate elevation readings.  

    So, all mountains are measured from sea level, predominantly for convenience and consistency, but what if measurements were simply taken from base to peak? Would Everest still top the charts?

    The answer is a mountainous “no.” That honor would go to Mauna Kea, an inactive volcano in Hawaii. Although its peak is 13,802 feet (4,205 m) above sea level — which is less than half the height of Everest, according to National Geographic (opens in new tab) — the majority of Mauna Kea is hidden below sea level. When measured from base to peak, Mauna Kea is 33,497 feet (10,211 m) tall, according to the United States Geological Survey (opens in new tab), which puts it heads and shoulders above Mount Everest.

    Should we, therefore, regard Mauna Kea as the tallest mountain on Earth?

    “It all depends on the perspective you take,” Price said. “If there were no oceans on our planet, there would be no debate! You could draw comparisons to the highest mountains on other bodies in our solar system, which have no oceans.”

    Meanwhile, another contender, Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador, boasts a peak that is the farthest point from Earth’s center.

    Chimborazo isn’t the tallest mountain in the Andes — it’s not even in the top 30 — but its proximity to the equator is what makes all the difference. Earth is not a perfect sphere — technically, it’s an oblate spheroid — and it bulges along the equator. This is a result of the force created by Earth’s rotation. As a result, it means there is a difference of 13.29 miles (21.39 km) between the planet’s polar radius (3,949.90 miles/6,356.75 km) and its equatorial radius (3,963.19 miles/6,378.14 km), according to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (opens in new tab).

    Chimborazo is just 1 degree south of the equator, where Earth’s bulge is most prominent; this geographical quirk means Chimborazo’s summit is 3,967 miles from Earth’s core (opens in new tab), making it 6,798 feet (2,072 m) farther away from the planet’s center than the peak of Everest. 

    So, which of these three contenders for tallest mountain should take home first prize?

    —How much trash is on Mount Everest?

    —Would I weigh less at the equator?

    —Why are the Vermilion Cliffs so red?

    Mount Everest is the tallest mountain above sea level, while Mauna Kea can certainly claim to be the world’s tallest mountain (when sea level isn’t taken into account). It would be difficult to make a case for Chimborazo being the tallest, but “it’s all a matter of perspective,” Price admitted.

    Regardless of the mountain you choose, its height will pale in comparison with Mars’ Olympus Mons, the largest known volcano in the solar system. It has a height of around 16 miles (25 km), according to NASA, which is almost three times taller than Everest, and a base of 374 miles (601.9 km) in diameter (opens in new tab), which is about the same distance separating San Francisco and Los Angeles (383.1 miles/616.5 km).

    There is also an impact crater called Rheasilvia on the asteroid Vesta, which is part of the asteroid belt 100 million miles from Earth. At the center of this crater (opens in new tab) is a peak that scientists believe could be anywhere between 12 and 15.5 miles (20 and 25 km) in height, meaning it may be the tallest mountain in the solar system, according to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (opens in new tab). 

    Originally published on Live Science.

    Joe Phelan is a journalist based in London. His work has appeared in VICE, National Geographic, World Soccer and The Blizzard, and has been a guest on Times Radio. He is drawn to the weird, wonderful and under examined, as well as anything related to life in the Arctic Circle. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Chester. 

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    Mount Everest (Nepali: सगरमाथा, romanized: Sagarmāthā; Tibetan: Chomolungma ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ; Chinese: 珠穆朗玛峰; pinyin: Zhūmùlǎngmǎ Fēng) is Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The China–Nepal border runs across its summit point.[2] Its elevation (snow height) of 8,848.86 m (29,031.7 ft) was most recently established in 2020 by the Chinese and Nepali authorities.[3]

    Mount Everest attracts many climbers, including highly experienced mountaineers. There are two main climbing routes, one approaching the summit from the southeast in Nepal (known as the “standard route”) and the other from the north in Tibet. While not posing substantial technical climbing challenges on the standard route, Everest presents dangers such as altitude sickness, weather, and wind, as well as hazards from avalanches and the Khumbu Icefall. As of 2019[update], over 300 people have died on Everest,[4] many of whose bodies remain on the mountain.[5]

    The first recorded efforts to reach Everest’s summit were made by British mountaineers. As Nepal did not allow foreigners to enter the country at the time, the British made several attempts on the north ridge route from the Tibetan side. After the first reconnaissance expedition by the British in 1921 reached 7,000 m (22,970 ft) on the North Col, the 1922 expedition pushed the north ridge route up to 8,320 m (27,300 ft), marking the first time a human had climbed above 8,000 m (26,247 ft). The 1924 expedition resulted in one of the greatest mysteries on Everest to this day: George Mallory and Andrew Irvine made a final summit attempt on 8 June but never returned, sparking debate as to whether they were the first to reach the top. Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary made the first documented ascent of Everest in 1953, using the southeast ridge route. Norgay had reached 8,595 m (28,199 ft) the previous year as a member of the 1952 Swiss expedition. The Chinese mountaineering team of Wang Fuzhou, Gonpo, and Qu Yinhua made the first reported ascent of the peak from the north ridge on 25 May 1960.[6]

    how tall is mount everest in mile

    The Tibetan name for Everest is Qomolangma (ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ, lit. “Holy Mother”). The name was first recorded with a Chinese transcription on the 1721 Kangxi Atlas during the reign of Emperor Kangxi of Qing China, and then appeared as Tchoumour Lancma on a 1733 map published in Paris by the French geographer D’Anville based on the former map.[7] It is also popularly romanised as Chomolungma and (in Wylie) as Jo-mo-glang-ma.[12] The official Chinese transcription is 珠穆朗玛峰 (t 珠穆朗瑪峰), whose pinyin form is Zhūmùlǎngmǎ Fēng. While other Chinese names exist, including Shèngmǔ Fēng (t 聖母峰, s 圣母峰, lit. “Holy Mother Peak”), these names largely phased out from May 1952 as the Ministry of Internal Affairs of China issued a decree to adopt 珠穆朗玛峰 as the sole name.[13] Documented local names include “Deodungha” (“Holy Mountain”), but it is unclear whether it is commonly used.[14]

    In 1849, the British survey wanted to preserve local names if possible (e.g., Kangchenjunga and Dhaulagiri), and Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India argued that he could not find any commonly used local name, as his search for a local name was hampered by Nepal and Tibet’s exclusion of foreigners. Waugh argued that because there were many local names, it would be difficult to favour one name over all others; he decided that Peak XV should be named after British surveyor Sir George Everest, his predecessor as Surveyor General of India.[15][16][17] Everest himself opposed the name suggested by Waugh and told the Royal Geographical Society in 1857 that “Everest” could not be written in Hindi nor pronounced by “the native of India”. Waugh’s proposed name prevailed despite the objections, and in 1865, the Royal Geographical Society officially adopted Mount Everest as the name for the highest mountain in the world.[15][18] The modern pronunciation of Everest (/ˈɛvərɪst/)[19] is different from Sir George’s pronunciation of his surname (/ˈiːvrɪst/ EEV-rist).[20][verification needed] In the late 19th century, many European cartographers incorrectly believed that a native name for the mountain was Gaurishankar, a mountain between Kathmandu and Everest.[21]

    In the early 1960s, the Nepali government coined the Nepali name Sagarmāthā (IAST transcription) or Sagar-Matha[22] (सगर-माथा, [sʌɡʌrmatʰa], lit. “goddess of the sky”[23]).[24] The Nepali name for Everest is Sagarmāthā (सगरमाथा) which means “the Head in the Great Blue Sky” derived from सगर (sagar) meaning “sky” and माथा (māthā) meaning “head” in the Nepali Language.

    In 1802, the British began the Great Trigonometric Survey of India to fix the locations, heights, and names of the world’s highest mountains. Starting in southern India, the survey teams moved northward using giant theodolites, each weighing 500 kg (1,100 lb) and requiring 12 men to carry, to measure heights as accurately as possible. They reached the Himalayan foothills by the 1830s, but Nepal was unwilling to allow the British to enter the country due to suspicions of their intentions. Several requests by the surveyors to enter Nepal were denied.[15]

    The British were forced to continue their observations from Terai, a region south of Nepal which is parallel to the Himalayas. Conditions in Terai were difficult because of torrential rains and malaria. Three survey officers died from malaria while two others had to retire because of failing health.[15]

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  • Nonetheless, in 1847, the British continued the survey and began detailed observations of the Himalayan peaks from observation stations up to 240 km (150 mi) distant. Weather restricted work to the last three months of the year. In November 1847, Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India, made several observations from the Sawajpore station at the east end of the Himalayas. Kangchenjunga was then considered the highest peak in the world, and with interest, he noted a peak beyond it, about 230 km (140 mi) away. John Armstrong, one of Waugh’s subordinates, also saw the peak from a site farther west and called it peak “b”. Waugh would later write that the observations indicated that peak “b” was higher than Kangchenjunga, but given the great distance of the observations, closer observations were required for verification. The following year, Waugh sent a survey official back to Terai to make closer observations of peak “b”, but clouds thwarted his attempts.[15]

    In 1849, Waugh dispatched James Nicolson to the area, who made two observations from Jirol, 190 km (120 mi) away. Nicolson then took the largest theodolite and headed east, obtaining over 30 observations from five different locations, with the closest being 174 km (108 mi) from the peak.[15]

    Nicolson retreated to Patna on the Ganges to perform the necessary calculations based on his observations. His raw data gave an average height of 9,200 m (30,200 ft) for peak “b”, but this did not consider light refraction, which distorts heights. However, the number clearly indicated that peak “b” was higher than Kangchenjunga. Nicolson contracted malaria and was forced to return home without finishing his calculations. Michael Hennessy, one of Waugh’s assistants, had begun designating peaks based on Roman numerals, with Kangchenjunga named Peak IX. Peak “b” now became known as Peak XV.[15]

    In 1852, stationed at the survey headquarters in Dehradun, Radhanath Sikdar, an Indian mathematician and surveyor from Bengal was the first to identify Everest as the world’s highest peak, using trigonometric calculations based on Nicolson’s measurements.[25] An official announcement that Peak XV was the highest was delayed for several years as the calculations were repeatedly verified. Waugh began work on Nicolson’s data in 1854, and along with his staff spent almost two years working on the numbers, having to deal with the problems of light refraction, barometric pressure, and temperature over the vast distances of the observations. Finally, in March 1856 he announced his findings in a letter to his deputy in Calcutta. Kangchenjunga was declared to be 8,582 m (28,156 ft), while Peak XV was given the height of 8,840 m (29,002 ft). Waugh concluded that Peak XV was “most probably the highest in the world”.[15] Peak XV (measured in feet) was calculated to be exactly 29,000 ft (8,839.2 m) high, but was publicly declared to be 29,002 ft (8,839.8 m) in order to avoid the impression that an exact height of 29,000 feet (8,839.2 m) was nothing more than a rounded estimate.[26] Waugh is sometimes playfully credited with being “the first person to put two feet on top of Mount Everest”.[27]

    In 1856, Andrew Waugh announced Everest (then known as Peak XV) as 8,840 m (29,002 ft) high, after several years of calculations based on observations made by the Great Trigonometric Survey.[28]
    In 1955, the elevation of 8,848 m (29,029 ft) was first determined by an Indian survey, made closer to the mountain, also using theodolites.[citation needed] In 1975 it was subsequently reaffirmed by a Chinese measurement of 8,848.13 m (29,029.30 ft).[29] In both cases the snow cap, not the rock head, was measured.
    The 8,848 m (29,029 ft) height given was officially recognised by Nepal and China.[30] Nepal planned a new survey in 2019 to determine if the April 2015 Nepal earthquake affected the height of the mountain.[31]

    In May 1999, an American Everest expedition directed by Bradford Washburn anchored a GPS unit into the highest bedrock. A rock head elevation of 8,850 m (29,035 ft), and a snow/ice elevation 1 m (3 ft) higher, were obtained via this device.[32] Although as of 2001, it has not been officially recognised by Nepal,[33] this figure is widely quoted. Geoid uncertainty casts doubt upon the accuracy claimed by both the 1999 and 2005 (see § 21st-century surveys) surveys.[34]

    In 1955, a detailed photogrammetric map (at a scale of 1:50,000) of the Khumbu region, including the south side of Mount Everest, was made by Erwin Schneider as part of the 1955 International Himalayan Expedition, which also attempted Lhotse.

    In the late 1980s, an even more detailed topographic map of the Everest area was made under the direction of Bradford Washburn, using extensive aerial photography.[35]

    On 9 October 2005, after several months of measurement and calculation, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping announced the height of Everest as 8,844.43 m (29,017.16 ft) with accuracy of ±0.21 m (8.3 in), claiming it was the most accurate and precise measurement to date.[36][37] This height is based on the highest point of rock and not the snow and ice covering it. The Chinese team measured a snow-ice depth of 3.5 m (11 ft),[29] which is in agreement with a net elevation of 8,848 m (29,029 ft). An argument arose between China and Nepal as to whether the official height should be the rock height (8,844 m, China) or the snow height (8,848 m, Nepal). In 2010, both sides agreed that the height of Everest is 8,848 m, and Nepal recognises China’s claim that the rock height of Everest is 8,844 m.[38]

    It is thought that the plate tectonics of the area are adding to the height and moving the summit northeastwards. Two accounts suggest the rates of change are 4 mm (0.16 in) per year vertically and 3 to 6 mm (0.12 to 0.24 in) per year horizontally,[32][39] but another account mentions more lateral movement (27 mm or 1.1 in),[40] and even shrinkage has been suggested.[41]

    The actual height of the mountain had been disputed by Nepal and China, the two countries that share the mountain. On 8 December 2020, it was jointly announced by the two countries that the new official height is 8,848.86 metres (29,031.7 ft).[42][43] This was 86 cm (2.82 ft) higher than had been previously officially calculated. Chinese authorities had argued previously Everest should be measured to its rock height, while Nepali authorities asserted the snow on top of the summit should be included.[43]

    The summit of Everest is the point at which Earth’s surface reaches the greatest distance above sea level. Several other mountains are sometimes claimed to be the “tallest mountains on Earth”. Mauna Kea in Hawaii is tallest when measured from its base;[note 4] it rises over 10,200 m (33,464.6 ft) when measured from its base on the mid-ocean floor, but only attains 4,205 m (13,796 ft) above sea level.

    By the same measure of base to summit, Denali, in Alaska, also known as Mount McKinley, is taller than Everest as well.[note 4] Despite its height above sea level of only 6,190 m (20,308 ft), Denali sits atop a sloping plain with elevations from 300 to 900 m (980 to 2,950 ft), yielding a height above base in the range of 5,300 to 5,900 m (17,400 to 19,400 ft); a commonly quoted figure is 5,600 m (18,400 ft).[44][45] By comparison, reasonable base elevations for Everest range from 4,200 m (13,800 ft) on the south side to 5,200 m (17,100 ft) on the Tibetan Plateau, yielding a height above base in the range of 3,650 to 4,650 m (11,980 to 15,260 ft).[35]

    The summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador is 2,168 m (7,113 ft) farther from Earth’s centre (6,384.4 km, 3,967.1 mi) than that of Everest (6,382.3 km, 3,965.8 mi), because the Earth bulges at the equator.[46] This is despite Chimborazo having a peak 6,268 m (20,564.3 ft) above sea level versus Mount Everest’s 8,848 m (29,028.9 ft).

    Geologists have subdivided the rocks comprising Mount Everest into three units called formations.[47][48] Each formation is separated from the other by low-angle faults, called detachments, along which they have been thrust southward over each other. From the summit of Mount Everest to its base these rock units are the Qomolangma Formation, the North Col Formation, and the Rongbuk Formation.

    The Qomolangma Formation, also known as the Jolmo Lungama Formation,[49] runs from the summit to the top of the Yellow Band, about 8,600 m (28,200 ft) above sea level. It consists of greyish to dark grey or white, parallel laminated and bedded, Ordovician limestone interlayered with subordinate beds of recrystallised dolomite with argillaceous laminae and siltstone. Gansser first reported finding microscopic fragments of crinoids in this limestone.[50][51] Later petrographic analysis of samples of the limestone from near the summit revealed them to be composed of carbonate pellets and finely fragmented remains of trilobites, crinoids, and ostracods. Other samples were so badly sheared and recrystallised that their original constituents could not be determined. A thick, white-weathering thrombolite bed that is 60 m (200 ft) thick comprises the foot of the “Third Step”, and base of the summit pyramid of Everest. This bed, which crops out starting about 70 m (230 ft) below the summit of Mount Everest, consists of sediments trapped, bound, and cemented by the biofilms of micro-organisms, especially cyanobacteria, in shallow marine waters. The Qomolangma Formation is broken up by several high-angle faults that terminate at the low angle normal fault, the Qomolangma Detachment. This detachment separates it from the underlying Yellow Band. The lower five metres of the Qomolangma Formation overlying this detachment are very highly deformed.[47][48][52]

    The bulk of Mount Everest, between 7,000 and 8,600 m (23,000 and 28,200 ft), consists of the North Col Formation, of which the Yellow Band forms the upper part between 8,200 to 8,600 m (26,900 to 28,200 ft). The Yellow Band consists of intercalated beds of Middle Cambrian diopside-epidote-bearing marble, which weathers a distinctive yellowish brown, and muscovite-biotite phyllite and semischist. Petrographic analysis of marble collected from about 8,300 m (27,200 ft) found it to consist as much as five per cent of the ghosts of recrystallised crinoid ossicles. The upper five metres of the Yellow Band lying adjacent to the Qomolangma Detachment is badly deformed. A 5–40 cm (2.0–15.7 in) thick fault breccia separates it from the overlying Qomolangma Formation.[47][48][52]

    The remainder of the North Col Formation, exposed between 7,000 to 8,200 m (23,000 to 26,900 ft) on Mount Everest, consists of interlayered and deformed schist, phyllite, and minor marble. Between 7,600 and 8,200 m (24,900 and 26,900 ft), the North Col Formation consists chiefly of biotite-quartz phyllite and chlorite-biotite phyllite intercalated with minor amounts of biotite-sericite-quartz schist. Between 7,000 and 7,600 m (23,000 and 24,900 ft), the lower part of the North Col Formation consists of biotite-quartz schist intercalated with epidote-quartz schist, biotite-calcite-quartz schist, and thin layers of quartzose marble. These metamorphic rocks appear to be the result of the metamorphism of Middle to Early Cambrian deep sea flysch composed of interbedded, mudstone, shale, clayey sandstone, calcareous sandstone, graywacke, and sandy limestone. The base of the North Col Formation is a regional low-angle normal fault called the “Lhotse detachment”.[47][48][52]

    Below 7,000 m (23,000 ft), the Rongbuk Formation underlies the North Col Formation and forms the base of Mount Everest. It consists of sillimanite-K-feldspar grade schist and gneiss intruded by numerous sills and dikes of leucogranite ranging in thickness from 1 cm to 1,500 m (0.4 in to 4,900 ft).[48][53] These leucogranites are part of a belt of Late Oligocene–Miocene intrusive rocks known as the Higher Himalayan leucogranite. They formed as the result of partial melting of Paleoproterozoic to Ordovician high-grade metasedimentary rocks of the Higher Himalayan Sequence about 20 to 24 million years ago during the subduction of the Indian Plate.[54]

    Mount Everest consists of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks that have been faulted southward over continental crust composed of Archean granulites of the Indian Plate during the Cenozoic collision of India with Asia.[55][56][57] Current interpretations argue that the Qomolangma and North Col formations consist of marine sediments that accumulated within the continental shelf of the northern passive continental margin of India before it collided with Asia. The Cenozoic collision of India with Asia subsequently deformed and metamorphosed these strata as it thrust them southward and upward.[58][59] The Rongbuk Formation consists of a sequence of high-grade metamorphic and granitic rocks that were derived from the alteration of high-grade metasedimentary rocks. During the collision of India with Asia, these rocks were thrust downward and to the north as they were overridden by other strata; heated, metamorphosed, and partially melted at depths of over 15 to 20 kilometres (9.3 to 12.4 mi) below sea level; and then forced upward to surface by thrusting towards the south between two major detachments.[60] The Himalayas are rising by about 5 mm per year.

    There is very little native flora or fauna on Everest. A moss grows at 6,480 metres (21,260 ft) on Mount Everest.[61] It may be the highest altitude plant species.[61] An alpine cushion plant called Arenaria is known to grow below 5,500 metres (18,000 ft) in the region.[62] According to the study based on satellite data from 1993 to 2018, vegetation is expanding in the Everest region. Researchers have found plants in areas that were previously deemed bare.[63]

    Euophrys omnisuperstes, a minute black jumping spider, has been found at elevations as high as 6,700 metres (22,000 ft), possibly making it the highest confirmed non-microscopic permanent resident on Earth. In the base camp of Everest the jumping spider Euophrys everestensis occurs.[64] It lurks in crevices and may feed on frozen insects that have been blown there by the wind. There is a high likelihood of microscopic life at even higher altitudes.[65]

    Birds, such as the bar-headed goose, have been seen flying at the higher altitudes of the mountain, while others, such as the chough, have been spotted as high as the South Col at 7,920 metres (25,980 ft).[66] Yellow-billed choughs have been seen as high as 7,900 metres (26,000 ft) and bar-headed geese migrate over the Himalayas.[67] In 1953, George Lowe (part of the expedition of Tenzing and Hillary) said that he saw bar-headed geese flying over Everest’s summit.[68]

    Yaks are often used to haul gear for Mount Everest climbs. They can haul 100 kg (220 pounds), have thick fur and large lungs.[62] Other animals in the region include the Himalayan tahr which is sometimes eaten by the snow leopard.[69] The Himalayan black bear can be found up to about 4,300 metres (14,000 ft) and the red panda is also present in the region.[70] One expedition found a surprising range of species in the region including a pika and ten new species of ants.[71]

    In 2008, a new weather station at about 8,000 m (26,000 ft) elevation went online.[75] The station’s first data in May 2008 were air temperature −17 °C (1 °F), relative humidity 41.3 per cent, atmospheric pressure 382.1 hPa (38.21 kPa), wind direction 262.8°, wind speed 12.8 m/s (28.6 mph, 46.1 km/h), global solar radiation 711.9 watts/m2, solar UVA radiation 30.4 W/m2.[75] The project was orchestrated by Stations at High Altitude for Research on the Environment (SHARE), which also placed the Mount Everest webcam in 2011.[75][76] The solar-powered weather station is on the South Col.[77]

    Mount Everest extends into the upper troposphere and penetrates the stratosphere.[78] The air pressure at the summit is generally about one-third what it is at sea level. The altitude can expose the summit to the fast and freezing winds of the jet stream.[79] Winds commonly attain 160 km/h (100 mph);[80] in February 2004, a wind speed of 280 km/h (175 mph) was recorded at the summit.

    These winds can hamper or endanger climbers, by blowing them into chasms[80] or (by Bernoulli’s principle) by lowering the air pressure further, reducing available oxygen by up to 14 per cent.[79][81] To avoid the harshest winds, climbers typically aim for a 7- to 10-day window in the spring and fall when the Asian monsoon season is starting up or ending.

    Because Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world, it has attracted considerable attention and climbing attempts. Whether the mountain was climbed in ancient times is unknown. It may have been climbed in 1924, although this has never been confirmed, as neither of the men making the attempt returned. Several climbing routes have been established over several decades of climbing expeditions to the mountain.[82][83][better source needed]

    Everest’s first known summiting occurred by 1953, and interest by climbers increased.[84] Despite the effort and attention poured into expeditions, only about 200 people had summitted by 1987.[84] Everest remained a difficult climb for decades, even for serious attempts by professional climbers and large national expeditions, which were the norm until the commercial era began in the 1990s.[85]

    how tall is mount everest in mile

    By March 2012, Everest had been climbed 5,656 times with 223 deaths.[86] Although lower mountains have longer or steeper climbs, Everest is so high the jet stream can hit it. Climbers can be faced with winds beyond 320 km/h (200 mph) when the weather shifts.[87] At certain times of the year the jet stream shifts north, providing periods of relative calm at the mountain.[88] Other dangers include blizzards and avalanches.[88]

    By 2013, The Himalayan Database recorded 6,871 summits by 4,042 different people.[89]

    In 1885, Clinton Thomas Dent, president of the Alpine Club, suggested that climbing Mount Everest was possible in his book Above the Snow Line.[90]

    The northern approach to the mountain was discovered by George Mallory and Guy Bullock on the initial 1921 British Reconnaissance Expedition. It was an exploratory expedition not equipped for a serious attempt to climb the mountain. With Mallory leading (and thus becoming the first European to set foot on Everest’s flanks) they climbed the North Col to an altitude of 7,005 metres (22,982 ft). From there, Mallory espied a route to the top, but the party was unprepared for the great task of climbing any further and descended.

    The British returned for a 1922 expedition. George Finch climbed using oxygen for the first time. He ascended at a remarkable speed—290 metres (951 ft) per hour, and reached an altitude of 8,320 m (27,300 ft), the first time a human reported to climb higher than 8,000 m. Mallory and Col. Felix Norton made a second unsuccessful attempt.

    The next expedition was in 1924. The initial attempt by Mallory and Geoffrey Bruce was aborted when weather conditions prevented the establishment of Camp VI. The next attempt was that of Norton and Somervell, who climbed without oxygen and in perfect weather, traversing the North Face into the Great Couloir. Norton managed to reach 8,550 m (28,050 ft), though he ascended only 30 m (98 ft) or so in the last hour. Mallory rustled up oxygen equipment for a last-ditch effort. He chose young Andrew Irvine as his partner.[citation needed]

    On 8 June 1924, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine made an attempt on the summit via the North Col-North Ridge-Northeast Ridge route from which they never returned. On 1 May 1999, the Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition found Mallory’s body on the North Face in a snow basin below and to the west of the traditional site of Camp VI. Controversy has raged in the mountaineering community whether one or both of them reached the summit 29 years before the confirmed ascent and safe descent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

    In 1933, Lady Houston, a British millionairess, funded the Houston Everest Flight of 1933, which saw a formation of two aeroplanes led by the Marquess of Clydesdale fly over the Everest summit.[91][92][93][94]

    Early expeditions—such as Charles Bruce’s in the 1920s and Hugh Ruttledge’s two unsuccessful attempts in 1933 and 1936—tried to ascend the mountain from Tibet, via the North Face. Access was closed from the north to Western expeditions in 1950 after China took control of Tibet. In 1950, Bill Tilman and a small party which included Charles Houston, Oscar Houston, and Betsy Cowles undertook an exploratory expedition to Everest through Nepal along the route which has now become the standard approach to Everest from the south.[95]

    The 1952 Swiss Mount Everest Expedition, led by Edouard Wyss-Dunant, was granted permission to attempt a climb from Nepal. It established a route through the Khumbu icefall and ascended to the South Col at an elevation of 7,986 m (26,201 ft). Raymond Lambert and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were able to reach an elevation of about 8,595 m (28,199 ft) on the southeast ridge, setting a new climbing altitude record. Tenzing’s experience was useful when he was hired to be part of the British expedition in 1953.[96] One reference says that no attempt at an ascent of Everest was ever under consideration in this case,[97]
    although John Hunt (who met the team in Zurich on their return) wrote that when the Swiss Expedition “just failed” in the spring they decided to make another post-monsoon (summit ascent) attempt in the autumn; although as it was only decided in June the second party arrived too late, when winter winds were buffeting the mountain.[98]

    In 1953, a ninth British expedition, led by John Hunt, returned to Nepal. Hunt selected two climbing pairs to attempt to reach the summit. The first pair, Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, came within 100 m (330 ft) of the summit on 26 May 1953, but turned back after running into oxygen problems. As planned, their work in route finding and breaking trail and their oxygen caches were of great aid to the following pair. Two days later, the expedition made its second assault on the summit with the second climbing pair: the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepali Sherpa climber. They reached the summit at 11:30 local time on 29 May 1953 via the South Col route. At the time, both acknowledged it as a team effort by the whole expedition, but Tenzing revealed a few years later that Hillary had put his foot on the summit first.[99] They paused at the summit to take photographs and buried a few sweets and a small cross in the snow before descending.[citation needed]

    News of the expedition’s success reached London on the morning of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, 2 June. A few days later, the Queen gave orders that Hunt (a Briton) and Hillary (a New Zealander) were to be knighted in the Order of the British Empire for the ascent.[100] Tenzing, a Nepali Sherpa who was a citizen of India, was granted the George Medal by the UK. Hunt was ultimately made a life peer in Britain, while Hillary became a founding member of the Order of New Zealand.[101] Hillary and Tenzing have also been recognised in Nepal. In 2009, statues were raised in their honour, and in 2014, Hillary Peak and Tenzing Peak were named for them.[102][103]

    On 23 May 1956, Ernst Schmied and Juerg Marmet ascended.[104] This was followed by Dölf Reist and Hans-Rudolf von Gunten on 24 May 1957.[104] Wang Fuzhou, Gonpo and Qu Yinhua of China made the first reported ascent of the peak from the North Ridge on 25 May 1960.[6] The first American to climb Everest, Jim Whittaker, joined by Nawang Gombu, reached the summit on 1 May 1963.[105][106]

    In 1970, Japanese mountaineers conducted a major expedition. The centrepiece was a large “siege”-style expedition led by Saburo Matsukata, working on finding a new route up the southwest face.[107] Another element of the expedition was an attempt to ski Mount Everest.[85] Despite a staff of over one hundred people and a decade of planning work, the expedition suffered eight deaths and failed to summit via the planned routes.[85] However, Japanese expeditions did enjoy some successes. For example, Yuichiro Miura became the first man to ski down Everest from the South Col – he descended nearly 1,300 vertical metres (4,200 ft) from the South Col before falling with extreme injuries. Another success was an expedition that put four on the summit via the South Col route.[85][108][109] Miura’s exploits became the subject of film, and he went on to become the oldest person to summit Mount Everest in 2003 at age 70 and again in 2013 at the age of 80.[110]

    In 1975, Junko Tabei, a Japanese woman, became the first woman to summit Mount Everest.[85]

    In 1978, Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler made the first ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen.

    The Polish climber Andrzej Zawada headed the first winter ascent of Mount Everest, the first winter ascent of an eight-thousander. The team of 20 Polish climbers and 4 Sherpas established a base camp on Khumbu Glacier in early January 1980. On 15 January, the team managed to set up Camp III at 7150 metres above sea level, but further action was stopped by hurricane-force winds. The weather improved after 11 February, when Leszek Cichy, Walenty Fiut and Krzysztof Wielicki set up camp IV on South Col (7906 m). Cichy and Wielicki started the final ascent at 6:50 am on 17 February. At 2:40 pm Andrzej Zawada at base camp heard the climbers’ voices over the radio – “We are on the summit! The strong wind blows all the time. It is unimaginably cold.”[111][112][113][114] The successful winter ascent of Mount Everest started a new decade of Winter Himalaism, which became a Polish specialisation. After 1980 Poles did ten first winter ascents on 8000 metre peaks, which earned Polish climbers a reputation of “Ice Warriors”.[115][112][116][117]

    In May 1989, Polish climbers under the leadership of Eugeniusz Chrobak organised an international expedition to Mount Everest on a difficult western ridge. Ten Poles and nine foreigners participated, but ultimately only the Poles remained in the attempt for the summit. On 24 May, Chrobak and Andrzej Marciniak, starting from camp V at 8,200 m, overcame the ridge and reached the summit. But on 27 May in the avalanche from the wall Khumbutse on the Lho La Pass, four Polish climbers were killed: Mirosław Dąsal, Mirosław Gardzielewski, Zygmunt Andrzej Heinrich and Wacław Otręba. The following day, due to his injuries, Chrobak also died. Marciniak, who was also injured, was saved by a rescue expedition in which Artur Hajzer and New Zealanders Gary Ball and Rob Hall took part. In the organisation of the rescue expedition they took part, inter alia Reinhold Messner, Elizabeth Hawley, Carlos Carsolio and the US consul.[118]

    On 10 and 11 May 1996, eight climbers died after several guided expeditions were caught in a blizzard high up on the mountain during a summit attempt on 10 May. During the 1996 season, 15 people died while climbing on Mount Everest. These were the highest death tolls for a single weather event, and for a single season, until the sixteen deaths in the 2014 Mount Everest avalanche. The guiding disaster gained wide publicity and raised questions about the commercialisation of climbing and the safety of guiding clients on Mount Everest.

    Journalist Jon Krakauer, on assignment from Outside magazine, was in one of the affected guided parties, and afterward published the bestseller Into Thin Air, which related his experience. Krakauer was critical of guide Anatoli Boukreev in his recollection of the expedition.[119][120] A year later, Boukreev co-authored The Climb, in part as a rebuttal of Krakauer’s portrayal.[121] The dispute sparked a debate within the climbing community. Boukreev was later awarded The American Alpine Club’s David Sowles Award for his rescue efforts on the expedition.[120]

    In May 2004, physicist Kent Moore and surgeon John L. Semple, both researchers from the University of Toronto, told New Scientist magazine that an analysis of weather conditions on 11 May suggested that weather caused oxygen levels to plunge about 14 per cent.[122][123]

    One of the survivors was Beck Weathers, an American client of New Zealand–based guide service Adventure Consultants. Weathers was left for dead about 275 metres (900 feet) from Camp 4 at 7,950 metres (26,085 feet). After spending a night on the mountain, Weathers managed to make it back to Camp 4 with massive frostbite and vision impaired due to snow blindness.[124] When he arrived at Camp 4, fellow climbers considered his condition terminal and left him in a tent to die overnight.[125]

    Weathers’ condition had not improved and an immediate descent to a lower elevation was deemed essential.[125] A helicopter rescue was out of the question: Camp 4 was higher than the rated ceiling of any available helicopter. Weathers was lowered to Camp 2. Eventually, a helicopter rescue was organised thanks to the Nepali Army.[124][125]

    The storm’s impact on climbers on the North Ridge of Everest, where several climbers also died, was detailed in a first-hand account by British filmmaker and writer Matt Dickinson in his book The Other Side of Everest. Sixteen-year-old Mark Pfetzer was on the climb and wrote about it in his account, Within Reach: My Everest Story.

    The 2015 feature film Everest, directed by Baltasar Kormákur, is based on the events of this guiding disaster.[126]

    In 2006, 12 people died. One death in particular (see below) triggered an international debate and years of discussion about climbing ethics.[130] The season was also remembered for the rescue of Lincoln Hall who had been left by his climbing team and declared dead, but was later discovered alive and survived being helped off the mountain.

    There was an international controversy about the death of a solo British climber David Sharp, who attempted to climb Mount Everest in 2006 but died in his attempt. The story broke out of the mountaineering community into popular media, with a series of interviews, allegations, and critiques. The question was whether climbers that season had left a man to die and whether he could have been saved. He was said to have attempted to summit Mount Everest by himself with no Sherpa or guide and fewer oxygen bottles than considered normal.[131] He went with a low-budget Nepali guide firm that only provides support up to Base Camp, after which climbers go as a “loose group”, offering a high degree of independence. The manager at Sharp’s guide support said Sharp did not take enough oxygen for his summit attempt and did not have a Sherpa guide.[132] It is less clear who knew Sharp was in trouble, and if they did know, whether they were qualified or capable of helping him.[131]

    Double-amputee climber Mark Inglis said in an interview with the press on 23 May 2006, that his climbing party, and many others, had passed Sharp, on 15 May, sheltering under a rock overhang 450 metres (1,480 ft) below the summit, without attempting a rescue.[133] Inglis said 40 people had passed by Sharp, but he might have been overlooked as climbers assumed Sharp was the corpse nicknamed “Green Boots”,[134] but Inglis was not aware that Turkish climbers had tried to help Sharp despite being in the process of helping an injured woman down (a Turkish woman, Burçak Poçan). There has also been some discussion about Himex in the commentary on Inglis and Sharp. In regards to Inglis’s initial comments, he later revised certain details because he had been interviewed while he was “…physically and mentally exhausted, and in a lot of pain. He had suffered severe frostbite – he later had five fingertips amputated.” When they went through Sharp’s possessions they found a receipt for US$7,490, believed to be the whole financial cost.[135] Comparatively, most expeditions are between $35,000 to US$100,000 plus an additional $20,000 in other expenses that range from gear to bonuses.[136] It was estimated on 14 May that Sharp summitted Mount Everest and began his descent down, but 15 May he was in trouble but being passed by climbers on their way up and down.[137] On 15 May 2006 it is believed he was suffering from hypoxia and was about 300 m (1,000 ft) from the summit on the North Side route.[137]

    Dawa from Arun Treks also gave oxygen to David and tried to help him move, repeatedly, for perhaps an hour. But he could not get David to stand alone or even stand to rest on his shoulders, and crying, Dawa had to leave him too. Even with two Sherpas, it was not going to be possible to get David down the tricky sections below.

    Beck Weathers of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster said that those who are dying are often left behind and that he himself had been left for dead twice but was able to keep walking.[139] The Tribune of Chandigarh, India quoted someone who described what happened to Sharp as “the most shameful act in the history of mountaineering”.[140] In addition to Sharp’s death, at least nine other climbers perished that year, including multiple Sherpas working for various guiding companies.[141]

    You are never on your own. There are climbers everywhere.

    Much of this controversy was captured by the Discovery Channel while filming the television program Everest: Beyond the Limit. A crucial decision affecting the fate of Sharp is shown in the program, where an early returning climber Lebanese adventurer Maxim Chaya is descending from the summit and radios to his base camp manager (Russell Brice) that he has found a frostbitten and unconscious climber in distress. Chaya is unable to identify Sharp, who had chosen to climb solo without any support and so did not identify himself to other climbers. The base camp manager assumes that Sharp is part of a group that has already calculated that they must abandon him, and informs his lone climber that there is no chance of him being able to help Sharp by himself. As Sharp’s condition deteriorates through the day and other descending climbers pass him, his opportunities for rescue diminish: his legs and feet curl from frostbite, preventing him from walking; the later descending climbers are lower on oxygen and lack the strength to offer aid; time runs out for any Sherpas to return and rescue him.

    David Sharp’s body remained just below the summit on the Chinese side next to “Green Boots”; they shared a space in a small rock cave that was an ad hoc tomb for them.[137] Sharp’s body was removed from the cave in 2007, according to the BBC,[143] and since 2014, Green Boots has been missing, presumably removed or buried.[144]

    As the Sharp debate kicked off on 26 May 2006, Australian climber Lincoln Hall was found alive after being left for dead the day before.[145] He was found by a party of four climbers (Dan Mazur, Andrew Brash, Myles Osborne and Jangbu Sherpa) who, giving up their own summit attempt, stayed with Hall and descended with him and a party of 11 Sherpas sent up to carry him down. Hall later fully recovered. His team assumed he had died from cerebral edema, and they were instructed to cover him with rocks.[145] There were no rocks around to do this and he was abandoned.[146] The erroneous information of his death was passed on to his family. The next day he was discovered alive by another party.[146]

    I was shocked to see a guy without gloves, hat, oxygen bottles or sleeping bag at sunrise at 28,200 feet [8,600 m] height, just sitting up there.

    Lincoln greeted his fellow mountaineers with this:[146]

    I imagine you are surprised to see me here.

    Lincoln Hall went on to live for several more years, often giving talks about his near-death experience and rescue, before dying from unrelated medical issues in 2012 at the age of 56 (born in 1955).[146]

    On 21 May 2007, Canadian climber Meagan McGrath initiated the successful high-altitude rescue of Nepali Usha Bista. Recognising this rescue, Major McGrath was selected as a 2011 recipient of the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada Humanitarian Award, which recognises a Canadian who has personally or administratively contributed a significant service or act in the Himalayan Region of Nepal.[147]

    By the end of the 2010 climbing season, there had been 5,104 ascents to the summit by about 3,142 individuals, with 77 per cent of these ascents being accomplished since 2000.[148] The summit was achieved in 7 of the 22 years from 1953 to 1974 and was not missed between 1975 and 2014.[148] In 2007, the record number of 633 ascents was recorded, by 350 climbers and 253 sherpas.[148]

    An illustration of the explosion of popularity of Everest is provided by the numbers of daily ascents. Analysis of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster shows that part of the blame was on the bottleneck caused by a large number of climbers (33 to 36) attempting to summit on the same day; this was considered unusually high at the time. By comparison, on 23 May 2010, the summit of Mount Everest was reached by 169 climbers – more summits in a single day than in the cumulative 31 years from the first successful summit in 1953 through 1983.[148]

    There have been 219 fatalities recorded on Mount Everest from the 1922 British Mount Everest Expedition through the end of 2010, a rate of 4.3 fatalities for every 100 summits (this is a general rate, and includes fatalities amongst support climbers, those who turned back before the peak, those who died en route to the peak and those who died while descending from the peak). Of the 219 fatalities, 58 (26.5 per cent) were climbers who had summited but did not complete their descent.[148] Though the rate of fatalities has decreased since the year 2000 (1.4 fatalities for every 100 summits, with 3938 summits since 2000), the significant increase in the total number of climbers still means 54 fatalities since 2000: 33 on the northeast ridge, 17 on the southeast ridge, 2 on the southwest face, and 2 on the north face.[148]

    Nearly all attempts at the summit are done using one of the two main routes. The traffic seen by each route varies from year to year. In 2005–07, more than half of all climbers elected to use the more challenging, but cheaper northeast route. In 2008, the northeast route was closed by the Chinese government for the entire climbing season, and the only people able to reach the summit from the north that year were athletes responsible for carrying the Olympic torch for the 2008 Summer Olympics.[149] The route was closed to foreigners once again in 2009 in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s exile.[150] These closures led to declining interest in the north route, and, in 2010, two-thirds of the climbers reached the summit from the south.[148]

    The 2010s were a time of new highs and lows for the mountain, with back-to-back disasters in 2013 and 2014 causing record deaths. In 2015 there were no summits for the first time in decades. However, other years set records for numbers of summits – 2013’s record number of summiters, around 667, was surpassed in 2018 with around 800 summiting the peak,[151] and a subsequent record was set in 2019 with over 890 summiters.[152]

    On 18 April 2014, an avalanche hit the area just below the Base Camp 2 at around 01:00 UTC (06:30 local time) and at an elevation of about 5,900 metres (19,400 ft).[160] Sixteen people were killed in the avalanche (all Nepali guides) and nine more were injured.[161]

    During the season, a 13-year-old girl, Malavath Purna, reached the summit, becoming the youngest female climber to do so.[162] Additionally, one team used a helicopter to fly from South base camp to Camp 2 to avoid the Khumbu Icefall, then reached the Everest summit. This team had to use the south side because the Chinese had denied them a permit to climb. A team member (Jing Wang) donated US$30,000 to a local hospital.[163] She was named the Nepali “International Mountaineer of the Year”.[163]

    Over 100 people summited Everest from China (Tibet region), and six from Nepal in the 2014 season.[164] This included 72-year-old Bill Burke, the Indian teenage girl, and a Chinese woman Jing Wang.[165] Another teen girl summiter was Ming Kipa Sherpa who summited with her elder sister Lhakpa Sherpa in 2003, and who had achieved the most times for woman to the summit of Mount Everest at that time.[166] (see also Santosh Yadav)

    2015 was set to be a record-breaking season of climbs, with hundreds of permits issued in Nepal and many additional permits in Tibet (China). However, on 25 April 2015, an earthquake measuring 7.8 Mw triggered an avalanche that hit Everest Base Camp,[167] effectively shutting down the Everest climbing season.[168] 18 bodies were recovered from Mount Everest by the Indian Army mountaineering team.[169] The avalanche began on Pumori,[170] moved through the Khumbu Icefall on the southwest side of Mount Everest, and slammed into the South Base Camp.[171] 2015 was the first time since 1974 with no spring summits, as all climbing teams pulled out after the quakes and avalanche.[172][173] One of the reasons for this was the high probability of aftershocks (over 50 per cent according to the United States Geological Survey).[174] Just weeks after the first quake, the region was rattled again by a 7.3 magnitude quake and there were also many considerable aftershocks.[175]

    The quakes trapped hundreds of climbers above the Khumbu icefall, and they had to be evacuated by helicopter as they ran low on supplies.[176] The quake shifted the route through the ice fall, making it essentially impassable to climbers.[176] Bad weather also made helicopter evacuation difficult.[176] The Everest tragedy was small compared to the impact overall on Nepal, with almost nine thousand dead[177][178] and about 22,000 injured.[177] In Tibet, by 28 April at least 25 had died, and 117 were injured.[179] By 29 April 2015, the Tibet Mountaineering Association (North/Chinese side) closed Everest and other peaks to climbing, stranding 25 teams and about 300 people on the north side of Everest.[180] On the south side, helicopters evacuated 180 people trapped at Camps 1 and 2.[181]

    On 24 August 2015, Nepal re-opened Everest to tourism including mountain climbers.[182] The only climber permit for the autumn season was awarded to Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki, who had tried four times previously to summit Everest without success. He made his fifth attempt in October, but had to give up just 700 m (2,300 ft) from the summit due to “strong winds and deep snow”.[183][184] Kuriki noted the dangers of climbing Everest, having himself survived being stuck in a freezing snow hole for two days near the top, which came at the cost of all his fingertips and his thumb, lost to frostbite, which added further difficulty to his climb.[185]

    Some sections of the trail from Lukla to Everest Base Camp (Nepal) were damaged in the earthquakes earlier in the year and needed repairs to handle trekkers.[186]

    Hawley’s database records 641 made it to the summit in early 2016.[187]

    2017 was the biggest season yet, permit-wise, yielding hundreds of summiters and a handful of deaths.[188] On 27 May 2017, Kami Rita Sherpa made his 21st climb to the summit with the Alpine Ascents Everest Expedition, one of three people in the World along with Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi Sherpa to make it to the summit of Mount Everest 21 times.[189][190] The season had a tragic start with the death of Ueli Steck of Switzerland, who died from a fall during a warm-up climb.[191] There was a continued discussion about the nature of possible changes to the Hillary Step.[192] Total summiters for 2017 was tallied up to be 648.[158] 449 summited via Nepal (from the South) and 120 from Chinese Tibet (North side).[193]

    807 climbers summited Mount Everest in 2018,[194] including 563 on the Nepal side and 240 from the Chinese Tibet side.[151] This broke the previous record for total summits in year from which was 667 in 2013, and one factor that aided in this was an especially long and clear weather window of 11 days during the critical spring climbing season.[151][195][159] Various records were broken, including a summit by double-amputee Hari Budha Magar, who undertook his climb after winning a court case in the Nepali Supreme Court.[151] There were no major disasters, but seven climbers died in various situations including several sherpas as well as international climbers.[151] Although record numbers of climbers reached the summit, old-time summiters that made expeditions in the 1980s lamented the crowding, feces, and cost.[195]

    Himalayan record keeper Elizabeth Hawley died in late January 2018.[196]

    Figures for the number of permits issued by Nepal range from 347[197] to 375.[198]

    The spring or pre-monsoon window for 2019 witnessed the deaths of a number of climbers and worldwide publication of images of hundreds of mountaineers queuing to reach the summit and sensational media reports of climbers stepping over dead bodies dismayed people around the world.[201][202][203][204]

    There were reports of various winter expeditions in the Himalayas, including K2, Nanga Parbat, and Meru with the buzz for the Everest 2019 beginning just 14 weeks to the weather window.[205] Noted climber Cory Richards announced on Twitter that he was hoping to establish a new climbing route to the summit in 2019.[205] Also announced was an expedition to re-measure the height of Everest, particularly in light of the 2015 earthquakes.[206][207] China closed the base-camp to those without climbing permits in February 2019 on the northern side of Mount Everest.[208] By early April, climbing teams from around the world were arriving for the 2019 spring climbing season.[159] Among the teams was a scientific expedition with a planned study of pollution, and how things like snow and vegetation influence the availability of food and water in the region.[209] In the 2019 spring mountaineering season, there were roughly 40 teams with almost 400 climbers and several hundred guides attempting to summit on the Nepali side.[210][211][212] Nepal issued 381 climbing permits for 2019.[194] For the northern routes in Chinese Tibet, several hundred more permits were issued for climbing by authorities there.[213]

    In May 2019, Nepali mountaineering guide Kami Rita summited Mount Everest twice within a week, his 23rd and 24th ascents, making international news headlines.[214][210][211] He first summited Everest in 1994, and has summited several other extremely high mountains, such as K2 and Lhotse.[210][211][212][214]

    By 23 May 2019, about seven people had died, possibly due to crowding leading to delays high on the mountain, and shorter weather windows.[194] One 19-year-old who summited previously noted that when the weather window opens (the high winds calm down), long lines form as everyone rushes to get the top and back down.[215] In Chinese Tibet, one Austrian climber died from a fall,[194] and by 26 May 2019 the overall number of deaths for the spring climbing season rose to 10.[216][217][218] By 28 May, the death toll increased to 11 when a climber died at about 7,900 m (26,000 ft) during the descent,[199] and a 12th climber missing and presumed dead.[200] Despite the number of deaths, reports indicated that a record 891 climbers summited in the spring 2019 climbing season.[219][152]

    Although China has had various permit restrictions, and Nepal requires a doctor to sign off on climbing permits,[219] the natural dangers of climbing such as falls and avalanches combined with medical issues aggravated by Everest’s extreme altitude led to 2019 being a year with a comparatively high death toll.[219]

    Both Nepal and China prohibited foreign climbing groups during the 2020 season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 was the third year in this decade after 2014 and 2015 which saw no summits from the Nepal (South) Side.[220]

    A team of Chinese surveyors climbed Mt. Everest from the North side during April–May 2020, becoming the only climbers to summit the world’s highest peak during the pandemic, at least through May. The team was there to re-measure the height of Mount Everest.[221]

    On May 12, 2022, the first all-Black team summited Mt. Everest. Seven men and two women climbers from the U.S. and Kenya, guided by eight sherpas, comprised the expedition.[222]

    In 2014, Nepal issued 334 climbing permits, which were extended until 2019 due to the closure.[224] In 2015, Nepal issued 357 permits, but the mountain was closed again because of the avalanche and earthquake, and these permits were given a two-year extension to 2017.[225][224][clarification needed]

    In 2017, a person who tried to climb Everest without the $11,000 permit was caught after he made it past the Khumbu icefall. He faced, among other penalties, a $22,000 fine and a possible four years in jail. In the end, he was allowed to return home but banned from mountaineering in Nepal for 10 years.[226]

    The number of permits issued each year by Nepal is:[225][227]

    The Chinese side in Tibet is also managed with permits for summiting Everest.[230] They did not issue permits in 2008, due to the Olympic torch relay being taken to the summit of Mount Everest.[231]

    In March 2020, the governments of China and Nepal cancelled all climbing permits for Mount Everest due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[232][233] In April 2020, a group of Chinese mountaineers began an expedition from the Chinese side. The mountain remained closed on the Chinese side to all foreign climbers.[234] On 10 May 2021, a separation line was announced by Chinese authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus from climbers ascending Nepal’s side of the mountain.[235]

    Mount Everest has two main climbing routes, the southeast ridge from Nepal and the north ridge from Tibet, as well as many other less frequently climbed routes.[236] Of the two main routes, the southeast ridge is technically easier and more frequently used. It was the route used by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and the first recognised of 15 routes to the top by 1996.[236] This was, however, a route decision dictated more by politics than by design, as the Chinese border was closed to the western world in the 1950s, after the People’s Republic of China invaded Tibet.[237]

    Most attempts are made during May, before the summer monsoon season. As the monsoon season approaches, the jet stream shifts northward, thereby reducing the average wind speeds high on the mountain.[238][239] While attempts are sometimes made in September and October, after the monsoons, when the jet stream is again temporarily pushed northward, the additional snow deposited by the monsoons and the less stable weather patterns at the monsoons’ tail end makes climbing extremely difficult.

    The ascent via the southeast ridge begins with a trek to Base Camp at 5,380 m (17,700 ft) on the south side of Everest, in Nepal. Expeditions usually fly into Lukla (2,860 m) from Kathmandu and pass through Namche Bazaar. Climbers then hike to Base Camp, which usually takes six to eight days, allowing for proper altitude acclimatisation in order to prevent altitude sickness.[240] Climbing equipment and supplies are carried by yaks, dzopkyos (yak-cow hybrids), and human porters to Base Camp on the Khumbu Glacier. When Hillary and Tenzing climbed Everest in 1953, the British expedition they were part of (comprising over 400 climbers, porters, and Sherpas at that point) started from the Kathmandu Valley, as there were no roads further east at that time.

    Climbers spend a couple of weeks in Base Camp, acclimatising to the altitude. During that time, Sherpas and some expedition climbers set up ropes and ladders in the treacherous Khumbu Icefall.

    Seracs, crevasses, and shifting blocks of ice make the icefall one of the most dangerous sections of the route. Many climbers and Sherpas have been killed in this section. To reduce the hazard, climbers usually begin their ascent well before dawn, when the freezing temperatures glue ice blocks in place.

    Above the icefall is Camp I at 6,065 metres (19,900 ft).

    From Camp I, climbers make their way up the Western Cwm to the base of the Lhotse face, where Camp II or Advanced Base Camp (ABC) is established at 6,500 m (21,300 ft). The Western Cwm is a flat, gently rising glacial valley, marked by huge lateral crevasses in the centre, which prevent direct access to the upper reaches of the Cwm. Climbers are forced to cross on the far right, near the base of Nuptse, to a small passageway known as the “Nuptse corner”. The Western Cwm is also called the “Valley of Silence” as the topography of the area generally cuts off wind from the climbing route. The high altitude and a clear, windless day can make the Western Cwm unbearably hot for climbers.[241]

    From Advanced Base Camp, climbers ascend the Lhotse face on fixed ropes, up to Camp III, located on a small ledge at 7,470 m (24,500 ft). From there, it is another 500 metres to Camp IV on the South Col at 7,920 m (26,000 ft).

    From Camp III to Camp IV, climbers are faced with two additional challenges: the Geneva Spur and the Yellow Band. The Geneva Spur is an anvil-shaped rib of black rock named by the 1952 Swiss expedition. Fixed ropes assist climbers in scrambling over this snow-covered rock band. The Yellow Band is a section of interlayered marble, phyllite, and semischist, which also requires about 100 metres of rope for traversing it.[241]

    On the South Col, climbers enter the death zone. Climbers making summit bids typically can endure no more than two or three days at this altitude. If the weather is not clear with low winds during these short few days, climbers are forced to descend, many all the way back down to Base Camp.

    From Camp IV, climbers begin their summit push around midnight, with hopes of reaching the summit (still another 1,000 metres above) within 10 to 12 hours. Climbers first reach “The Balcony” at 8,400 m (27,600 ft), a small platform where they can rest and gaze at peaks to the south and east in the early light of dawn. Continuing up the ridge, climbers are then faced with a series of imposing rock steps which usually forces them to the east into the waist-deep snow, a serious avalanche hazard. At 8,750 m (28,700 ft), a small table-sized dome of ice and snow marks the South Summit.[241]

    From the South Summit, climbers follow the knife-edge southeast ridge along what is known as the “Cornice traverse”, where snow clings to intermittent rock. This is the most exposed section of the climb, and a misstep to the left would send one 2,400 m (7,900 ft) down the southwest face, while to the immediate right is the 3,050 m (10,010 ft) Kangshung Face. At the end of this traverse is an imposing 12 m (39 ft) rock wall, the Hillary Step, at 8,790 m (28,840 ft).[242]

    Hillary and Tenzing were the first climbers to ascend this step, and they did so using primitive ice climbing equipment and ropes. Nowadays, climbers ascend this step using fixed ropes previously set up by Sherpas. Once above the step, it is a comparatively easy climb to the top on moderately angled snow slopes—though the exposure on the ridge is extreme, especially while traversing large cornices of snow. With increasing numbers of people climbing the mountain in recent[when?] years, the Step has frequently become a bottleneck, with climbers forced to wait significant amounts of time for their turn on the ropes, leading to problems in getting climbers efficiently up and down the mountain.[citation needed]

    After the Hillary Step, climbers also must traverse a loose and rocky section that has a large entanglement of fixed ropes that can be troublesome in bad weather. Climbers typically spend less than half an hour at the summit to allow time to descend to Camp IV before darkness sets in, to avoid serious problems with afternoon weather, or because supplemental oxygen tanks run out.

    The north ridge route begins from the north side of Everest, in Tibet. Expeditions trek to the Rongbuk Glacier, setting up base camp at 5,180 m (16,990 ft) on a gravel plain just below the glacier. To reach Camp II, climbers ascend the medial moraine of the east Rongbuk Glacier up to the base of Changtse, at around 6,100 m (20,000 ft). Camp III (ABC—Advanced Base Camp) is situated below the North Col at 6,500 m (21,300 ft). To reach Camp IV on the North Col, climbers ascend the glacier to the foot of the col where fixed ropes are used to reach the North Col at 7,010 m (23,000 ft). From the North Col, climbers ascend the rocky north ridge to set up Camp V at around 7,775 m (25,500 ft). The route crosses the North Face in a diagonal climb to the base of the Yellow Band, reaching the site of Camp VI at 8,230 m (27,000 ft). From Camp VI, climbers make their final summit push.

    Climbers face a treacherous traverse from the base of the First Step: ascending from 8,501 to 8,534 m (27,890 to 28,000 ft), to the crux of the climb, the Second Step, ascending from 8,577 to 8,626 m (28,140 to 28,300 ft). (The Second Step includes a climbing aid called the “Chinese ladder”, a metal ladder placed semi-permanently in 1975 by a party of Chinese climbers.[243] It has been almost continuously in place since, and ladders have been used by virtually all climbers on the route.) Once above the Second Step the inconsequential Third Step is clambered over, ascending from 8,690 to 8,800 m (28,510 to 28,870 ft). Once above these steps, the summit pyramid is climbed by a snow slope of 50 degrees, to the final summit ridge along which the top is reached.[244]

    The summit of Everest has been described as “the size of a dining room table”.[245] The summit is capped with snow over ice over rock, and the layer of snow varies from year to year.[246] The rock summit is made of Ordovician limestone and is a low-grade metamorphic rock.[247] (see the ‘Surveys’ section for more on its height and about the Everest rock summit)

    Below the summit, there is an area known as “rainbow valley”, filled with dead bodies still wearing brightly coloured winter gear. Down to about 8,000 m (26,000 ft) is an area commonly called the “death zone”, due to the high danger and low oxygen because of the low pressure.[78]

    Below the summit the mountain slopes downward to the three main sides, or faces, of Mount Everest: the North Face, the South-West Face, and the East/Kangshung Face.[248][better source needed]

    At the higher regions of Mount Everest, climbers seeking the summit typically spend substantial time within the death zone (altitudes higher than 8,000 metres (26,000 ft)), and face significant challenges to survival. Temperatures can dip to very low levels, resulting in frostbite of any body part exposed to the air. Since temperatures are so low, snow is well-frozen in certain areas and death or injury by slipping and falling can occur. High winds at these altitudes on Everest are also a potential threat to climbers.

    Another significant threat to climbers is low atmospheric pressure. The atmospheric pressure at the top of Everest is about a third of sea level pressure or 0.333 standard atmospheres (337 mbar), resulting in the availability of only about a third as much oxygen to breathe.[249]

    Debilitating effects of the death zone are so great that it takes most climbers up to 12 hours to walk the distance of 1.72 kilometres (1.07 mi) from South Col to the summit.[250] Achieving even this level of performance requires prolonged altitude acclimatisation, which takes 40–60 days for a typical expedition. A sea-level dweller exposed to the atmospheric conditions at the altitude above 8,500 m (27,900 ft) without acclimatisation would likely lose consciousness within 2 to 3 minutes.[251]

    In May 2007, the Caudwell Xtreme Everest undertook a medical study of oxygen levels in human blood at extreme altitude. Over 200 volunteers climbed to Everest Base Camp where various medical tests were performed to examine blood oxygen levels. A small team also performed tests on the way to the summit.[252] Even at base camp, the low partial pressure of oxygen had direct effect on blood oxygen saturation levels. At sea level, blood oxygen saturation is generally 98 to 99 per cent. At base camp, blood saturation fell to between 85 and 87 per cent. Blood samples taken at the summit indicated very low oxygen levels in the blood. A side effect of low blood oxygen is a greatly increased breathing rate, often 80–90 breaths per minute as opposed to a more typical 20–30. Exhaustion can occur merely by attempting to breathe.[253]

    Lack of oxygen, exhaustion, extreme cold, and climbing hazards all contribute to the death toll. An injured person who cannot walk is in serious trouble, since rescue by helicopter is generally impractical and carrying the person off the mountain is very risky. People who die during the climb are typically left behind. As of 2006, about 150 bodies had never been recovered. It is not uncommon to find corpses near the standard climbing routes.[254]

    Debilitating symptoms consistent with high altitude cerebral oedema commonly present during descent from the summit of Mount Everest. Profound fatigue and late times in reaching the summit are early features associated with subsequent death.

    A 2008 study noted that the “death zone” is indeed where most Everest deaths occur, but also noted that most deaths occur during descent from the summit.[256] A 2014 article in The Atlantic about deaths on Everest noted that while falling is one of the greatest dangers the death zone presents for all 8000ers, avalanches are a more common cause of death at lower altitudes.[257] However, Everest climbing is more deadly than BASE jumping, although some have combined extreme sports and Everest including a Russian who base-jumped off Everest in a wingsuit (he did survive, though).[258]

    Despite this, Everest is safer for climbers than a number of peaks by some measurements, but it depends on the period.[259] Some examples are Kangchenjunga, K2, Annapurna, Nanga Parbat, and the Eiger (especially the nordwand).[259] Mont Blanc has more deaths each year than Everest, with over one hundred dying in a typical year and over eight thousand killed since records were kept.[260] Some factors that affect total mountain lethality include the level of popularity of the mountain, the skill of those climbing, and the difficulty of the climb.[260]

    Another health hazard is retinal haemorrhages, which can damage eyesight and cause blindness.[261] Up to a quarter of Everest climbers can experience retinal haemorrhages, and although they usually heal within weeks of returning to lower altitudes, in 2010 a climber went blind and ended up dying in the death zone.[261]

    At one o’clock in the afternoon, the British climber Peter Kinloch was on the roof of the world, in bright sunlight, taking photographs of the Himalayas below, “elated, cheery and bubbly”. But Mount Everest is now his grave, because only minutes later, he suddenly went blind and had to be abandoned to die from the cold.

    The team made a huge effort for the next 12 hours to try to get him down the mountain, but to no avail, as they were unsuccessful in getting him through the difficult sections.[262] Even for the able, the Everest North-East ridge is recognised as a challenge. It is hard to rescue someone who has become incapacitated and it can be beyond the ability of rescuers to save anyone in such a difficult spot.[262] One way around this situation was pioneered by two Nepali men in 2011, who had intended to paraglide off the summit. They had no choice and were forced to go through with their plan anyway, because they had run out of bottled oxygen and supplies.[263] They successfully launched off the summit and para-glided down to Namche Bazaar in just 42 minutes, without having to climb down the mountain.[263]

    Most expeditions use oxygen masks and tanks above 8,000 m (26,000 ft).[264] Everest can be climbed without supplementary oxygen, but only by the most accomplished mountaineers and at increased risk. Humans’ ability to think clearly is hindered with low oxygen, and the combination of extreme weather, low temperatures, and steep slopes often requires quick, accurate decisions. While about 95 per cent of climbers who reach the summit use bottled oxygen in order to reach the top, about five per cent of climbers have summited Everest without supplemental oxygen. The death rate is double for those who attempt to reach the summit without supplemental oxygen.[265] Travelling above 2,400 m (8,000 ft) altitude is a factor in cerebral hypoxia.[266] This decrease of oxygen to the brain can cause dementia and brain damage, as well as other symptoms.[267] One study found that Mount Everest may be the highest an acclimatised human could go, but also found that climbers may suffer permanent neurological damage despite returning to lower altitudes.[268]

    Brain cells are extremely sensitive to a lack of oxygen. Some brain cells start dying less than 5 minutes after their oxygen supply disappears. As a result, brain hypoxia can rapidly cause severe brain damage or death.

    The use of bottled oxygen to ascend Mount Everest has been controversial. It was first used on the 1922 British Mount Everest Expedition by George Finch and Geoffrey Bruce who climbed up to 7,800 m (25,600 ft) at a spectacular speed of 300 vertical metres (1,000 ft) per hour. Pinned down by a fierce storm, they escaped death by breathing oxygen from a jury-rigged set-up during the night. The next day they climbed to 8,100 m (26,600 ft) at 270 m/h (900 ft/h) – nearly three times as fast as non-oxygen users. Yet the use of oxygen was considered so unsportsmanlike that none of the rest of the Alpine world recognised this high ascent rate.[citation needed]

    George Mallory described the use of such oxygen as unsportsmanlike, but he later concluded that it would be impossible for him to summit without it and consequently used it on his final attempt in 1924.[269] When Tenzing and Hillary made the first successful summit in 1953, they also used open-circuit bottled oxygen sets, with the expedition’s physiologist Griffith Pugh referring to the oxygen debate as a “futile controversy”, noting that oxygen “greatly increases subjective appreciation of the surroundings, which after all is one of the chief reasons for climbing.”[270] For the next twenty-five years, bottled oxygen was considered standard for any successful summit.

    …although an acclimatised lowlander can survive for a time on the summit of Everest without supplemental oxygen, one is so close to the limit that even a modicum of excess exertion may impair brain function.

    Reinhold Messner was the first climber to break the bottled oxygen tradition and in 1978, with Peter Habeler, made the first successful climb without it. In 1980, Messner summited the mountain solo, without supplemental oxygen or any porters or climbing partners, on the more difficult northwest route. Once the climbing community was satisfied that the mountain could be climbed without supplemental oxygen, many purists then took the next logical step of insisting that is how it should be climbed.[23]: 154 

    The aftermath of the 1996 disaster further intensified the debate. Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air (1997) expressed the author’s personal criticisms of the use of bottled oxygen. Krakauer wrote that the use of bottled oxygen allowed otherwise unqualified climbers to attempt to summit, leading to dangerous situations and more deaths. The disaster was partially caused by the sheer number of climbers (34 on that day) attempting to ascend, causing bottlenecks at the Hillary Step and delaying many climbers, most of whom summitted after the usual 14:00 turnaround time. He proposed banning bottled oxygen except for emergency cases, arguing that this would both decrease the growing pollution on Everest—many bottles have accumulated on its slopes—and keep marginally qualified climbers off the mountain.

    The 1996 disaster also introduced the issue of the guide’s role in using bottled oxygen.[271]

    Guide Anatoli Boukreev’s decision not to use bottled oxygen was sharply criticised by Jon Krakauer. Boukreev’s supporters (who include G. Weston DeWalt, who co-wrote The Climb) state that using bottled oxygen gives a false sense of security.[272] Krakauer and his supporters point out that, without bottled oxygen, Boukreev could not directly help his clients descend.[273] They state that Boukreev said that he was going down with client Martin Adams,[273] but just below the south summit, Boukreev determined that Adams was doing fine on the descent and so descended at a faster pace, leaving Adams behind. Adams states in The Climb, “For me, it was business as usual, Anatoli’s going by, and I had no problems with that.”[274]

    The low oxygen can cause a mental fog-like impairment of cognitive abilities described as “delayed and lethargic thought process, clinically defined as bradypsychia” even after returning to lower altitudes.[275] In severe cases, climbers can experience hallucinations. Some studies have found that high-altitude climbers, including Everest climbers, experience altered brain structure.[275] The effects of high altitude on the brain, particularly if it can cause permanent brain damage, continue to be studied.[275]

    Although generally less popular than spring, Mount Everest has also been climbed in the autumn (also called the “post-monsoon season”).[62][276] For example, in 2010 Eric Larsen and five Nepali guides summited Everest in the autumn for the first time in ten years.[276] The autumn season, when the monsoon ends, is regarded as more dangerous because there is typically a lot of new snow which can be unstable.[277] However, this increased snow can make it more popular with certain winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.[62] Two Japanese climbers also summited in October 1973.[278]

    Chris Chandler and Bob Cormack summited Everest in October 1976 as part of the American Bicentennial Everest Expedition that year, the first Americans to make an autumn ascent of Mount Everest according to the Los Angeles Times.[279] By the 21st century, summer and autumn can be more popular with skiing and snowboard attempts on Mount Everest.[280] During the 1980s, climbing in autumn was actually more popular than in spring.[281] U.S. astronaut Karl Gordon Henize died in October 1993 on an autumn expedition, conducting an experiment on radiation. The amount of background radiation increases with higher altitudes.[282]

    The mountain has also been climbed in the winter, but that is not popular because of the combination of cold high winds and shorter days.[283] By January the peak is typically battered by 170 mph (270 km/h) winds and the average temperature of the summit is around −33 °F (−36 °C).[62]

    By the end of the 2010 climbing season, there had been 5,104 ascents to the summit by about 3,142 individuals.[148] Some notable “firsts” by climbers include:

    Summiting Everest with disabilities such as amputations and diseases has become popular in the 21st century, with stories like that of Sudarshan Gautam, a man with no arms who made it to the top in 2013.[312] A teenager with Down’s syndrome made it to Base camp, which has become a substitute for more extreme record-breaking because it carries many of the same thrills including the trip to the Himalayas and rustic scenery.[313] Danger lurks even at base camp though, which was the site where dozens were killed in the 2015 Mount Everest avalanches. Others that have climbed Everest with amputations include Mark Inglis (no legs), Paul Hockey (one arm only), and Arunima Sinha (one leg only).

    In 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest while blind.[299]

    In 2021, Nepal banned three Indians for faking an ascent of Mount Everest in 2016.[314][315] In 2017, two Indian police officers, supposedly the first couple to ascend Mount Everest, were sacked once it was found they had faked their ascent.[314]

    Lucy, Lady Houston, a British millionaire former showgirl, funded the Houston Everest Flight of 1933. A formation of airplanes led by the Marquess of Clydesdale flew over the summit in an effort to photograph the unknown terrain.[316]

    On 26 September 1988, having climbed the mountain via the south-east ridge, Jean-Marc Boivin made the first paraglider descent of Everest,[293] in the process creating the record for the fastest descent of the mountain and the highest paraglider flight. Boivin said: “I was tired when I reached the top because I had broken much of the trail, and to run at this altitude was quite hard.”[317] Boivin ran 18 m (60 ft) from below the summit on 40-degree slopes to launch his paraglider, reaching Camp II at 5,900 m (19,400 ft) in 12 minutes (some sources say 11 minutes).[317][318] Boivin would not repeat this feat, as he was killed two years later in 1990, BASE-jumping off Venezuela’s Angel Falls.[319]

    In 1991 four men in two balloons achieved the first hot-air balloon flight over Mount Everest.[320] In one balloon was Andy Elson and Eric Jones (cameraman), and in the other balloon Chris Dewhirst and Leo Dickinson (cameraman).[321] Dickinson went on to write a book about the adventure called Ballooning Over Everest.[321] The hot-air balloons were modified to function at up to 12,000 m (40,000 ft) altitude.[321] Reinhold Messner called one of Dickinson’s panoramic views of Everest, captured on the now discontinued Kodak Kodachrome film, the “best snap on Earth”, according to UK newspaper The Telegraph.[322] Dewhirst has offered to take passengers on a repeat of this feat for US$2.6 million per passenger.[320]

    In May 2005, pilot Didier Delsalle of France landed a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter on the summit of Mount Everest.[323] He needed to land for two minutes to set the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) official record, but he stayed for about four minutes, twice.[323] In this type of landing the rotors stay engaged, which avoids relying on the snow to fully support the aircraft. The flight set rotorcraft world records, for highest of both landing and take-off.[324]

    Some press reports suggested that the report of the summit landing was a misunderstanding of a South Col landing, but he had also landed on South Col two days earlier,[325] with this landing and the Everest records confirmed by the FAI.[324] Delsalle also rescued two Japanese climbers at 4,880 m (16,000 ft) while he was there. One climber noted that the new record meant a better chance of rescue.[323]

    On 21 May 2011, Nepalis Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa and Sano Bapu Sunuwar paraglided from Everest’s summit to Namche Bazaar in 42 minutes.[263][326] After the flight they hiked, biked, and kayaked to the Indian Ocean, reaching the Bay of Bengal by 27 June 2011, thereby becoming the first persons to complete a continuous summit-to-sea descent from Everest.[327] They accomplished the ground-breaking feat despite Bapu having never previously climbed, and Lakpa having never kayaked and not even knowing how to swim.[327] The duo subsequently won National Geographic Adventurers of the Year for 2012 for their exploits.[327] In 2013 footage of the flight was shown on the television news program Nightline.[328]

    In 2014, a team financed and led by mountaineer Wang Jing used a helicopter to fly from South base camp to Camp 2 to avoid the Khumbu Icefall, and thence climbed to the Everest summit.[329] This climb immediately sparked outrage and controversy in much of the mountaineering world over the legitimacy and propriety of her climb.[163][330] Nepal ended up investigating Wang, who initially denied the claim that she had flown to Camp 2, admitting only that some support crew were flown to that higher camp, over the Khumbu Icefall.[331] In August 2014, however, she stated that she had flown to Camp 2 because the icefall was impassable. “If you don’t fly to Camp II, you just go home,” she said in an interview. In that same interview, she also insisted that she had never tried to hide this fact.[163]

    Her team had had to use the south side because the Chinese had denied them a permit to climb. Ultimately, the Chinese refusal may have been beneficial to Nepal’s interests, allowing the government to showcase improved local hospitals and provided the opportunity for a new hybrid aviation/mountaineering style, triggering discussions about helicopter use in the mountaineering world.[163] National Geographic noted that a village festooned Wang with honours after she donated US$30,000 to the town’s hospital. Wang won the International Mountaineer of the Year Award from the Nepal government in June 2014.[329]

    In 2016 the increased use of helicopters was noted for increased efficiency and for hauling material over the deadly Khumbu icefall.[332] In particular it was noted that flights saved icefall porters 80 trips but still increased commercial activity at Everest.[332] After many Nepalis died in the icefall in 2014, the government had wanted helicopters to handle more transportation to Camp 1 but this was not possible because of the 2015 deaths and earthquake closing the mountain, so this was then implemented in 2016 (helicopters did prove instrumental in rescuing many people in 2015 though).[332] That summer Bell tested the 412EPI, which conducted a series of tests including hovering at 5,500 m (18,000 ft) and flying as high as 6,100 m (20,000 ft) altitude near Mount Everest.[333]

    According to Jon Krakauer, the era of commercialisation of Everest started in 1985, when the summit was reached by a guided expedition led by David Breashears that included Richard Bass, a wealthy 55-year-old businessman and an amateur mountain climber with only four years of climbing experience.[335] By the early-1990s, several companies were offering guided tours to the mountain. Rob Hall, one of the mountaineers who died in the 1996 disaster, had successfully guided 39 clients to the summit before that incident.[23]: 24, 42 

    By 2016, most guiding services cost between US$35,000 and US$200,000.[336] Going with a “celebrity guide”, usually a well-known mountaineer typically with decades of climbing experience and perhaps several Everest summits, can cost over £100,000 as of 2015.[337] However, the services offered vary widely and it is “buyer beware” when doing deals in Nepal, one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world.[336][338] Tourism contributed 7.9 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019[339] in a country with high unemployment,[340] but Everest is special in that an Everest porter can make nearly double the nation’s average wage in a region in which other sources of income are lacking.[341]

    Costs beyond the guiding service can vary widely. It is technically possible to reach the summit with minimal additional expenses, and there are “budget” travel agencies that offer logistical support for such trips. A limited support service, offering only some meals at base camp and bureaucratic overhead like a permit, can cost as little as US$7,000 as of 2007.[135] However, this is considered difficult and dangerous (as illustrated by the case of David Sharp).

    Climbing gear required to reach the summit may cost in excess of US$8,000, and most climbers also use bottled oxygen, which adds around US$3,000.[342] The permit to enter the Everest area from the south via Nepal costs US$10,000 to US$30,000 per person, depending on the size of the team.[342] The ascent typically starts at one of the two base camps near the mountain, both of which are approximately 100 kilometres (60 mi) from Kathmandu and 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Lhasa (the two nearest cities with major airports). Transferring one’s equipment from the airport to the base camp may add as much as US$2,000.[342]

    Many climbers hire “full service” guide companies, which provide a wide spectrum of services, including the acquisition of permits, transportation to/from base camp, food, tents, fixed ropes,[343] medical assistance while on the mountain, an experienced mountaineer guide, and even personal porters to carry one’s backpack and cook one’s meals. The cost of such a guide service may range from US$40,000 to $80,000 per person.[344] Since most equipment is moved by Sherpas, clients of full-service guide companies can often keep their backpack weights under 10 kilograms (22 lb), or hire a Sherpa to carry their backpack for them. By contrast, climbers attempting less commercialised peaks, like Denali, are often expected to carry backpacks over 30 kilograms (66 lb) and, occasionally, to tow a sled with 35 kilograms (77 lb) of gear and food.[345]

    The degree of commercialisation of Mount Everest is a frequent subject of criticism.[346] Jamling Tenzing Norgay, the son of Tenzing Norgay, said in a 2003 interview that his late father would have been shocked to discover that rich thrill-seekers with no climbing experience were now routinely reaching the summit, “You still have to climb this mountain yourself with your feet. But the spirit of adventure is not there any more. It is lost. There are people going up there who have no idea how to put on crampons. They are climbing because they have paid someone $65,000. It is very selfish. It endangers the lives of others.”[347]

    One example of this is Shriya Shah-Klorfine, who had to be taught how to put on crampons during her summit attempt in 2012.[348] She paid at least US$40,000 to a new guiding company for the trip, and lost her life when she ran out of oxygen during the descent after climbing for 27 hours straight.[349]

    Reinhold Messner concurred in 2004, “You could die in each climb and that meant you were responsible for yourself. We were real mountaineers: careful, aware and even afraid. By climbing mountains we were not learning how big we were. We were finding out how breakable, how weak and how full of fear we are. You can only get this if you expose yourself to high danger. I have always said that a mountain without danger is not a mountain….High altitude alpinism has become tourism and show. These commercial trips to Everest, they are still dangerous. But the guides and organisers tell clients, ‘Don’t worry, it’s all organised.’ The route is prepared by hundreds of Sherpas. Extra oxygen is available in all camps, right up to the summit. People will cook for you and lay out your beds. Clients feel safe and don’t care about the risks.”[350]

    By 2015, Nepal was considering to require that climbers have some experience and wanted to make the mountain safer, and especially increase revenue.[351] One barrier to this is that low-budget firms make money not taking inexperienced climbers to the summit.[336] Those turned away by Western firms can often find another firm willing to take them for a price — that they return home soon after arriving after base camp, or part way up the mountain.[336] Whereas a Western firm will convince those they deem incapable to turn back, other firms simply give people the freedom to choose.[336]

    However, not all opinions on the subject among prominent mountaineers have been strictly negative. For example, Edmund Hillary stated in 2003 that while “Having people pay $65,000 and then be led up the mountain by a couple of experienced guides…isn’t really mountaineering at all”,[352] he was pleased by the changes brought to Everest area by Westerners, “I don’t have any regrets because I worked very hard indeed to improve the condition for the local people. When we first went in there they didn’t have any schools, they didn’t have any medical facilities, all over the years we have established 27 schools, we have two hospitals and a dozen medical clinics and then we’ve built bridges over wild mountain rivers and put in fresh water pipelines so in cooperation with the Sherpas we’ve done a lot to benefit them.”[353]

    One of the early guided summiters, Richard Bass (of Seven Summits fame) stated in 2003 that “Climbers should have high altitude experience before they attempt the really big mountains. People don’t realise the difference between a 20,000-foot [6,100 m] mountain and 29,000-foot [8,800 m]. It’s not just arithmetic. The reduction of oxygen in the air is proportionate to the altitude alright, but the effect on the human body is disproportionate—an exponential curve. People climb Denali [6,190 m or 20,320 ft] or Aconcagua [6,960 m or 22,834 ft] and think, ‘Heck, I feel great up here, I’m going to try Everest.’ But it’s not like that.”[354]

    The Tibetan/Chinese side has been described as “out of control” due to reports of thefts and threats.[355]

    Some climbers have reported life-threatening thefts from supply caches. Vitor Negrete, the first Brazilian to climb Everest without oxygen and part of David Sharp’s party, died during his descent, and theft of gear and food from his high-altitude camp may have contributed.[356][357]

    “Several members were bullied, gear was stolen, and threats were made against me and my climbing partner, Michael Kodas, making an already stressful situation even more dire”, said one climber.[358]

    In addition to theft, Michael Kodas describes in his book, High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed (2008):[359] unethical guides and Sherpas, prostitution and gambling at the Tibet Base Camp, fraud related to the sale of oxygen bottles, and climbers collecting donations under the pretense of removing trash from the mountain.[360][361]

    The Chinese side of Everest in Tibet was described as “out of control” after one Canadian had all his gear stolen and was abandoned by his Sherpa.[355] Another Sherpa helped the victim get off the mountain safely and gave him some spare gear. Other climbers have also reported missing oxygen bottles, which can be worth hundreds of dollars each. Hundreds of climbers pass by people’s tents, making it hard to safeguard against theft.[355] In the late 2010s, the reports of theft of oxygen bottles from camps became more common.[362]

    On 18 April 2014, in one of the worst disasters to ever hit the Everest climbing community up to that time, 16 Sherpas died in Nepal due to the avalanche that swept them off Mount Everest. In response to the tragedy, numerous Sherpa climbing guides walked off the job and most climbing companies pulled out in respect for the Sherpa people mourning the loss.[363][364] Some still wanted to climb but there was too much controversy to continue that year.[363] One of the issues that triggered the work action by Sherpas was unreasonable client demands during climbs.[363]

    Mount Everest has been host to other winter sports and adventuring besides mountaineering, including snowboarding, skiing, paragliding, and BASE jumping.

    Yuichiro Miura became the first man to ski down Everest in the 1970s. He descended nearly 1,300 vertical metres (4,200 ft) from the South Col before falling with extreme injuries.[85] Stefan Gatt and Marco Siffredi snowboarded Mount Everest in 2001.[365] Other Everest skiers include Davo Karničar of Slovenia, who completed a top to south base camp descent in 2000, Hans Kammerlander of Italy in 1996 on the north side,[366] and Kit DesLauriers of the United States in 2006.[367] In 2006 Swede Tomas Olsson and Norwegian Tormod Granheim skied together down the north face. Olsson’s anchor broke while they were rappelling down a cliff in the Norton couloir at about 8,500 metres, resulting in his death from a two and a half-kilometre fall. Granheim skied down to camp III.[368] Also, Marco Siffredi died in 2002 on his second snow-boarding expedition.[365]

    Various types of gliding descents have slowly become more popular, and are noted for their rapid descents to lower camps. In 1986 Steve McKinney led an expedition to Mount Everest,[369] during which he became the first person to fly a hang-glider off the mountain.[318] Frenchman Jean-Marc Boivin made the first paraglider descent of Everest in September 1988, descending in minutes from the south-east ridge to a lower camp.[293] In 2011, two Nepalis made a gliding descent from the Everest summit down 5,000 metres (16,400 ft) in 45 minutes.[370] On 5 May 2013, the beverage company Red Bull sponsored Valery Rozov, who successfully BASE jumped off of the mountain while wearing a wingsuit, setting a record for world’s highest BASE jump in the process.[258][371]

    The southern part of Mount Everest is regarded as one of several “hidden valleys” of refuge designated by Padmasambhava, a ninth-century “lotus-born” Buddhist saint.[372]

    Near the base of the north side of Everest lies Rongbuk Monastery, which has been called the “sacred threshold to Mount Everest, with the most dramatic views of the world.”[373] For Sherpas living on the slopes of Everest in the Khumbu region of Nepal, Rongbuk Monastery is an important pilgrimage site, accessed in a few days of travel across the Himalayas through Nangpa La.[99]

    Miyolangsangma, a Tibetan Buddhist “Goddess of Inexhaustible Giving”, is believed to have lived at the top of Mount Everest. According to Sherpa Buddhist monks, Mount Everest is Miyolangsangma’s palace and playground, and all climbers are only partially welcome guests, having arrived without invitation.[372]

    The Sherpa people also believe that Mount Everest and its flanks are blessed with spiritual energy, and one should show reverence when passing through this sacred landscape. Here, the karmic effects of one’s actions are magnified, and impure thoughts are best avoided.[372]

    In 2015, the president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association warned that pollution, especially human waste, has reached critical levels. As much as 12,000 kg (26,500 lb) of human excrement each season is left behind on the mountain.[374] Human waste is strewn across the verges of the route to the summit, making the four sleeping areas on the route up Everest’s south side minefields of human excrement. Climbers above Base Camp—for the 62-year history of climbing on the mountain—have most commonly either buried their excrement in holes they dug by hand in the snow, or slung it into crevasses, or simply defecated wherever convenient, often within metres of their tents. The only place where climbers can defecate without worrying about contaminating the mountain is Base Camp. At approximately 5,500 m (18,000 ft), Base Camp sees the most activity of all camps on Everest because climbers acclimate and rest there. In the late-1990s, expeditions began using toilets that they fashioned from blue plastic 190-litre (50-US-gallon) barrels fitted with a toilet seat and enclosed.[375]

    The problem of human waste is compounded by the presence of more anodyne waste: spent oxygen tanks, abandoned tents, empty cans and bottles. The Nepali government now requires each climber to pack out eight kilograms of waste when descending the mountain.[376]

    In February 2019, due to the mounting waste problem, China closed the base camp on its side of Everest to visitors without climbing permits. Tourists are allowed to go as far as the Rongbuk Monastery.[377]

    In April 2019, the Solukhumbu district’s Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality launched a campaign to collect nearly 10,000 kg of garbage from Everest.[378]

    Mount Everest has a polar climate (Köppen EF) with all months averaging well below freezing.[note 5]

    Nearby peaks include Lhotse, 8,516 m (27,940 ft); Nuptse, 7,855 m (25,771 ft), and Changtse, 7,580 m (24,870 ft) among others. Another nearby peak is Khumbutse, and many of the highest mountains in the world are near Mount Everest. On the southwest side, a major feature in the lower areas is the Khumbu icefall and glacier, an obstacle to climbers on those routes but also to the base camps.

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    The height is 29,028 feet, or five and a half miles above sea level.Almost 20 Empire State Buildings are about the same size.A part of the Himalaya mountain range where Nepal meets Tibet straddles the border.

    The height is 29,028 feet, or five and a half miles above sea level.Almost 20 Empire State Buildings are about the same size.A part of the Himalaya mountain range where Nepal meets Tibet straddles the border.

    As the world’s tallest mountain, Everest was measured at over 7,000 meters (peak XV).As a result, Andrew Waugh, the successor to George Everest as director general of the Survey of India, announced this at a news conference in 1856, and determined the height to be 29,002 feet (8040 metres).

    In total, the hike will take 130 km (80 miles).There has been significant elevation gain.Currently, Lukla occupies 9,383 feet (2,800 meters) high mountain range.A height of 14,200 feet (5,500 meters) is the average elevation at Everest Base Camp.

    About 5 kilometers (3.29 miles) tall, this landmark stands 29029 feet (8,848 meters) above sea level.Everest reached the highest point of a mountain at 37,800 feet above sea level.

    how tall is mount everest in mile

    It costs about $20 just to travel from Everest’s base camp to the summit.There must be a distance of 5 kilometers or 12 miles.The climb up 11,433 feet is part of the itinerary.At least 7 feet or 328 yards.The longest distance is 86 meters.What is the number of deaths on Mt. Everest?? ?

    From start to finish, it takes 130 kilometers (80 miles).Despite the added days, the itinerary has several acclimatization challenges ahead.walk from 3 – 8 km depending on when the time comes.gain in elevation is the biggest.

    From the lower right-hand corner, Mount Kanchenjunga rises 28,208 feet.Sikkim and Nepal are separated by an independent federal government.A snow line is seen at 17,500 feet on each peak.Tibet is prominently shown from the upper right. The lake-studded highlands are visible there as well.

    Everest is a distance of 8,849 m ( elevation).

    On Mount Everest, close to the summit, there was a nearly vertical rock face of around 12 metres (40 ft) called the Hillary Step, which was quite high, 28839 ft. from sea level.

    Indian surveys established the highest elevation of 8,848 m (29,029 ft) in 1955.A 1975 Chinese measurement confirmed that it was intact.On both instances, the roof of the rock head was taken as a measure than the snow cap.Measuring it using satellite technology, a US team determined its height to be 8,850 metres.

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  • As a result of plate tectonics, scientists predict Everest’s height will increase over time.After a seven, it is time to find the root of the issue.In 2015, there was an earthquake of 8 magnitude which killed thousands, including climbers on Mount Everest. Scientists suspect that the mountain’s shortening is due to that quake.As a result, China and Nepal agreed it was time to re-measure Mount Everest in spite of their borders.

    A joint announcement was made by China and Nepal on December 2020 that the tallest mountain on earth, Mount Everest, had grown by roughly one meter, or three feet.Nevertheless, any changes in Mount Everest’s height will have to be scrutinized to determine whether they actually increased.

    Is it because why i so long? ?It takes six to nine weeks to complete the climb.During this period, you travel from Lukla for the south or drive from Katmandu or Lhasa on the north for your base camp.In addition, you should build rudimentary camps up and down the mountain for food, fuel, and oxygen for three to four weeks.

    The peak of Mount Everest takes in more air than any other piece of sky when it reaches over 29,000 feet above sea level.In that case, even this monster appears a great deal like what it’s part of and is shaped like when viewed from space.

    Mount Everest, which stands at 29,029 feet, will be 230 miles away when the person stands at the summit.It would be impossible for the human eye to see such a large sphere on a clear day, given 230 miles, although it is fairly easy.

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    Base camp trek Nepal

    Scaling Mother Nature’s grandest creation, It is general knowledge that Mount Everest is the tallest Mountain on the face of this planet. But has it ever occurred to you how it came to be so? Have you ever wondered about how people managed to scale such great heights in the first place? If you have, then here are some facts that you would like to know.

    Travel to Khumbu region to identify how tall is Mount Everest; you can stand at base camp or top of the highest peak according to your desire. Available packages listed below inquire a trip quote. Mount Everest height 8848 meters / 29029 feet Nepal going to measure is again to identify its lost height.

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    how tall is mount everest in mile

    How tall is Mount Everest?
    Over the many years of its existence, the height of Mount Everest has been scaled time and again using whatever the technology during that time provided us with. As such, different experiments have yielded different results.

    In the year of 1856, a certain somebody named Andre Waugh claimed that Mount Everest was in fact 29,002 feet in height. This was based on Trigonometric Surveys and Analysis. In meters, the height was equal to 8,848 m in total, recognized both in China as well as Nepal. This was the official record for a lot of years.

    It was only until the 9th of October of 2005 when things changed, and an official statement was made that said that Mountain Everest was in fact 29,017.16 feet high. In meters, this equaled to 8,844.43 m in total.

    Regarding the height of Mount Everest many research and survey done and slightly different result shown. China claims the height of Mount Everest 8850 m few years ago. But official and common answers are given here.

    Elevation of Mount Everest in meters
    Mount Everest is 8848 meters high above sea level. It is highest peak of the world

    Altitude of Mount Everest in feet
    Mount Everest is 29,029 feet high above sea level located in Mahalangur Himalayan range.

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  • Height of Mount Everest in kilometres?
    Mount Everest is in 8.848 kilometers height.

    Why does Mount Everest grow every year?
    Do you know how much does Mount Everest grow each year. Everest grows 4 mm or 0.1576 inches higher every year due to geologic uplift.

    How tall is Mount Everest in miles
    5.4979 miles to the top of Mount Everest
    Mount Everest base camp situated 5360 meters above sea level.

    Considerations made
    Of course, no matter what the technology used, there is bound to be some error still remaining. Likewise, the above experiment too had some errors to it. The height given above was to be considered with a range in error between +0.69 and -0.69. This equaled to around 0.21 meters on either end. But despite all that, it is still considered to be the most precise calculation made till date.

    Other Experiments Mount Everest height increasing

    The question about the height of Mt Everest is something that everyone wanted an answer to back in the day. As such, there were a lot of people to conducted experiments for doing so. America also conducted an expedition for this purpose during the month of May in the year of 1999. They claimed the height to be 29,035 feet.

    So the next time you want to know how tall is Mount Everest in feet, make sure you keep the above things in mind. After all, it is always good to know facts about such grandeur creations of Mother Nature.

    We local adventure travel guide organize trip in khumbu region like Everest base camp trek, Everest view trek, three pass trek and Gokyo lakes trek. And provide budget trip to luxury Everest base camp trek write us if you wants to Discover Everest with Highest peak base camp trek specialist.

    Elevation of the summit of Everest 8,848 meters / 29,029 feet above sea level. Not bad

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    By Bhadra Sharma and Kai Schultz

    how tall is mount everest in mile

    KATHMANDU, Nepal — Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, but precisely how tall is it?

    It’s not such a simple question.

    In the past, geologists have disagreed about what to include in their calculations: Should the summit’s snowcap be included? Or should surveyors drill down to the peak’s rock base?

    What about the recent earthquakes in Nepal, which geologists believe shrunk the mountain by about three centimeters, or a little more than an inch? Or the fact that wind speed affects how much snow covers the summit at any given time?

    Then there is the challenge of geography: Reaching the summit of Everest is only possible a few weeks each year, and measuring the mountain’s height from sea level has presented difficulties in the past. (Landlocked Nepal is a long way from the nearest shore.)

    Today, Everest’s height is widely recognized as 29,029 feet.

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  • But teams from around the world, including China, Denmark, Italy, India and the United States, have come up with other calculations, which have sometimes strayed a little bit higher, or a little bit lower, than that figure. Italy, in 1992, lopped seven feet off the standard height, measuring it at 29,022 feet. In 1999, a measurement by American scientists pushed the peak a little higher, saying the mountain reached 29,035 feet.

    These measurement expeditions have typically excluded experts from Nepal, which shares the mountain with China and is one of the poorest countries in Asia.

    Now, for the first time, Nepali surveyors are limiting intervention from foreign powers and sending a team to the summit to settle the height question for themselves. In addition to the science, a bit of national pride is at stake.

    “Mount Everest is our treasure,” said Buddhi Narayan Shrestha, the former director general of Nepal’s Department of Survey. “What will happen if foreign experts continue to reduce the height of our mountain without us participating?”

    The first recorded attempt to measure Everest’s height came in the mid-19th century, when Nepal was a Hindu monarchy, closed to outsiders.

    A team hired by Sir George Everest, a former surveyor general of India, assembled near India’s border with Nepal. It was there that Radhanath Sikdar, a young Indian mathematician, and a group of so-called human computers, used triangulation to collect data on the mountain, known then as Peak XV.

    Folklore has it that when Mr. Sikdar finished calculating his findings in 1852, he made a beeline for the office of a superior stationed in the foothills of the Himalayas and announced that he had “discovered the highest mountain in the world.”

    In 1856, the height of Peak XV was recorded at 29,002 feet, a number remarkably close to the height recognized by climbing bodies today. But Mr. Sikdar’s contributions were pushed to the footnotes, and Peak XV was eventually renamed in honor of Mr. Everest.

    About 100 years later, when Nepal cracked open its borders to foreigners, scientists moved their measurement tools closer to the mountain, which lies partly in Tibet. In the mid-1950s, the height was recognized as about 29,029 feet, making it the world’s tallest mountain above sea level.

    (By one measure, the world’s highest peak is actually Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador. The summit of Chimborazo, an inactive volcano in the Andes, rises about 20,500 feet above sea level, far short of Everest. But because of the globe’s bulge at the Equator, it’s a different story when you measure from the center of Earth: Chimborazo’s apex then rises the farthest, at about 21 million feet or 3,967 miles.)

    Government officials in Nepal have been selective about recognizing data generated by other countries, with some measurements less welcome than others.

    Take the case of China, which shares the summit with Nepal. After Chinese surveyors assessed Everest’s summit in 2005, measuring the height both from the peak’s rock base and from the top of the snowfall, a heated dispute over the height ensued.

    Ang Tshering Sherpa, the former head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, said China applied pressure on the Nepal’s government and an international climbing body to recognize 29,017 feet, the measurement from the rock base, as the mountain’s new height.

    But Nepal held its ground, and China recently backed down, Mr. Sherpa said, apparently in response to a drop in climbers tackling the mountain from the Tibet side.

    Having those few extra feet recognized on summit certificates was enough for some mountaineers to switch routes, opting to climb from, and spend money in, Nepal.

    “China changed its own findings last year after the number of climbers summiting Mount Everest from the northern side significantly decreased,” Mr. Sherpa said.

    A proposal from India to jointly measure the mountain with Nepal was passed over. Last year, Swarna Subba Rao, then the surveyor general of India, allocated resources to send a 30-member team of mountaineers to gather data from the summit. Nepal, which has had frosty relations with India in the past, “humbly declined” the proposal.

    “We are capable of the job,” said Ganesh Prasad Bhatta, the director general of Nepal’s Department of Survey, which is overseeing Nepal’s measurement project.

    Roger Bilham, a geologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, said Everest’s location in the zone of compression between southern Tibet and India means it sinks during earthquakes and rises in the period between them. A major earthquake in 1934 lowered the mountain by 63 centimeters, or about two feet, according to data provided by Mr. Bilham.

    In the 19th century, the height of Everest was calculated by measuring the angles between the top of the mountain and points on the ground whose positions relative to the average height of the sea were already known.

    Now, surveyors place a global positioning system receiver on the summit ice for an hour, and mathematically calculate the height of the sea from satellites and measurements of gravity at the base.

    To prepare for the country’s own expedition, Nepali surveyors will collect measurements this month along the country’s southern plains, where they plan to calculate sea level. A team of Sherpas are also being trained to bring a GPS receiver to the summit. The cost to measure the mountain is estimated at $250,000.

    Alan Arnette, a well-known mountaineer, said any measurement of the summit is still “a snapshot in time,” with different levels of ice accumulation causing variations in the height. He questioned whether the expedition was worth what it would cost Nepal.

    “As a mountaineer, I would like to see the results,” Mr. Arnette said, “but as someone who supports the Nepal people, the money could be spent on jobs, food, clean air and other programs more important to the health of the nation.”


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    The highest point above Earth’s center is the peak of Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo, located just one degree south of the Equator where Earth’s bulge is greatest. | Infographic Text

    The National Geodetic Survey (part of the National Ocean Service) measures and monitors our ever-changing planet by mapping its gravity field and determining the precise location of points on Earth’s surface. Measurements of the Earth contribute to a wide range of important activities, including mapping and charting, navigation, flood risk determination, transportation, land use, and ecosystem management.

    how tall is mount everest in mile

    Mount Everest, located in Nepal and Tibet, is usually said to be the highest mountain on Earth. Reaching 8,848 meters at its summit, Everest is indeed the highest point above global mean sea level—the average level for the ocean surface from which elevations are measured. But the summit of Mt. Everest is not the farthest point from Earth’s center.

    Earth is not a perfect sphere, but is a bit thicker at the Equator due to the centrifugal force created by the planet’s constant rotation. Because of this, the highest point above Earth’s center is the peak of Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo, located just one degree south of the Equator where Earth’s bulge is greatest. The summit of Chimborazo is 6,268 meters above sea level. However, due to the Earth’s bulge, the summit of Chimborazo is over 2,072 meters
    farther from the center of the Earth than Everest’s peak. That makes Chimborazo the closest point on Earth to the stars.  

    You may be surprised to learn that Everest is not the tallest mountain on Earth, either. That honor belongs to Mauna Kea, a volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. Mauna Kea originates deep beneath the Pacific Ocean, and rises more than 10,210 meters from base to peak.

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    Wonder of the Day #465

    SOCIAL STUDIES — Geography

    Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Pippa. Pippa Wonders, “Where is the highest mountain?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Pippa!

    Some days you might be so happy that you feel like you’re standing on top of the world. Would you believe that some people have literally stood on top of the world? It’s true!

    how tall is mount everest in mile

    Those who have climbed all the way to the summit of Mount Everest — the highest mountain on Earth — can say they’ve gone as high as they can on this planet. And how high have they gone? A whopping 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) — about 5.5 miles! — above sea level, to be exact.

    Mount Everest wasn’t always the highest point on Earth, though. About 60 million years ago, two of Earth’s tectonic plates — the Indian and Asian plates — collided and started pushing huge mounds of rock into the sky. The result was the Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everest as its highest peak. Today, Mount Everest is still growing at the rate of about one quarter-inch per year!

    Even though Mount Everest has been around a long time, it’s only been explored over the past couple hundred years. In 1841, Sir George Everest led a British survey team that first identified Mount Everest and called it Peak 15. It was later renamed Mount Everest in honor of Sir George Everest.

    The summit, or highest point, of Mount Everest sits at an elevation that many airplanes usually fly at, and it’s higher than birds fly. The summit actually marks the border between Nepal to the south and Tibet to the north. People in Nepal call Mount Everest “Sagarmatha,” which means “Goddess of the Sky.” People in Tibet call it “Chomolungma,” which means “Mother Goddess of the Universe.”

    The summit of Mount Everest juts into the jet stream, a powerful wind current high up in the Earth’s atmosphere. This means that the top of Mount Everest can experience wind speeds of over 200 miles per hour and temperatures as low as -80° F.

    Such weather conditions would make it nearly impossible to stand on Mount Everest’s summit. Twice each year, though (in May and November), the jet stream moves just far enough north to allow climbers to try to reach the top while the winds are calm and temperatures are warmer. Climbers call these periods “summit windows.”

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  • Climbing to the top of Mount Everest is no easy task, though. The first people ever to reach the summit were Sir Edmund Hilary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay from Nepal. They reached the summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953.

    Since then, thousands of people have reached the summit. Unfortunately, many climbers have died while making the attempt. Because of its high altitude, it takes approximately two months to make the climb, because the human body must have plenty of time to adjust to the lack of oxygen at high altitudes.

    Climbers also face a multitude of other obstacles. In addition to extremely cold weather, climbers face rough terrain. As well as carrying things like tents, sleeping bags and food items, climbers must use special climbing gear. This includes special spikes — called crampons — on their boots, ice axes, nylon ropes, ladders and oxygen tanks to make their trek to the top.

    Fortunately, climbers get a lot of help from the people in Nepal who live near Mount Everest. These people — called Sherpas — serve as climbing guides and help carry supplies between base camps along the climbing routes.

    We’d like to thank:

    Megan, Jessie, Ryan, Ashlynne, and Jaylen from IN for contributing questions about today’s Wonder topic!

    Keep WONDERing with us!

    Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day features an animal that always looks dressed up!

    Are you ready to climb to new heights? Grab a friend or family member to help you explore the following activities:

    We’d like to thank:

    Megan, Jessie, Ryan, Ashlynne and Jaylen from IN for contributing questions about today’s Wonder topic!

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    Hi, Seththejeff515! Check out Wonder 1499: When Was the Great War?

    Great question, John Cena!  We hope you will do a little more research and see if you can find the answer to that one!  Let us know what you come up with!

    Thanks for asking, Meep! We ask that Wonderopolis be listed as the author. Since we do not list the publish date for our Wonders of the Day, you may put the date you accessed this page for information. The following is how you would cite this page —> “Where Is The Highest Mountain?” Wonderopolis, Accessed 1 Feb. 2017.

    Hi, Understand! This article was last updated November 15, 2015. Thank you for WONDERing with us!

    Thanks for adding information, Bob. In this Wonder, we set out to explore the highest point on Earth, so that is why we WONDERed about Mount Everest. 🙂

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    I have only ever climbed one but someday I will climb it. I forgot WITH ENTHUSIASTICNIS

    No way u will climb mount everest people have died its not like its fun either you need 2 year training plus lets say u live in america that flight is worth $8000 so your destination is not Nepal unless u want to move there did I mention it is almost 30000 feet?!? Please reply i will read your reply by November.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion, Bob. Everyone has different dreams and aspirations. With hard work and determination, we can achieve our goals! 🙂


    Thanks for joining the discussion, Wonder Friend! We understand why you might not want to climb a tall mountain. Everyone has their own goals! 🙂

    how tall is mount everest in mile

    Hi, anaru! With lots of training and practice, we’re sure you can achieve your goal! 🙂

    We think you’re doing a great job WONDERing, dom! Some of the Wonderopolis Team have climbed mountains, such as Mt. Etna in Sicily. But Mount Everest would be EXTRA tough and we don’t think we’re going to attempt to climb it anytime soon. What about you? Would you like to climb mountains? 🙂

    That’s SUPER to hear, ben! Keep WONDERing with us, Wonder Friend! :$ 🙂 😀

    :$ 🙂

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    Hello, Jillian From Mrs.Dillehays 3rd Grade class! We currently do not have a WONDER about this topic. We encourage our WONDER friends to submit ideas for future WONDERS – “what are you WONDERing?”. Thanks for WONDERing with us! 🙂

    Hey Max, thanks for smiling with us today! 🙂

    HOORAY, thanks for WONDERing with us today, Mrs. Dee’s Class! Can you imagine going snow skiing in Hawaii? We bet it’s fun to live in a warm place but you can enjoy winter sports, too! We will have to bring our sunscreen with us everywhere we go when we travel to Hawaii! 🙂

    your an cool website

    Thanks, Wonder Friend! Our Wonder Friends are cool, too! 🙂

    We liked learning about Mt. Everest, too, Natasha! Thank you so much for being a great Wonder Friend and hanging out in Wonderopolis today! 🙂

    Your comment made us super happy today, Team Unger #3! We love hearing that Wonderopolis helped you IMAGINE! Thanks for sharing what you learned by exploring this Wonder. Let’s both do some extra WONDERing about which country owns Mt. Everest, OK?

    Hi, Natasha! Did you know there is already an AWESOME Wonder about VOLCANOES? It’s past Wonder #139 – What Is a Volcano? Here is a link that will take you right to it: You may also like exploring past Wonder #227 – How Hot Is Lava? Here is a link to it, as well: Happy WONDERing! 🙂

    You’re RIGHT, Breeghan! Thanks so much for sharing what you learned by visiting this Wonder of the Day®! 🙂

    That’s really cool, Sara! When you remember what the name of the mountain is, please let us know…we LOVE learning new things, too, especially from our Wonder Friends!

    What a FANTASTIC comment, Samia! Thank you for sharing all the awesome facts you learned about Mt. Everest! We found a really cool news story about a 13-year-old boy who climbed Mt. Everest! His name is Jordan Romero, and you can read about his adventure here: 🙂

    Hello, Keyvette! Thanks so much for sharing what you think the next Wonder will be about! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing what you liked about this Wonder of the Day®, Natasha! We appreciate your comment! We thought it was awesome to learn about all that special climbing gear, too! 🙂

    Hello, Paige! It’s so nice to get another great comment from you today! We’re glad you stopped by to explore this Wonder and to take a guess at what tomorrow’s Wonder will be about! 🙂

    There sure was a MOUNTAIN of cool new facts to learn inside this Wonder of the Day®, wasn’t there, Mrs. McKee’s Class? That is a great question you guys asked about the major avalanche! We’ll all have to do a bit more WONDERing about that one! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing some of the cool facts you learned by exploring today’s Wonder, Brandon! Say “hello” to Ms. Brasdis for us, will you? She ROCKS! 🙂

    Hi, Jack! WOW! You’re lucky to have Ms. Brasdis for a teacher this year…she’s WONDERful! She is a great Wonder Friend who inspires her students, friends and family to WONDER about the world around them!

    Salt seems to be a popular guess for what tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day® will be about! We hope everyone is right…we’d really like to learn more about salt, too! 🙂

    We think that’s a REALLY good guess, Jayde! We’ll all have to visit Wonderopolis again tomorrow to see if you were right! 🙂

    What a FANTASTIC comment, Hannah! Thanks for letting us know what you’d like to learn more about on Wonderopolis! We have a Wonder we think you might really enjoy! It’s past Wonder #89 – How Did the Months of the Year Get Their Names? You can visit it by clicking on this link: 🙂

    Thanks so much for trying to guess what tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day® will be about, Justin! We appreciate you hanging out with us in Wonderopolis today! 🙂

    Hi, Robert! We LOVE math Wonders! Thank you for suggesting your ideas for future Wonders of the Day! Here are some other math-related Wonders we think you might enjoy:

    Wonder #162 – What Is Pi?
    Wonder #190 – What Is a Prime Number?
    Wonder #290 – How Many Seconds Are In a Year?
    Wonder #411 – How Many Is a Googol?

    Happy WONDERing! 🙂

    Thanks so much for “seasoning” our day with this GREAT comment, Kiara and Mrs. Underwood’s 3rd Grade Class! We can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s Wonder will be about! 🙂

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    how tall is mount everest in mile

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