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Mount Everest

Edmund Percival Hillary
The bear-headed goose, spotted from the top of the Mount Everest mountain.
Did you know that… ?
  • ... Mount Everest is called Chomolungma in Tibetan (loosely translated as "Mother of the Earth") and Sagarmatha in Nepalese (loosely translated as "shape of the Earth")?
  • ... the mountain is named after the British geodetist George Everest?
  • ... Mount Everest rises in the Mahalangur Himal range in the Nepalese Khumbu region on the border with China?
  • ... on the roof of the world, mountain climbers dug a snow pit into which they laid a small cross, given to Hilary by John Hunt to leave on the peak, and a package of chocolate, which Tenzing donated to the Buddhist gods?
  • ... on the night before the final ascent, the expedition's tent was pitched at an elevation of 8,500 meters on a narrow ledge chopped into a steep ridge covered in ice?
  • ... the expedition members did not sleep all night, because at that elevation, sleep is possible only with supplemental oxygen, and they had to conserve it for the arduous effort the next day?
  • ... on all large mountain-climbing expeditions, the climbers depend on an army of porters, and prepare for the ascent by establishing a system of supply camps?
Rhododendron growing at the foot of the Mount Everest.
  • The first people on the highest peak in the world were Hillary with Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay on May 29th, 1953, at 11:30am.
  • Charles Evans and Tom Bourdillon made the first, unsuccessful attempt. Evans’ oxygen gear malfunctioned, but they still made it to 8,500 meters elevation.
  • At the end of the ascent, the mountain climbers needed three minutes for each meter.
  • The climbers spent a scant 15 minutes at the top of the world.
  • Mount Everest is 8,848 meters high.
  • The British expedition to Mount Everest had 13 members.

In 1953, a British expedition attempted to ascend the highest mountain in the world: among the thirteen members was the New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary. The team was led by Colonel John Hunt. They reached India in March 1953. After acclimatizing, they reached the base of Mount Everest in May 1953. They established camps, from the base at 5,500 meters to Camp VIII in the southern saddle at 7,900 meters. May 26th, early in the morning the first team, with Charles Evans and Tom Bourdillon finally set out for the first attempt to the summit. Due to a malfunctioning oxygen system, Charles Evans only reached 8,500 meters. Despite that, they had reached an elevation higher than anyone had reached before. Everything therefore depended on the second attempt, by Edmund Hillary and experienced Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Their attempt started on May 28th, and they gradually made their way from Camp VIII to Camp IX, at an elevation of 8,500 meters, where they spent the night. The next morning, they set out at 6:30, encumbered by oxygen systems. At 11:30 they reached the summit. Hillary took several photographs. Hillary and Tenzing spent barely 15 minutes at the summit. At 2pm, they were back in their last bivouac and late that afternoon, they arrived back in the camp, where their support team waited.