Mt. Everest has two main climbing routes, the southeast ridge from Nepal and the
northeast ridge from Tibet, as well as 13 other less frequently climbed routes.
Of the two main routes, the southeast ridge is technically easier and is the
more frequently-used route. It was the route used by Hillary and Tenzing in
1953. This was, however, a route decision dictated more by politics than by
design as the Tibetan border was closed to foreigners in 1949.
Most attempts are made during April and May before the summer monsoon season.
A change in the jet stream at this time of year also reduces the average wind
speeds high on the mountain. While attempts are sometimes made after the
monsoons in September and October, the additional snow deposited by the monsoons
makes climbing even more difficult.
1921 - The first British expedition explores the access over the Rongbuk
1922 - The second British expedition, under General CG Bruce and
climbing leader EI Strutt, and containing George Mallory. George Finch makes the
first summit attempt using bottled oxygen, and reaches a record altitude of
8,321 meters. Shortly after, seven Sherpa climbers are killed in an avalanche,
becoming the first reported deaths on Everest.
1924 - The third British expedition reaches 8,500 meters. On June 6,
George Mallory and Andrew Irvine ascend to attempt to reach the summit but are
lost after cloud closes in. An eyewitness claims seeing them near the summit.
1933 - Lady Houston funds formation of aeroplanes to fly over summit
to deploy the British Union flag.
1934 - Maurice Wilson (British) dies on attempting to climb alone.
1938 - Mountaineering explorer Bill Tilman (British) leads an
expedition via the north west ridge, reaching over 8,200 meters (27,000 ft)
without oxygen before being forced down by foul weather.
1950 - Nepal opens its borders to foreigners. Bill Tilman and Charles
Houston undertake a reconnaissance expedition to Everest.
1952 - A Swiss expedition, including Sherpa Tenzing Norgay gives up
from exhaustion, 200 metres short of the summit.
1953 - The summit was first reached (in recorded history) at 11:30 am
on May 29 by the New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay from
Nepal climbing the South Col Route.
1960 - On May 25, a Chinese team consisting of Wang Fuzhou, Gongbu and
Qu Yinhua makes the first summit via the North Ridge.
1963 - On May 22, Americans Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld make the
first ascent of the West Ridge.
1963 - First crossing by a United States expedition, starting from the
west and descending over the south-west.
1965 - On May 20, Nawang Gombu Sherpa becomes the first person to
reach the summit of Everest twice.
1975 - On May 16, Junko Tabei of Japan is the first woman on the
1975 - On May 27, a Tibetan woman, Phantog, becomes the first woman to
reach the summit from the Tibetan side.
1975 - The British SW face expedition led by Chris Bonington. Summit
reached by 2 teams made up with Doug Scott, Dougal Haston, Peter Boardman, and
Sirdar Pertemba. BBC cameraman Michael Burke failed to return from a solo summit
1978 - Reinhold Messner (Italy, South Tyrol) and Peter Habeler
(Austria) reach the summit without oxygen tanks.
1980 - First winter expedition by a team from Poland (Leszek Cichy,
Krzysztof Wielicki, Andrzej Czok and Jerzy Kukuczka).
1980 - Reinhold Messner (Italy, South Tyrol), first man to climb
Everest alone and without oxygen tanks.
1982 - On October 5, Laurie Skreslet becomes the first Canadian to
reach the summit.
1983 - Lou Reichardt, Kim Momb, and Carlos Buhler [U.S.] become the
first to summit the East Face.
1984 - First Australian expedition scales Everest. Expedition
comprised of Tim Macartney-Snape , Greg Mortimer, Andy Henderson and Lincoln
Hall, two of which (Macartney Snape and Mortimer) made it to the summit. It is
known that had Hall attempted the summit, all members would have perished on the
1988 - Jean-Marc Boivin of France starts with a paraglider from the
1988 - Stephen Venables of United Kingdom becomes the first Briton to
ascend the peak wihout use of oxygen. He pioneers a new route over the East
1990 - Bertrand “Zebulon” Roche of France becomes the youngest
westerner to climb Everest, age 17.
1991 - Gabriel DeLeon becomes the first mixed-race American to ascend
Mount Everest. Unfortunately, he died 1,000 ft on his descent.
1993 - Ninety alpinists in the autumn alone, the commercial
1993 - Ramon Blanco of Spain became the oldest person to reach the
summit aged 60 years, 160 days (record beaten in 2001).
1995 - Alison Hargreaves becomes the first woman to climb Everest
alone and without oxygen tanks.
1996 - Hans Kammerlander (Italy, South Tyrol) climbs the mountain from
the north side in 16 hours and 45 minutes and returns on skis.
1996 - Göran Kropp of Sweden becomes first person to ride his bicycle
all the way from his home in Sweden to the mountain, scale it alone without the
use of oxygen tanks, and bicycle all the way back.
1997 - Veikka Gustafsson of Finland becomes the first Finnish man to
reach the summit without the use of bottled oxygen.
1998 - Tom Whittaker is the first disabled climber to make it to the
1998 - Bear Grylls becomes the youngest Briton to climb everest and
1999 - Sherpa Babu Chiri Sherpa of Nepal stays for 21 hours on the
2000 - On October 7 Davo Karničar from Slovenia accomplishes an
uninterrupted ski descent from the top to the base camp in five hours.
2001 - On May 23 32 year old Guatemalan mountaineer Jaime Vińals
becomes the first Central American to climb Everest and the second Latin
American to accomplish that feat, alongside with American mountaineer Andy
Lapkass via North Ridge of the Everest.
2001 - On May 24 15 year old Sherpa Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest
person to climb Everest.
2001 - On May 24 22 year old Marco Siffredi of France made snowboard
and Mt. Everest history by becoming the first person to ever descend Mt. Everest
on a snowboard.
2001 - On May 25, 32 year old Erik Weihenmayer, of Boulder, Colorado,
becomes the first blind person to reach the summit.
2001 - On the same day 64 year old Sherman Bull, of New Canaan,
Connecticut, becomes the oldest person to reach the summit.
2001 - Also on the same day, 19 people made it to the summit,
surpassing the previous record of 10 people. Everyone survived.
2003 - On May 21, 21 year old Jess Roskelley, of Spokane, Washington,
becomes the youngest American to summit Everest, via the North-Northeast Ridge
2003 - On May 22, 23 year old Ben Clark, of Clarksville, Tennessee,
becomes the second youngest American to summit Everest, via the North-Northeast
2003 - Yuichiro Miura becomes the oldest person to reach the summit of
Everest. He was aged 70 years and 222 days when he got to the summit (on May
2003 - Twenty-five year old Nepalese Sherpa, Pemba Dorjie, makes the
world's fastest ascent in 12 hours 45 minutes on May 23.
2003 - Only three days later, Sherpa Lakpa Gelu breaks this record
with 10 hours 56 minutes. After a short dispute with Dorjie, the tourism
ministry confirms Gelu's record in July.
2004 - Pemba Dorjie breaks his own record, this time ascending the
mountain in 8 hours 10 minutes on May 21.
2005 - Apa Sherpa of Thame summits for the record 15th time.
2005 - Chinese government-sponsored survey team with 24 members
reaches the peak on May 22 to anchor surveying equipment for the remeasurement
of summit height. GPS, ground radar equipment, as well as traditional surveying
methods were used to assess snow and ice thickness for the new measurement, and
to compare it with historical data.
2005 - On May 14, a Eurocopter helicopter flew to the peak for the
first time. It was reported to have landed but this was later disputed, with the
pilot telling Nepalese authorities that the landing was actually 3,300 feet
(1,000 m) below the summit.
2005 - Moni Mulepati and Pemba Dorjie got married on top of the
2006 - Romy Garduce aspires to become the first Filipino to climb the
summit of Mount Everest. Garduch is expected to reach Everest’s summit in May.