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Mt. Everest (Right)

Mount Everest is the highest mountain
on Earth, meaning its summit is higher above sea level than that of any other mountain
Mt. Everest (Sagarmatha)

Introduction to Mt. Everest
Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth, meaning its summit is higher above sea level than that of any other mountain. Its summit ridge marks the border between Nepal and China. The summit of Mount Everest is rising at a rate of around 2.5 centimetres per year. In Nepal, the Mt. Everest is called Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा which means for "Forehead of the Sky"). The mountain was given its English name by Andrew Waugh, the British surveyor-general of India.

The Nepalese name Sagarmatha was invented in the early 1960s when the Nepalese government realized that Mount Everest had no Nepalese name. This was because the mountain was not known and named in ethnic Nepal (the Kathmandu valley and surrounding areas). The Sherpa/Tibetan name Chomolangma was not acceptable as it would have been against the idea of unification (nepalization) of the country.


Climbing routes
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.

Chronological Events
1921 - The first British expedition explores the access over the Rongbuk glacier.

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 crest.

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 bid.

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 summit.

1988 - Jean-Marc Boivin of France starts with a paraglider from the mountaintop.

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 Kangshung Face.

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 "Everest-climbing" starts.

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 summit.

1998 - Bear Grylls becomes the youngest Briton to climb everest and return alive.

1999 - Sherpa Babu Chiri Sherpa of Nepal stays for 21 hours on the mountaintop.

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 Route.

2003 - On May 22, 23 year old Ben Clark, of Clarksville, Tennessee, becomes the second youngest American to summit Everest, via the North-Northeast Ridge Route.

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 22).

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 mountain.

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.

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