The Most Interesting Facts About Mount Everest

  • Ram Khadka
  • Mar 31, 2024
Table of Contents

As Mount Everest is the highest mountain, it attracts many climbers from around the world.

Everest has been around for about 60 million years. The first time a pair summited Mount Everest was in 1953. Ever since thousands of people have tried to summit the mountain, and many have succeeded with their continuous effort.

Sherpas are often mountain guides, and they have valuable experience in mountain climbing. Their logistical knowledge guides the climbers to reach the peak of the mountain.

While the EBC trek will leave you with profound cultural and spiritual experiences, the tough physical challenges while climbing Everest will test your strength and endurance.

Some might not survive the death zone (altitudes higher than 8,000 m), while some can even summit Everest without supplementary oxygen.

In the meantime, if you want to be in the grandeur of the Everest region without climbing the actual mountain itself, here are a few trip recommendations:

Classic Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek 12 Days
Everest Base Camp Luxury Trek
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour with Landing Flight
Sleep at Everest Base Camp Trek - Sleeping Overnight at EBC

Here are a few facts about Mount Everest that might blow your mind.

1. Everest is the highest mountain standing 8,848.86 m above sea level

Mt. Everest is the highest mountain above sea level on Earth. It stands at an altitude of 8,848.86 m.

British began to do surveys to calculate the world's highest mountain in 1802. Later in 1852, a surveyor from Bengal named Radhanath Sikdar identified Everest as the world's highest peak.

Andrew Waugh did thorough calculations and spent over two years and found the height of the mountain to be 8,840 m in 1856.

Later in 1955, the Indian survey determined the height of the peak to be 8,848 m. And on the 8th of December 2020, China and Nepal jointly declared the peak's height to be 8,848.86 m.

2. Mount Everest is not the tallest mountain below sea level

Although Everest stands highest at sea level, it is not the tallest below sea level.

Mauna Kea Volcano in Hawaii has a total height of nearly 10,211 m (from below sea level to its peak), considerably higher than Everest's.

3. The mountain is named after Sir George Everest

The world's highest peak is named after Sir George Everest.

The British Surveyor General of India, Andrew Waugh, was the one to name the mountain after his predecessor. Although Everest opposed Waugh's idea, the Royal Geographical Society officially adopted "Mount Everest" as the peak's name in 1865.

Before that, the mountain had other local names. Tibetan named it Qomolangma, Nepalese named it Sagarmatha, and Chinese named it 珠穆朗玛峰 (Zhūmùlǎngmǎ Fēng). It was also known as Peak XV, Deodungha, Gaurisankar, and more.

4. There are two main routes to reach Everest

Everest can be reached through two famous routes. The standard route is from the southeast in Nepal, whereas the other is from the north in Tibet.

Many other routes are also available but are less frequently used by climbers. The first people to summit the mountain used the southeast ridge (the technically easy way).

5. People began climbing Mt Everest in 1922

George Finch and Captain Geoffrey Bruce first attempted to climb Everest in 1922.

The duo reached an altitude of 8,320 m using oxygen, only 527.82 m below the summit. Ever since thousands of people have tried to climb Everest.

6. Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary were the first successful climbers in 1953

Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary were the first duos to summit Everest in 1953. Before that, Norgay had reached only up to 8,595 m in 1952.

The duo reached the summit on the 29th of May 1953 at 11:30 local time via the South Col route.

Although both acknowledged the team effort, Norgay later revealed that Hillary was the one to put his feet first on the summit.

Edmund and Tenzing were both honored for their success. Queen Elizabeth II ordered Hillary to get knighted in the Order of the British Empire for the ascent. He also became the Order of New Zealand's founding member.

Likewise, the UK granted the George Medal to Norgay. They also got recognized in Nepal, and statues were raised in honor. The Government of Nepal named two peaks in the Himalayas after them, Hillary Peak and Tenzing Peak.

7. Everest has its native flora and fauna

Everest has very little native flora and fauna. The highest-altitude plant species are mosses that grow at 6,480 m. An alpine cushion plant named Arenaria grows below 5,500 m.

Euophrys omnisuperstes, a Himalayan jumping spider, was found at 6,700 m. They are small, toxic, and feed on tiny, stray springtails and flies.

Bar-headed geese fly at higher altitudes of the mountain and chough got spotted at 7,920 m. Likewise, bar-headed geese migrate over the Himalayas.

Other animals, including Yaks, Himalayan tahr, snow leopards, Himalayan black bears, and red pandas, are also present in the region. Moreover, Pikas and ten new species of ants have been discovered in the mountain.

8. Everest also hosts extreme sports

Everest hosts sports, including snowboarding, skiing, paragliding, and BASE jumping.

9. Everest grows 0.004 m (4mm) every year

Every Himalayas rises around 0.01 m (10 mm) every year. However, Everest grows around 0.004 m (4mm) annually, per BBC.

10. One can summit Everest in around two months

Anyone passionate and dedicated to summiting Everest can do it in around two months.

The climbers must surpass a few base camps to reach the peak. The first base camp is at around 5,300 m and continues their journey till camp 4.

11. Hundreds of people try to summit Everest every year

Around 800 people aim to summit Everest every year. However, only some can live up to their dream of reaching the summit.

Many people try their best to reach the top, while some lose their lives due to the harsh weather and difficulties. One should get physically and mentally prepared before embarking on their journey to Everest.

12. Over six thousand people have summited Everest as of July 2022

A single person has made it to the top several times. 6,098 people have summited the world's highest peak as of July 2022. Approximately 11,346 summits were made, as per the records.

Before that, 667 summits were made by 800 people in 2018. Until 2016, 4,469 people made 7,646 summits; in 2013, it was 6,871 summits by 4,042.

13. Kami Rita Sherpa has successfully summited Everest 26 times

The Sherpa guide Kami Rita Sherpa holds the record for the most summits of Mt Everest.

He recently climbed Everest for the 26th time on the 7th of May, 2022. Pasang Dawa Sherpa comes second on the list, having climbed Everest 25 times. Similarly, other climbers have also summited the peak several times.

14. It requires permits to climb Everest

Mount Everest is not a place that you can visit without permission. The Government of Nepal issues a certain number of permits annually, costing $11,000.

People who try to climb Everest without it will get fined double the amount. They will also get banned from mountaineering in Nepal for several years.

15. May is the best month to climb the world's highest peak

Good weather is very crucial when it comes to climbing mountains. May is the best month as it is warmer. Climbing Everest during rainfall is riskier, making the trail slippery and dangerous.

16. It requires supplemental oxygen to survive above 8000 m

The death zone of Everest requires oxygen bottles as there is low pressure above 8,000 m.

Only five percent of climbers have summited Everest without supplementary oxygen. The most accomplished mountaineers can only do it at increased risk.

17. Few amazing people have summited Everest with disabilities

Some amazing people have proved that one can summit the highest peak in the world, even with disabilities.

Climbers including Sudarshan Gautam (no arms), Mark Inglis (no legs), Paul Hockey (one arm only), and Arunima Sinha (one leg only) have proved that amputations and diseases don't disqualify people from climbing Everest. Erik Weihenmayer even summited the peak while blind.

Thus, this summarizes some fascinating facts about the world's highest mountain, Sagarmatha.

Ram Khadka
Ram Khadka

CEO and Managing Director at Sublime Trails Trekking, Ram has been leading adventure-hungry souls into the mountains of Nepal for over 15 years.