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Facts about Mount Everest: the Highest Peak in the World

Mount Everest

If Mount Everest were a person, what would its tinder profile look like? Well, here is how:

Quick Facts about Mount Everest

  • Height: 8,848.86 meters / 29,032 feet (tall enough for you??)
  • Age: 24 years old (Considering it is 50 million years old and the oldest mountain is 250 million years old.)
  • Location: Nepal / China border
  • Parent Range: Mahalangur Himal, Himalayas
  • First Ascent: 29 May 1953
  • Commonly Used Names: Chomolungma (original local name) / Everest / Sagarmatha (given name in Nepali)

And now for all the fun and weird things that Mount Everest has been through. But before that here is a view from the top.

Is Mount Everest really the highest mountain?

Mauna Kea

When we take the height of Mt. Everest from sea level, it stands as the tallest mountain in the world.

But if the height is measured from its base, then it is not the tallest. Hawaii’s Mauna Kea stands the tallest if the height is measured from its base. It stands only 4,207 meters above sea level, but from base to peak, it is 10,210 meters. 

If the earth’s center is your reference point, then Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo turns out to be the tallest. Its peak is a good 2,072 meters / 6,800 feet further from the earth’s center than Mount Everest’s summit.

The fastest summit on Mount Everest

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A post shared by Sharing Real Captured Views. (@trekkers_kingdomnepal)

Pemba Dorje Sherpa, on 21 May 2004, became the fastest man to summit Mt. Everest. At 8 hours and 10 minutes, his timing set the world record in the Guinness Books. 

But here is the twist. Due to lack of adequate evidence, Pemba was stripped of the Guinness title by the joint bench of Justices Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana and Dambar Bahadur Shahi. 

Following this decision, Lakpa Gelu Sherpa, who summited in 10 hours and 56 minutes, stands as the fastest Everest Summiter.

Helicopter landing at the top of Everest

On 14 May 2005, Didier Delsalle set the world record of landing helicopters at the highest altitude. He touched down Ecureuil AS350 B3 at the summit of Mt. Everest for 3 minutes and 50 seconds!

Unfortunately, even with the video evidence, this feat couldn’t make it to the record books as the Nepal government hadn’t given them permission for such a stunt.

Regardless, the feat didn’t go unnoticed as pretty much all of the helicopters you now see in the Everest Region are the Ecureuil AS350 B3 kind. However, please refrain from asking your captain to repeat the feat if you decide to take a heli tour to Everest.

Slovenian adventurer Karnicar skied from the summit of Everest to Base Camp.

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A post shared by Davo Karnicar (@davo.karnicar)

On 7 October 2000, Davo Karnicar, a Slovenian adventurer, skied from Mt. Everest to its base camp. And guess what he did it in around 4 hours and 40 minutes! And while a lot of people have done parts of the descent, he was the first person to make a continuous ski descent of Mount Everest.

Check out the Unstoppable documentary about this crazy cat. 

Paragliding from Everest’s peak

Lakpa Tshering Sherpa and Sanu Babu Sunuwar, on 21 May 2011, launched their paraglider from the Everest summit and set a new world record of 8,865 meters for the world’s highest free flight in the process. As though that feat wasn’t enough, they then undertook a 500 miles kayaking trip on the Ganges River to the Indian Ocean. Later in 2012, they also won the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

Here is a story of how two friends with limited sponsorships completed this epic feat.

Mount Everest is nearly 10 times the size of Burj Khalifa

PC: Top Ten Archive

What happens when we compare the tallest buildings in the world with the tallest mountain? Well, when we compare the height of these two, Burj Khalifa stands ten times smaller.

In 1951, a British explorer saw the footprint of Yeti

Yeti Footprint Gypsum Cast by Eric Shipton. PC: Jeroen van Luin

In 1951, the footprint of Yeti was found by British explorer Eric Shipton when he was looking for an alternative route to Mt. Everest. He took a picture of the footprint, which began the mystery of the Yeti. 

While Shipton’s pictures were one of the first, it was not the last Yeti footprint from the slopes of Everest, with accounts popping every few years of such sightings.

First Tweet from the top of Mount Everest

First Tweet from the top of the World

A British climber Kenton Cool sent the first tweet from the top of Everest. He used a 3G connection to make a call and send a tweet on the summit of Mount Everest. This tweet was possible because, in October 2010, Nepal mobile network operator Ncell had installed the first 3G station at Everest Base Camp. 

The company has since upgraded to a 4G network, with the state-run Nepal Telecom following suit.

There is no picture of Edmund Hillary on the Everest summit

Tenzing Norgay on top of Everest.

Although Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mt. Everest, only one of them has a picture to prove it. Some accounts state that Hillary didn’t want his picture taken at the top. In contrast, others state that Tenzing didn’t know how to operate a camera! 

Now that we are done with the epic, here are some mundane facts about Mount Everest.

The naming of Mt. Everest

Chomolungma. Mother Goddess of the World
Chomolungma. Mother Goddess of the World.

Everest – The name Everest was given in 1865 after British Surveyor George Everest. The fun fact is that he had no direct connection with the mountain, and he had never seen it. He was simply the British surveyor-general of India from 1830 to 1843.

Sagarmatha: The Nepali name of Mt. Everest was given by Late Baburam Acharya. ‘Sagarmatha,’ which means ‘Goddess of the Sky.’ He was a Nepalese historian and scholar.

Chomolungma: This is the name that the mountain would be known by had the locals people had any say. It literally means ‘Goddess Mother of the World.’ The Tibetans, Sherpas, and even the Kirati people have since time immemorial worshiped the mountain by that name.

Peak XV: This was how Everest was known in most survey maps until people found that it is the highest peak in the world.

The Height of Mt. Everest

everest and lhotse
Mount Everest behind Lhotse

Here is a brief history of the height of Mount Everest

1856 – Based on calculations by Radhanath Sikdar, an Indian mathematician, Peak XV’s height was calculated to 8,840 m / 29,002 ft. Apparently, the 2 ft were added later to make the number not look like a rounded-off number!

1952 and 1954- the figure 29,028 feet (8,848 meters ) was established by the Survey of India, and it became widely accepted. After that, many attempts were made to measure the height of Mt. Everest.

1987 – an Italian survey using satellite surveying techniques obtained a value of 29,108 feet (8,872 meters). But there were questions about the method used.

1992 – another Italian survey, using the Global Positioning System and laser measurement technology, yielded the figure 29,023 feet (8,846 meters) subtracting the measured height of ice and snow on the summit. But still, there were questions about this figure. 

1999 – An American survey measured the height using GPS equipment. They found it to be 29,035 feet (8,850 meters), plus or minus 6.5 feet (2 meters). The people accepted this height. 

2005 – Using ice-penetrating radar and GPS equipment, the Chinese measured the height of 29,017.12 feet (8,844.43 meters). While the Chinese clearly stated that this was the ‘Rock Height,’ Nepal did not accept the measurement.

2020 – China and Nepal jointly declared that the height of Everest was 29,031.69 feet (8,848.86 meters). They made this decision based on the data collected from the survey performed by Nepal and China that utilized GPS and BeiDou navigation technology and laser theodolites.

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