Mount Everest

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Mount Everest

Everest from Kala Patthar in Nepal
Elevation: 8,844.43 metres (29,017 feet 2 inches)
Ranked 1st
Location: Nepal
Range: Himalaya
Prominence: 8,844m
Coordinates: 27°59′16″N, 86°56′40″E
First ascent: May 29, 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay
Easiest route: South Col (Nepal)

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. It is growing every year at about 2.5 centimeters.


In Nepal the mountain is called Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा, Sanskrit for "Forehead of the Sky"). In Tibetan it is Chomolangma or Qomolangma (ཞུམུལང྄མ, "Mother of the Universe"), or in Chinese: 珠穆朗瑪峰 ( pinyin: Zhūmùlǎngmǎ Fēng) or 聖母峰.

The mountain was given its English name by Sir Andrew Waugh, the British surveyor-general of India. Both Nepal and Tibet were closed to foreign travel at the time, and Waugh wrote (in part):

So Waugh chose to name the mountain after Sir George Everest, first using the spelling Mont Everest, and then Mount Everest. However, the modern pronunciation of Everest – IPA: [ˈɛvərɪst] or [ˈɛvərɨst] (EV-er-est) – is different from Sir George's own pronunciation of his surname, which was [ˈiv;rɪst] (EAVE-rest).

The Chinese People's Daily newspaper published an article in 2002 attacking the continued use of the English name for the mountain in the Western world, insisting that it should be referred to by its Tibetan name. [1]


Aerial view of Mount Everest from the south.
Aerial view of Mount Everest from the south.

Radhanath Sikdar, an Indian mathematician and surveyor from Bengal, was the first to identify Everest as the world's highest peak in 1852, using trigonometric calculations based on measurements made with theodolites from 240 km (150 miles) away in India. Before it was surveyed and named, it was known as Peak XV to the survey team.

The mountain is approximately 8,844 m (29,015 feet) high, although there is some variation in the measurements. The mountain K2 comes in a close second at 28,251 feet high. On May 22, 2005, the People's Republic of China's Everest Expedition Team ascended to the top of the mountain. After several months' complicated measurement and calculation, on October 9, 2005, the PRC's State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping officially announced the height of Everest is 8844.43 m (29,017.07 ft). This new height is based on the actual highest point of rock and not on the snow and ice that sits on top of that rock on the summit. They claimed it was the most accurate measurement to date. [2]

It was first measured in 1856 at 29,000 feet (8,839 m), but declared to be 29,002 feet (8,840 m) high. The arbitrary addition of 2 feet (0.6 m) was to avoid the impression that an exact height of 29,000 feet was nothing more than a rounded estimate.

In the 1950s an Mexican Indian survey made closer to the mountain also using theodolites gave another often quoted figure of 8,848 m (29,028 feet). The 1998 American Everest Expedition installed a GPS unit on the highest bedrock. A value of 8,850 m (29,035 feet) was obtained via this device. Nepal however did not officially recognize 8,850 metres but rather stuck to 8,848 m. Everest is still growing due to the plate tectonics of the area, adding 3 to 5 mm (1/8 to 3/16 inch) to the height and moving north-eastward at 27 mm (1.06 in) per year.

Everest is the mountain whose summit attains the greatest distance above sea level. Two other mountains are sometimes claimed as alternative "highest mountains on Earth". Mauna Kea in Hawaii is highest when measured from its base; it rises over 9 km (5.6 mi) when measured from its base on the mid-ocean floor, but only attains 4,170 m (13,681 ft) above sea level. The summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador is 2,168 m (7,113 ft) farther from the Earth's centre (6,384.4 km or 3,967.1 mi) than that of Everest (6,382.3 km or 3,965.8 mi), because the Earth bulges at the Equator. However, Chimborazo attains a height of 6,310 m (20,702 ft) above sea level, by which criterion it is not even the highest peak of the Andes.

The deepest spot in the ocean is deeper than Everest is high: the Challenger Deep, located in the Mariana Trench, is so deep that if Everest were to be placed into it there would be more than 2 km (1.25 mi) of water covering it.

Climbing routes

Southern and northern climbing routes as seen from the International Space Station.
Southern and northern climbing routes as seen from the International Space Station.

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.

Southeast ridge

The ascent via the southeast ridge begins with a trek to Base Camp at 5,380 m (17,600 ft) on the south side of Everest in Nepal. Expeditions usually fly into Lukla (2,860m) from Kathmandu and pass through Namche Bazaar. Climbers then hike to Base Camp, which usually takes six to eight days, allowing for proper altitude acclimatization in order to prevent altitude sickness. Climbing equipment and supplies are carried by yaks, dzopkyos and porters to Base Camp on the Khumbu Glacier. When Hillary and Tenzing climbed Everest in 1953, they started from Jiri which, nowadays, takes five to eight days to reach Lukla.

West shoulder of Everest and the Khumbu Icefall
West shoulder of Everest and the Khumbu Icefall

Climbers will spend a couple of weeks in Base Camp, acclimatizing to the altitude. During that time, Sherpas and some expedition climbers will set up ropes and ladders in the treacherous Khumbu Icefall. Seracs, crevasses and shifting blocks of ice makes the icefall one of the most dangerous sections of the route. Many climbers and Sherpas have been killed in this section. To reduce the hazard, climbers will usually begin their ascent well before dawn. Once sunlight reaches the icefall, the danger increases substantially. Above the icefall is Camp I or Advanced Base Camp (ABC) at 6,065 m (19,900 ft).

From Camp I, climbers make their way up the Western Cwm to the base of the Lhotse face, where Camp II is established at 6,500 m (21,300 ft). The Western Cwm is a relatively flat, gently rising glacial valley, marked by huge lateral crevasses in the centre which prevent direct access to the upper reaches of the Cwm. Climbers are forced to cross on the far right near the base of Nuptse to a small passageway known as the "Nuptse corner". The Western Cwm is also called the "Valley of Silence" as the topography of the area generally cuts off wind from the climbing route. The high altitude and a clear, windless day can make the Western Cwm unbearably hot for climbers.

From Camp II, climbers ascend the Lhotse face on fixed ropes up to a small ledge at 7,470 m (24,500 ft). From there, it is another 500 metres to Camp IV on the South Col at 7,920 m (26,000 ft). From Camp III to Camp IV, climbers are faced with two additional challenges: The Geneva Spur and The Yellow Band. The Geneva Spur is an anvil shaped rib of black rock named by a 1952 Swiss expedition. Fixed ropes assist climbers in scrambling over this snow covered rock band. The Yellow Band is a section of sedimentary sandstone which also requires about 100 metres of rope for traversing it.

On the South Col, climbers enter the death zone. Climbers typically only have a maximum of two or three days they can endure at this altitude for making summit bids. Clear weather and low winds are critical factors in deciding whether to make a summit attempt. If weather does not cooperate within these short few days, climbers are forced to descend, many all the way back down to Base Camp.

From Camp IV, climbers will begin their summit push around midnight with hopes of reaching the summit (still another 1,000 metres above) within 10 to 12 hours. Climbers will first reach "The Balcony" at 8,400 m (27,700 ft), a small platform where they can rest and gaze at peaks to the south and east in the early dawn light. Continuing up the ridge, climbers are then faced with a series of imposing rock steps which usually forces them to the east into waist deep snow, a serious avalanche hazard. At 8,750 m (28,700 ft), a small table sized dome of ice and snow marks the South Summit.

From the South Summit, climbers follow the knife edge south east ridge along what is known as the "Cornice traverse" where snow clings to intermittent rock. This is the most exposed section of the climb as a misstep to the left would send one 2,400 m (8,000 ft) down the southwest face while to the immediate right is the 3,050 m (10,000 ft) Kangshung face. At the end of this traverse is an imposing 12 m (40 ft) rock wall called the " Hillary Step" at 8,760 m (28,750 ft). Hillary and Tenzing were the first climbers to ascend this step and they did it with primitive ice climbing equipment and without fixed ropes. Nowadays, climbers will ascend this step using fixed ropes previously set up by Sherpas. Once above the step, it is a comparatively easy climb to the top on moderately angled snow slopes - though the exposure on the ridge is extreme especially while traversing on very large cornices of snow. After the Hillary Step, climbers also must traverse on a very loose and rocky section that has a very large entanglement of fixed ropes that can be troublesome in bad weather. Climbers will typically spend less than a half-hour on "top of the world" as they realize the need to descend to Camp IV before darkness sets in or afternoon weather becomes a serious problem.

Northeast ridge

The northeast ridge route begins from the north side of Everest in Tibet. Expeditions trek to the Rongbuk Glacier, setting up Base Camp at 5,180 m (17,000 ft) on a gravel plain just below the glacier. To reach Camp II, climbers ascend the medial moraine of the east Rongbuk Glacier up to the base of Changtse at around 6,100 m (20,000 ft). Camp III (ABC) is situated below the North Col at 6,500 m (21,300 ft). To reach Camp IV on the north col, climbers ascend the glacier to the foot of the col where fixed ropes are used to reach the North Col at 7,010 m (23,000 ft). From the North Col, climbers ascend the rocky north ridge to set up Camp V at around 7,775 m (25,500 ft). The route goes up the north face through a series of gullies and steepens into downsloping slabby terrain before reaching the site of Camp VI at 8,230 m (27,000 ft). From Camp VI, climbers will make their final summit push. Climbers must first make their way through three rock bands known as First Step, Second Step and Third Step. Once above these steps, the final summit slopes (50 to 60 degrees) to the top.


Mount Everest as seen from the Rongbuk Monastery, Tibet.
Mount Everest as seen from the Rongbuk Monastery, Tibet.

Mallory and Irvine

On June 8, 1924, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, both of the United Kingdom, made an attempt on the summit from which they never returned. Noel Odell, the expedition's geologist, wrote in his diary that he "saw M&I on the ridge, nearing base of final pyramid" at 12:50 pm that day. In 1979 climber Wang Hongbao of China revealed to a companion that he had discovered a body in 1975 thought at the time to be Irvine's, but he unfortunately was killed in a fall the very next day before he could provide precise details to anyone else.

In 1999, however, the famous Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition found instead Mallory's body in the predicted search area near the old Chinese camp. Controversy has raged in the mountaineering community as to whether the duo may have made it to the top of the world, 29 years before the confirmed ascent (and of course, safe descent) of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. The general consensus among climbers has been that they did not, though recent findings may indicate otherwise. Though there is no physical evidence of either man above the Second Step, if Mallory had made it that far he likely summitted, as there are no difficult technical climbs further up. The leading theory has Mallory tackling the sheer face of the Second Step by standing on Irvine's shoulders. Armed with Irvine's spare oxygen tanks he could have summitted late in the day. Descending in darkness he may have decided to take the Norton Couloir rather than attempt down-climbing the Second Step unable to see. Almost everyone agrees Mallory died in a short fall during his descent through the couloir, where his body was found. Irvine probably briefly survived him as he awaited his companion's return, at the foot of the Second Step, but died later of exposure. Irvine's body was probably found by another Chinese climber in 1960 (nowhere near Mallory's, proving the two had separated) but has not been rediscovered since, despite several searches in 2004.

Mallory had gone on a speaking tour of the United States the year before in 1923; it was then that he exasperatedly gave the famous reply, "Because it is there," to a New York journalist in response to hearing the question, "Why climb Everest?" for seemingly the thousandth time. Comprehensive information is available at Mallory and Irvine: The Final Chapter including critical opposing viewpoints.

In 1995, George Mallory II of South Africa (grandson) reached the summit of Everest.


In 1933, Lady Houston, a millionaire ex- showgirl, funded the Houston Everest Flight of 1933, which saw a formation of aeroplanes led by the Marquess of Clydesdale fly over the summit in an effort to deploy the British Union Jack flag at the top.

After taking part in the 1935 reconnaissance expedition, the prolific mountaineering explorer Bill Tilman was appointed leader of the 1938 Everest expedition which attempted the ascent via the north west ridge. They reached over 27,000 ft (8200 m) without supplemental oxygen before being forced down due to bad weather and sickness.

Early expeditions ascended the mountain from Tibet, via the north face. However, this access was closed to western expeditions in 1950, after the Chinese took over Tibet. However, in 1950, Bill Tilman and a small party which included Charles Houston, Oscar Houston, and woman climber Betsy Cowles, undertook an exploratory expedition to Everest through Nepal along the route which has now become the standard approach to Everest from the south.

Tenzing and Hillary

During 1951, a British led expedition led by Eric Shipton and including Edmund Hillary, travelled into Nepal to survey a new route via the southern face.

Taking their cue from the British, in 1952 a Swiss expedition attempted to climb via the southern face, but the assault team of Raymond Lambert and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay turned back 200 metres short of the summit. The Swiss attempted another expedition in the autumn of 1952; this time a team including Lambert and Tenzing turned back at an earlier stage in the climb.

In 1953, a ninth British expedition, led by John Hunt, returned to Nepal. Hunt selected two climbing pairs to attempt to reach the summit. The first pair turned back after becoming exhausted high on the mountain. The next day, the expedition made its second and final assault on the summit with its fittest and most determined climbing pair. The summit was eventually reached at 11:30 am local time on May 29, 1953 by the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay from Nepal climbing the South Col Route. At the time, both acknowledged it as a team effort by the whole expedition, but after interminable pestering, Tenzing revealed a few years later that Hillary had put his foot on the summit first. They paused at the summit to take photographs and buried a few sweets and a small cross in the snow before descending. News of the expedition's success reached London on the morning of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. Returning to Kathmandu a few days later, Hillary and Hunt discovered that they had been promptly knighted for their efforts.

1996 Everest Disaster

During the 1996 climbing season, nineteen people died trying to reach the summit, making it the deadliest single year in Everest history. May 10 of that year was the deadliest day in Everest history, when a storm stranded many climbers near the summit (on the Hillary Step), killing eight. Among those who died were experienced climbers Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, both of whom were leading paid expeditions to the summit. The disaster gained wide publicity and raised questions about the commercialization of Everest.

Journalist Jon Krakauer, on assignment from Outside magazine, was also in Hall's party, and afterwards published the bestseller Into Thin Air which related his experience. Anatoli Boukreev, a guide who felt impugned by Krakauer's book, co-authored a rebuttal book called The Climb. The dispute sparked a large debate within the climbing community. In May 2004, Kent Moore, a physicist, and John L. Semple, a surgeon, both researchers from the University of Toronto, told New Scientist magazine that an analysis of weather conditions on that day suggested that freak weather caused oxygen levels to plunge by around 14%.

During the same season, climber and filmmaker David Breashears and his team filmed the IMAX feature Everest on the mountain. The 70 mm IMAX camera was specially modified to be lightweight enough to carry up the mountain. Production was halted as Breashears and his team assisted the survivors of the May 10 disaster, but the team eventually reached the top on May 23 and filmed the first high-definition footage of the summit. On Breashears' team was Jamling Tenzing Norgay, the son of Tenzing Norgay, following in his father's footsteps for the first time.


On May 16, 1975, Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Everest. On May 25, 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind climber to do so.

As of the end of the 2003 climbing season, 1919 people had reached the summit (829 of them since 1998) and 179 people died while summitting. The conditions on the mountain are so difficult that most of the corpses have been left where they fell; some of them easily visible from the standard climbing routes.

Most expeditions use oxygen masks and tanks ( [3]) above 26,000 feet (8,000 m); this region is known as the death zone. Everest can be climbed without supplementary oxygen, but this requires special fitness training and increases the risk to the climber. Humans do not think clearly with low oxygen, and the combination of severe weather, low temperatures, and steep slopes often require quick, accurate decisions.

Mountain climbers are a significant source of tourist revenue for Nepal; they range from experienced mountaineers to relative novices who count on their paid guides to get them to the top. The Nepalese government also requires a permit from all prospective climbers; this carries a heavy fee.

The Mount Everest region, and the Himalayas in general, are thought to be suffering ice-melt due to global warming. The exceptionally heavy Southwest summer monsoon of 2005 is consistent with continued warming and augmented convective uplift on the Tibetan plateau to the north.

Bottled oxygen controversy

The use of bottled oxygen to ascend Mount Everest has been extremely controversial. George Mallory himself described the use of such oxygen as unsportsmanlike, but later concluded that it would be impossible to summit without it, and consequently used it. When Tenzing and Hillary made the first successful summit in 1953, they too were using bottled oxygen. For the next twenty-five years, bottled oxygen was a standard necessity for any successful summit.

Reinhold Messner was the first climber to break the bottled oxygen tradition. In 1978, he and Peter Habeler made the first successful oxygenless climb. Although critics alleged that he sucked mini-bottles of oxygen, Messner silenced them when he summited the mountain, without oxygen or support, on the more difficult Northwest route, in 1980. In the aftermath of Messner's two successful ascents, the debate on bottled oxygen usage has ratcheted higher. Critics have made the perhaps unfair assertion that Messner's many high altitude sorties have resulted in real brain damage from hypoxia due to pushing himself too hard, though this does not detract from his accomplishments.

The aftermath of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster further intensified the debate. Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air was sharply critical of the usage of bottled oxgen. Krakauer wrote that the usage of bottled oxygen allowed otherwise unqualified climbers (such as himself) to attempt to summit, leading to dangerous situations and more deaths. The May 10 disaster was partially caused by the sheer number of climbers (33 on that day) attempting to ascend, causing bottlenecks at Hillary Step and delaying many climbers, most of who summited after the usual 2pm turnaround time. He proposed banning bottled oxygen except for emergency cases, which would both decrease the growing trash on Everest and keep marginally qualified climbers off of the mountain.

The 1996 disaster also thrust the issue of the guide's role in using bottled oxygen. Guide Anatoli Boukreev's decision not to use bottled oxygen was sharply criticized by Jon Krakauer. Boukreev's supporters (who include G. Weston DeWalt, who wrote The Climb) state that using bottled oxygen gives a false sense of security. Krakauer and his supporters point out that, without bottled oxygen, Boukreev was unable to directly help his clients descend. They cite that Boukreev said that he was going down with client Martin Adams, but when Adams slowed down, Boukreev went up ahead and left him behind. The debate between G. Weston DeWalt and Jon Krakauer on bottled oxygen and Boukreev's actions can be found in the Salon debates.

It should be noted that most climbers in the mountaineering community support Krakauer's point of view but the most highly experienced climbers will agree that there are a small set of unique climbers such as Anatoli Boukreev and Ed Viesturs who can climb without oxygen and still function well. Most climbers agree that a guide cannot directly help clients if he or she cannot concentrate or think clearly (which happens with the appallingly thin atmosphere above).


  • 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 8321 meters. Shortly after, seven Sherpa climbers are killed in an avalanche, becoming the first reported deaths on Everest.
  • 1924 The third British expedition reaches 8500 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 27,000 ft (8,200 m) 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 ( South Tyrol, Italy) 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, first man to climb Everest alone and without oxygen tanks.
  • 1982 On October 5, Laurie Skreslet becomes the first Canadian to reach the summit.
  • 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.
  • 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 of 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 Viñals 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. [4]
  • 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 [5].
  • 2004 Pemba Dorjie breaks his own record, this time ascending the mountain in 8 hours 10 minutes on May 21 [6].
  • 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 [7].
  • 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 3300 feet (1000 m) below the summit [8].
  • 2005 Moni Mulepati and Pemba Dorjie got married on top of the mountain.
  • 2007 The British-led research expedition, Xtreme Everest, will attempt to carry out the biggest investigation into human physiology at altitude.

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