The conquest of mt. everest research paper

Mt. Everest Essay, Research Paper. Although Mount Everest had defied human attempts to conquer it for more than a century, although one person had died for.
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In May , Polish climbers under the leadership of Eugeniusz Chrobak organised an international expedition to Mount Everest on a difficult western ridge. Ten Poles and nine foreigners participated, but ultimately only the Poles remained in the attempt for the summit. On 24 May, Chrobak and Andrzej Marciniak, starting from camp V at 8, m, overcame the ridge and reached the summit. The following day, due to his injuries, Chrobak also died. On 11 May eight climbers died after several expeditions were caught in a blizzard high up on the mountain.

During the season, 15 people died while climbing on Mount Everest. These were the highest death tolls for a single event, and for a single season, until the sixteen deaths in the Mount Everest avalanche. The disaster gained wide publicity and raised questions about the commercialisation of climbing Mount Everest. Journalist Jon Krakauer , on assignment from Outside magazine, was in one of the affected parties, and afterward 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 debate within the climbing community. Semple, a surgeon, both researchers from the University of Toronto , told New Scientist magazine that an analysis of weather conditions on 11 May suggested that freak weather caused oxygen levels to plunge approximately 14 percent. Weathers was left for dead about metres feet from Camp 4 at 7, metres 26, feet. After spending a night on the mountain, Weathers managed to find his way to Camp 4 with massive frostbite and vision impaired due to snow blindness.

Before leaving Camp 4 Jon Krakauer heard Weathers calling for help from his tent. Weathers' condition had not improved and an immediate descent to a lower elevation was deemed essential. Eventually, a rescue was organised thanks to a lieutenant colonel of the Nepalese Army who conducted the second-highest known helicopter medical evacuation up to that time. The storm's impact on climbers on the North Ridge of Everest, where several climbers also died, was detailed in a first-hand account by British filmmaker and writer Matt Dickinson in his book The Other Side of Everest.

In 12 people died. One death in particular see below triggered an international debate and years of discussion about climbing ethics. There was an international controversy about the death of a solo British climber David Sharp , who attempted to climb Mount Everest in but died in his attempt. The story broke out of the mountaineering community into popular media, with a series of interviews, allegations, and critiques. The question was whether climbers that season had left a man to die and whether he could have been saved.

He was said to have attempted to summit Mount Everest by himself with no Sherpa or guide and fewer oxygen bottles than considered normal. The manager at Sharp's guide support said Sharp did not take enough oxygen for his summit attempt and did not have a Sherpa guide. There has also been some discussion about Himex in the commentary on Inglis and Sharp. In regards to Inglis's initial comments, he later revised certain details because he had been interviewed while he was " He had suffered severe frostbite — he later had five fingertips amputated.

Dawa from Arun Treks also gave oxygen to David and tried to help him move, repeatedly, for perhaps an hour. But he could not get David to stand alone or even stand to rest on his shoulders, and crying, Dawa had to leave him too. Even with two Sherpas, it was not going to be possible to get David down the tricky sections below. Some climbers who left him said that the rescue efforts would have been useless and only have caused more deaths.

Much of this controversy was captured by the Discovery Channel while filming the television program Everest: Beyond the Limit. A crucial decision affecting the fate of Sharp is shown in the program, where an early returning climber Lebanese adventurer Maxim Chaya is descending from the summit and radios to his base camp manager Russell Brice that he has found a frostbitten and unconscious climber in distress. Chaya is unable to identify Sharp, who had chosen to climb solo without any support and so did not identify himself to other climbers.

The base camp manager assumes that Sharp is part of a group that has already calculated that they must abandon him, and informs his lone climber that there is no chance of him being able to help Sharp by himself. As Sharp's condition deteriorates through the day and other descending climbers pass him, his opportunities for rescue diminish: his legs and feet curl from frostbite , preventing him from walking; the later descending climbers are lower on oxygen and lack the strength to offer aid; time runs out for any Sherpas to return and rescue him.

David Sharp's body remained just below the summit on the Chinese side next to "Green Boots"; they shared a space in a small rock cave that was an ad hoc tomb for them. As the Sharp debate kicked off, on 26 May Australian climber Lincoln Hall was found alive, after being left for dead the day before. Hall later fully recovered. His team assumed he had died from cerebral edema, and they were instructed to cover him with rocks. The next day he was discovered by another party alive. I was shocked to see a guy without gloves, hat, oxygen bottles or sleeping bag at sunrise at 28,feet height, just sitting up there.

Lincoln greeted his fellow mountaineers with this: []. Lincoln Hall went on to live for several more years, often giving talks about his near-death experience and rescue, before dying from unrelated medical issues in at the age of 56 born in Heroic rescue actions have been recorded since Hall, including on 21 May , when Canadian climber Meagan McGrath initiated the successful high-altitude rescue of Nepali Usha Bista.

Recognising her heroic rescue, Major Meagan McGrath was selected as a recipient of the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada Humanitarian Award, which recognises a Canadian who has personally or administratively contributed a significant service or act in the Himalayan Region of Nepal. An illustration of the explosion of popularity of Everest is provided by the numbers of daily ascents. Analysis of the Mount Everest disaster shows that part of the blame was on the bottleneck caused by a large number of climbers 33 to 36 attempting to summit on the same day; this was considered unusually high at the time.

By comparison, on 23 May , the summit of Mount Everest was reached by climbers — more summits in a single day than in the cumulative 31 years from the first successful summit in through There have been fatalities recorded on Mount Everest from the British Mount Everest Expedition through the end of , a rate of 4. Of the fatalities, 58 Nearly all attempts at the summit are done using one of the two main routes. The traffic seen by each route varies from year to year. In —07, more than half of all climbers elected to use the more challenging, but cheaper northeast route. In , the northeast route was closed by the Chinese government for the entire climbing season, and the only people able to reach the summit from the north that year were athletes responsible for carrying the Olympic torch for the Summer Olympics.

The s were a time of new highs and lows for the mountain, with back to back disasters in and causing record deaths. In there were no summits for the first time in decades. However, other years set records for numbers of summits - 's record number of summiters, around , was surpassed in with around summiting the peak, [] and a subsequent record was set in with over summiters. One positive outcome of the season was a year-old girl, Malavath Purna, reaching the summit, breaking the record for youngest female. This team had to use the south side because the Chinese had denied them a permit to climb.

Nepal turned Chinese reluctance into a success for the country, with the executive donating tens of thousands of dollars to local hospitals and achieving a new hybrid aviation-mountaineering technique. She was named the Nepalese "International Mountaineer of the Year".

Over people summited Everest from China Tibet region , and six from Nepal in the season. However, a magnitude 7. One of the reasons for this was the high probability of aftershocks over 50 percent according to the USGS. On 25 April , an earthquake measuring 7. The quakes trapped hundreds of climbers above the Khumbu icefall, and they had to be evacuated by helicopter as they ran low on supplies.

On 24 August Nepal re-opened Everest to tourism including mountain climbers. Some sections of the trail from Lukla to Everest Base Camp Nepal were damaged in the earthquakes earlier in the year and needed repairs to handle trekkers. Hawley's database records made it to the summit in early Himalayan record keeper Elizabeth Hawley died in late January Figures for the number of permits issued by Nepal range from [] to The spring or pre-monsoon window for witnessed the deaths of a number of climbers and worldwide publication of images of hundreds of mountaineers queuing to reach the summit and sensational media reports of climbers stepping over dead bodies dismayed people around the world.

There were reports of various winter expeditions in the Himalayas, including K2, Nanga Parbat, and Meru with the buzz for the Everest beginning just 14 weeks to the weather window. In May , Nepali mountaneering guide Kami Rita summited Mount Everest for the 23rd and 24th time, making international news headlines. By May 23, , about seven people had died, possibly due to crowding leading to delays high on the mountain, and shorter weather windows.

Although China has had various permit restrictions, and Nepal requires a doctor to sign off on climbing permits, [] the natural dangers of climbing such as falls and avalanches combined with medical issues aggravated by Everest's extreme altitude led to being a year with a comparatively high death toll.

Regardless of the number of permits, the weather window impacts the timing of when climbers head to the summit. By May 31, , the climbing season was thought to be all but concluded, as shifting weather patterns and increased wind speed make summiting more difficult. These were extended until due to the closure. The number of permits issued each year by Nepal is listed below.

The Chinese side in Tibet is also managed with permits for summiting Everest. Mount Everest has two main climbing routes, the southeast ridge from Nepal and the north ridge from Tibet , as well as many other less frequently climbed routes. It was the route used by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in and the first recognised of 15 routes to the top by Most attempts are made during May, before the summer monsoon season.

As the monsoon season approaches, the jet stream shifts northward, thereby reducing the average wind speeds high on the mountain. Climbers then hike to Base Camp, which usually takes six to eight days, allowing for proper altitude acclimatisation in order to prevent altitude sickness. When Hillary and Tenzing climbed Everest in , the British expedition they were part of comprising over climbers, porters, and Sherpas at that point started from the Kathmandu Valley , as there were no roads further east at that time. Climbers spend a couple of weeks in Base Camp, acclimatising to the altitude.

During that time, Sherpas and some expedition climbers set up ropes and ladders in the treacherous Khumbu Icefall. Seracs , crevasses , and shifting blocks of ice make the icefall one of the most dangerous sections of the route. Many climbers and Sherpas have been killed in this section.

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To reduce the hazard, climbers usually begin their ascent well before dawn, when the freezing temperatures glue ice blocks in place. The Western Cwm is a 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. The Geneva Spur is an anvil shaped rib of black rock named by the Swiss expedition. Fixed ropes assist climbers in scrambling over this snow-covered rock band. The Yellow Band is a section of interlayered marble , phyllite , and semischist , which also requires about metres of rope for traversing it. On the South Col , climbers enter the death zone. Climbers making summit bids typically can endure no more than two or three days at this altitude. That's one reason why clear weather and low winds are critical factors in deciding whether to make a summit attempt.

If the 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 begin their summit push around midnight, with hopes of reaching the summit still another 1, metres above within 10 to 12 hours. Continuing up the ridge, climbers are then faced with a series of imposing rock steps which usually forces them to the east into the waist-deep snow, a serious avalanche hazard. From the South Summit, climbers follow the knife-edge southeast ridge along what is known as the "Cornice traverse", where snow clings to intermittent rock.

Hillary and Tenzing were the first climbers to ascend this step, and they did so using primitive ice climbing equipment and ropes. Nowadays, climbers 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 large cornices of snow.

With increasing numbers of people climbing the mountain in recent years, the Step has frequently become a bottleneck, with climbers forced to wait significant amounts of time for their turn on the ropes, leading to problems in getting climbers efficiently up and down the mountain. After the Hillary Step, climbers also must traverse a loose and rocky section that has a large entanglement of fixed ropes that can be troublesome in bad weather.

Climbers typically spend less than half an hour at the summit to allow time to descend to Camp IV before darkness sets in, to avoid serious problems with afternoon weather, or because supplemental oxygen tanks run out. The north ridge route begins from the north side of Everest, in Tibet. From Camp VI, climbers make their final summit push. The Second Step includes a climbing aid called the "Chinese ladder", a metal ladder placed semi-permanently in by a party of Chinese climbers.

Once above these steps, the summit pyramid is climbed by a snow slope of 50 degrees, to the final summit ridge along which the top is reached. The routes usually share one spot in common, the summit itself. The summit of Everest has been described as "the size of a dining room table". Below the summit there is an area known as "rainbow valley", filled with dead bodies still wearing brightly coloured winter gear. Down to about metres is an area commonly called the "death zone", due to the high danger and low oxygen because of the low pressure.

Temperatures can dip to very low levels, resulting in frostbite of any body part exposed to the air. Since temperatures are so low, snow is well-frozen in certain areas and death or injury by slipping and falling can occur.

The unrecognised scientist behind the conquest of Mount Everest

High winds at these altitudes on Everest are also a potential threat to climbers. Another significant threat to climbers is low atmospheric pressure. The atmospheric pressure at the top of Everest is about a third of sea level pressure or 0. Debilitating effects of the death zone are so great that it takes most climbers up to 12 hours to walk the distance of 1.

In May , the Caudwell Xtreme Everest undertook a medical study of oxygen levels in human blood at extreme altitude. Over volunteers climbed to Everest Base Camp where various medical tests were performed to examine blood oxygen levels. A small team also performed tests on the way to the summit. Blood samples taken at the summit indicated very low oxygen levels in the blood.

A side effect of low blood oxygen is a greatly increased breathing rate, often 80—90 breaths per minute as opposed to a more typical 20— Exhaustion can occur merely attempting to breathe. Lack of oxygen, exhaustion, extreme cold, and climbing hazards all contribute to the death toll.

An injured person who cannot walk is in serious trouble, since rescue by helicopter is generally impractical and carrying the person off the mountain is very risky. People who die during the climb are typically left behind. As of , about bodies had never been recovered. It is not uncommon to find corpses near the standard climbing routes. Debilitating symptoms consistent with high altitude cerebral oedema commonly present during descent from the summit of Mount Everest.

Profound fatigue and late times in reaching the summit are early features associated with subsequent death. A study noted that the "death zone" is indeed where most Everest deaths occur, but also noted that most deaths occur during descent from the summit. Despite this, Everest is safer for climbers than a number of peaks by some measurements, but it depends on the period. Another health hazard is retinal haemorrhages , which can damage eyesight and cause blindness.

At one o'clock in the afternoon, the British climber Peter Kinloch was on the roof of the world, in bright sunlight, taking photographs of the Himalayas below, "elated, cheery and bubbly". But Mount Everest is now his grave, because only minutes later, he suddenly went blind and had to be abandoned to die from the cold. The team made a huge effort for the next 12 hours to try to get him down the mountain, but to no avail, as they were unsuccessful in getting him through the difficult sections.

It is hard to rescue someone who has become incapacitated and it can be beyond the ability of rescuers to save anyone in such a difficult spot. They had no choice and were forced to go through with their plan anyway, because they had run out of bottled oxygen and supplies. Humans do not think clearly with low oxygen, and the combination of extreme weather, low temperatures, and steep slopes often requires quick, accurate decisions.

While about 95 percent of climbers who reach the summit use bottled oxygen in order to reach the top, about five percent of climbers have summited Everest without supplemental oxygen. The death rate is double for those who attempt to reach the summit without supplemental oxygen. Brain cells are extremely sensitive to a lack of oxygen. Some brain cells start dying less than 5 minutes after their oxygen supply disappears.

As a result, brain hypoxia can rapidly cause severe brain damage or death. The use of bottled oxygen to ascend Mount Everest has been controversial. Pinned down by a fierce storm, they escaped death by breathing oxygen from a jury-rigged set-up during the night. Yet the use of oxygen was considered so unsportsmanlike that none of the rest of the Alpine world recognised this high ascent rate.

George Mallory described the use of such oxygen as unsportsmanlike, but he later concluded that it would be impossible for him to summit without it and consequently used it on his final attempt in Reinhold Messner was the first climber to break the bottled oxygen tradition and in , with Peter Habeler , made the first successful climb without it. In , Messner summited the mountain solo, without supplemental oxygen or any porters or climbing partners, on the more difficult northwest route.

Once the climbing community was satisfied that the mountain could be climbed without supplemental oxygen, many purists then took the next logical step of insisting that is how it should be climbed. The aftermath of the disaster further intensified the debate. Jon Krakauer 's Into Thin Air expressed the author's personal criticisms of the use of bottled oxygen. Krakauer wrote that the use of bottled oxygen allowed otherwise unqualified climbers to attempt to summit, leading to dangerous situations and more deaths.

The disaster was partially caused by the sheer number of climbers 34 on that day attempting to ascend, causing bottlenecks at the Hillary Step and delaying many climbers, most of whom summitted after the usual turnaround time. He proposed banning bottled oxygen except for emergency cases, arguing that this would both decrease the growing pollution on Everest—many bottles have accumulated on its slopes—and keep marginally qualified climbers off the mountain.

The disaster also introduced the issue of the guide's role in using bottled oxygen. Guide Anatoli Boukreev 's decision not to use bottled oxygen was sharply criticised by Jon Krakauer. Boukreev's supporters who include G. Weston DeWalt, who co-wrote The Climb state that using bottled oxygen gives a false sense of security. Adams states in The Climb , "For me, it was business as usual, Anatoli's going by, and I had no problems with that. The low oxygen can cause a mental fog-like impairment of cognitive abilities described as "delayed and lethargic thought process, clinically defined as bradypsychia" even after returning to lower altitudes.

Some studies have found that high-altitude climbers, including Everest climbers, experience altered brain structure. Although generally less popular than spring, Mount Everest has also been climbed in the autumn also called the "post-monsoon season". The amount of background radiation increases with higher altitudes. The mountain has also been climbed in the winter, but that is not popular because of the combination of cold high winds and shorter days.

By the end of the climbing season, there had been 5, ascents to the summit by about 3, individuals. Summiting Everest with disabilities such as amputations and diseases has become popular in the 21st century, with stories like that of Sudarshan Gautam , a man with no arms who made it to the top in Others that have climbed Everest with amputations include Mark Inglis no legs , Paul Hockey one arm only , and Arunima Sinha one leg only. A formation of airplanes led by the Marquess of Clydesdale flew over the summit in an effort to photograph the unknown terrain.

On 26 September , having climbed the mountain via the south-east ridge, Jean-Marc Boivin made the first paraglider descent of Everest, [] in the process creating the record for the fastest descent of the mountain and the highest paraglider flight. Boivin said: "I was tired when I reached the top because I had broken much of the trail, and to run at this altitude was quite hard. In four men in two balloons achieved the first hot-air balloon flight over Mount Everest. The flight set rotorcraft world records , for highest of both landing and take-off.

Some press reports suggested that the report of the summit landing was a misunderstanding of a South Col landing, but he had also landed on South Col two days earlier, [] with this landing and the Everest records confirmed by the FAI. One climber noted that the new record meant a better chance of rescue. In , a team financed and led by mountaineer Wang Jing used a helicopter to fly from South base camp to Camp 2 to avoid the Khumbu Icefall, and thence climbed to the Everest summit.

The Everest Climber Whose Traffic Jam Photo Went Viral

In that same interview she also insisted that she had never tried to hide this fact. Her team had had to use the south side because the Chinese had denied them a permit to climb. In the increased use of helicopters was noted for increased efficiency and for hauling material over the deadly Khumbu icefall.

She ran out of bottled oxygen after climbing for 27 hours straight. Despite decades of concern over inexperienced climbers, neither she nor the guide firm had summited Everest before. According to Jon Krakauer , the era of commercialisation of Everest started in , when the summit was reached by a guided expedition led by David Breashears that included Richard Bass , a wealthy year-old businessman and an amateur mountain climber with only four years of climbing experience.

Rob Hall , one of the mountaineers who died in the disaster , had successfully guided 39 clients to the summit before that incident. Beyond this point, costs may vary widely. It is technically possible to reach the summit with minimal additional expenses, and there are "budget" travel agencies which offer logistical support for such trips.

However, this is considered difficult and dangerous as illustrated by the case of David Sharp. The degree of commercialisation of Mount Everest is a frequent subject of criticism. But the spirit of adventure is not there any more. It is lost. There are people going up there who have no idea how to put on crampons.

It is very selfish. It endangers the lives of others. Reinhold Messner concurred in , "You could die in each climb and that meant you were responsible for yourself. We were real mountaineers: careful, aware and even afraid. By climbing mountains we were not learning how big we were. We were finding out how breakable, how weak and how full of fear we are.

You can only get this if you expose yourself to high danger. I have always said that a mountain without danger is not a mountain High altitude alpinism has become tourism and show. These commercial trips to Everest, they are still dangerous. But the guides and organisers tell clients, "Don't worry, it's all organised. Extra oxygen is available in all camps, right up to the summit. People will cook for you and lay out your beds.

Clients feel safe and don't care about the risks. However, not all opinions on the subject among prominent mountaineers are strictly negative. When we first went in there they didn't have any schools, they didn't have any medical facilities, all over the years we have established 27 schools, we have two hospitals and a dozen medical clinics and then we've built bridges over wild mountain rivers and put in fresh water pipelines so in cooperation with the Sherpas we've done a lot to benefit them.

One of the early guided summiters, Richard Bass of Seven Summits fame responded in an interview about Everest climbers and what it took to survive there, "Climbers should have high altitude experience before they attempt the really big mountains. People don't realise the difference between a 20,foot mountain and 29, feet. It's not just arithmetic. The reduction of oxygen in the air is proportionate to the altitude alright, but the effect on the human body is disproportionate—an exponential curve. Some climbers have reported life-threatening thefts from supply caches.

Vitor Negrete , the first Brazilian to climb Everest without oxygen and part of David Sharp's party, died during his descent, and theft of gear and food from his high-altitude camp may have contributed. In addition to theft, Michael Kodas describes in his book, High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed : [] unethical guides and Sherpas, prostitution and gambling at the Tibet Base Camp, fraud related to the sale of oxygen bottles, and climbers collecting donations under the pretense of removing trash from the mountain. The Chinese side of Everest in Tibet was described as "out of control" after one Canadian had all his gear stolen and was abandoned by his Sherpa.

Other climbers have also reported missing oxygen bottles, which can be worth hundreds of dollars each. One problem is: hundreds of climbers pass by people's tents. Another is: weather can damage or even blow people's equipment away. In the late s, the reports of theft of oxygen bottles from camps became more common. Instead they were abandoned and died in the snowstorm. On 18 April , in one of the worst disasters to ever hit the Everest climbing community up to that time, 16 Sherpas died in Nepal due to the avalanche that swept them off Mount Everest.

In response to the tragedy numerous Sherpa climbing guides walked off the job and most climbing companies pulled out in respect for the Sherpa people mourning the loss. Mount Everest has been host to other winter sports and adventuring besides mountaineering, including snowboarding, skiing, paragliding, and BASE jumping. Yuichiro Miura became the first man to ski down Everest in the s. He descended nearly 4, vertical feet from the South Col before falling with extreme injuries. Olsson's anchor broke while they were rappelling down a cliff in the Norton couloir at about 8, metres, resulting in his death from a two and a half-kilometre fall.

Granheim skied down to camp III. Various types of gliding descents have slowly become more popular, and are noted for their rapid descents to lower camps. In Steve McKinney led an expedition to Mount Everest, [] during which he became the first person to fly a hang-glider off the mountain. The southern part of Mount Everest is regarded as one of several "hidden valleys" of refuge designated by Padmasambhava , a ninth-century " lotus-born " Buddhist saint. Near the base of the north side of Everest lies Rongbuk Monastery , which has been called the "sacred threshold to Mount Everest, with the most dramatic views of the world.

According to Sherpa Buddhist monks, Mt Everest is Miyolangsangma's palace and playground, and all climbers are only partially welcome guests, having arrived without invitation. The Sherpa people also believe that Mount Everest and its flanks are blessed with spiritual energy, and one should show reverence when passing through this sacred landscape.

Here, the karmic effects of one's actions are magnified, and impure thoughts are best avoided. In the president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association warned that pollution, especially human waste, has reached critical levels. As much as "26, pounds of human excrement" each season is left behind on the mountain. Climbers above Base Camp—for the year history of climbing on the mountain—have most commonly either buried their excrement in holes they dug by hand in the snow, or slung it into crevasses, or simply defecated wherever convenient, often within meters of their tents.

The only place where climbers can defecate without worrying about contaminating the mountain is Base Camp. At approximately 18, feet, Base Camp sees the most activity of all camps on Everest because climbers acclimate and rest there. In the lates, expeditions began using toilets that they fashioned from blue plastic gallon barrels fitted with a toilet seat and enclosed. The Nepalese government now requires each climber to pack out eight kilograms of waste when descending the mountain. In February , due to the mounting waste problem, China closed the base camp on its side of Everest to visitors without climbing permits.

Tourists are allowed to go as far as the Rongbuk Monastery. Another nearby peak is Khumbutse , and many of the highest mountains in the world are near Mount Everest. On the southwest side, a major feature in the lower areas is the Khumbu icefall and glacier, an obstacle to climbers on those routes but also to the base camps. Cite error: A list-defined reference named "NYTimes" is not used in the content see the help page. Cite error: A list-defined reference named "PeoplesDaily" is not used in the content see the help page. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Everest disambiguation.

Earth's highest mountain, part of the Himalaya between Nepal and Tibet.

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Mount Everest as viewed from Kalapatthar. Mount Everest. Main article: British Mount Everest expedition. See also: Mount Everest disaster. Main article: Mount Everest disaster.


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Main articles: Mount Everest in and Mount Everest in Main article: Mount Everest avalanche. Main article: Mount Everest avalanches. Main article: Mount Everest in See also: Three Steps. See also: Effects of high altitude on humans. McSmith []. Hornbein in The high-altitude brain []. Main article: Timeline of climbing Mount Everest. Main article: Houston—Mount Everest flight expedition. Southern and northern climbing routes as seen from the International Space Station.

The names on the photo are links to corresponding pages. Mountains portal. For more details, see Surveys. They are unlikely to be in error by more than 2". Coordinates showing Everest to be more than a minute further east that appeared on this page until recently, and still appear in Wikipedia in several other languages, are incorrect. National Geographic. IX : — April—May BBC Future. Little, Brown Book Group. China Daily. Retrieved 18 October Geographical Names. Retrieved 18 April Everest ". Archived from the original on 26 December Retrieved 23 January The Geographical Journal. Little, Brown and Company.

The Times Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London. Random House, Inc. Retrieved 22 July Mapping Everest TV Documentary. London: BBC Television. Everest Disaster. New York: Villard.

Everest — The Mountaineering History 3rd ed. BBC News. Retrieved 11 April R; Speed, F. M; Milliken, G. A February The American Statistician.

Breadcrumb

Retrieved 22 August Smithsonian Magazine. News in Science. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 April Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research. Archived from the original on 3 January Government of Nepal. Archived from the original on 14 March Xinhua online. Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved 17 June Retrieved 16 August National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 12 July Museum of Science. Archived from the original on 8 November However, for a peak rising out of relatively flat terrain, such as Mauna Kea or Denali, an "approximate" height above "base" can be calculated.

Everest is more complicated since it only rises above relatively flat terrain on its north Tibetan Plateau side. Hence the concept of "base" has even less meaning for Everest than for Mauna Kea or Denali, and the range of numbers for "height above base" is wider. In general, comparisons based on "height above base" are somewhat suspect. Public Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 June United Press International.

Sawada, Y. Takigami, Y. Orihashi, T. Danhara, H. Iwano, Y. Kuwahara, Q. Dong, H. Cai, and J. Retrieved 13 November Hughes, M. Searle, C. Fanning, S. Peng, and S. Parcha, , "Stratigraphic correlation of Cambrian Ordovician deposits along the Himalaya: Implications for the age and nature of rocks in the Mount Everest region".

Geological Society of America Bulletin. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. Wilson The Himalayan leucogranites: Constraints on the nature of their crustal source region and geodynamic setting. Gondwana Research. Nature on PBS. Retrieved 6 February Hughes, T. Paulsen, I. Williams, S. Parcha, K. Thompson, S. Bowring, S. Peng, and A. Integrated tectonostratigraphic reconstruction of the Himalaya and implications for its tectonic reconstruction.


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  • Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Hughes, J. Goodge, C. Fanning, I. Peng, O. Bhargava, S. Tangri, S. Not only is he, like many famous men, unschooled in the ways of publicity but he deals haltingly with English, its lingua franca. Just keeping track of his own life, therefore, demands hard concentration. His troubles are compounded by an element of jealousy in Darjeeling—he is to some extent a prophet without honor in his own country—and by a public disagreement, which he is well aware of, as to whether he is a great man or only an able servant.

    He has fixed up a small museum in his Darjeeling flat, exhibiting his gear, trophies, and photographs, and he stands duty there from ten in the morning to four-thirty in the afternoon. He is a handsome man, sunburned and well groomed, with white teeth and a friendly smile, and he usually wears Western clothes of the Alpine sort—perhaps a bright silk scarf, a gray sweater, knee-length breeches, wool stockings, and thick-soled oxfords. These suit him splendidly. Redolent with charm, Tenzing listens intently to questions put to him, in all the accents of English, by tourists who come to look over his display, and answers as best he can, often laughing in embarrassment.

    He charges no admission fee, but has a collection box for less fortunate Sherpa climbers, and he seems to look on the ordeal as a duty to the Sherpas and to India as a whole. The other day, I, who have been bothering him, too, remarked on the great number of people he receives. On his trip to England with the Everest party, he took along passports of both countries, but now it is pretty well settled that he is Indian by choice and long residence, Nepalese by birth, and Sherpa—Tibetan, that is—by stock.


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    • Odd as it may seem, this mixture is common, for the Sherpas long ago migrated from the high Tibetan wastes to Nepal, and in this century many of them have moved on to Darjeeling, looking for work; when Tenzing Norkay, or Tenzing Norkay Sherpa, came to Darjeeling in , he was treading a well-worn path. Darjeeling is a town of twenty-five thousand people, seven thousand feet above sea level, on a steep slope in the southern Himalayas.

      From the plain below, its buildings look like strips of paper pasted on a screen. For decades, people have come to Darjeeling by a small mountain train, with tiny red cars and a tiny green locomotive, that chugs in and out of the bottom of town, but now one can also make the trip by auto, corkscrewing up a steep road between terraces of the tea bushes that, before Tenzing, made Darjeeling famous.

      The principal streets are level, running across the face of the slope, and these are intersected by steep, zigzagging lanes and by steps. To see Everest, one must go to a lookout called Tiger Hill, thirteen miles to the southeast. In the old, imperial days, the British used Darjeeling as a refuge from the heat of Calcutta, three hundred miles away, their main Indian port and the capital of Bengal Province.

      The Bengal government came up for the hot months, and so did the wives and children of businessmen. Hotels and villas were built and filled, and natives converged on the town to serve as cooks, waiters, grooms, porters, guides, or merchants, according to their talents. Being hardy rather than urbane, the Sherpas, both men and women, drew outdoor jobs.

      Sherpa women porters are seen on the streets today, carrying baskets shaped like big inverted cones or pyramids on their backs, and until Tenzing became famous, his wife, a short, strong woman who was born in Darjeeling of Sherpa parents, was often one of them. But now things are different. The Bengal government, which, of course, is Indian, does not move up for the summer. Some of the hotels and many of the villas are closed.

      Such tourists as Darjeeling draws are apt to be Indians, who keep few servants and do little hiking, or Americans, most of whom stop by for a day or two, often on their way around the world, to look at the peaks and to photograph Tenzing. There are still quite a few British people in Darjeeling, including a number of tea planters, but their life is not what it used to be, either.

      They are beset by inflation—prices are roughly three times what they were in the thirties—and by labor troubles. I have been told that workers in the tea gardens have beaten up several planters, with little or no punishment from the police. To Westerners, Darjeeling is a simple place, but to the Sherpas it is a great city. Sherpa boys run off to it as other boys run off to sea; Tenzing did this himself.

      The southern edge of the Tibetan plateau is fenced by peaks, including Everest, and then the ground falls sharply toward the plains of eastern India; most of Nepal lies on the higher reaches of this slope. The Sherpa country is sparsely settled, and the largest village, called Namche Bazar, which apparently means Big Sky Market, consists of a few rows of small stone houses. The Sherpas get along by raising yaks, which thrive on their blizzardy pastures and the thin air, and by growing potatoes; in one spot, they know it is time to begin planting when a frozen waterfall thaws.

      Another resident of the Sherpa country is the Abominable Snowman, or yeti —a creature who is said to walk like a man and to leave huge tracks. Many Sherpas believe that the Snowman is supernatural and that the sight of him will kill a man, but others claim to have caught a glimpse of him with no ill effects. Tenzing has not come across the Snowman. A British expedition, backed by the London Daily Mail , is now in the Sherpa country trying to solve the mystery.

      There is a strong tendency among Sherpas to leave their difficult homeland. When the men arrive, they are apt to be got up in the Tibetan way, with long, braided hair and huge earrings, but they soon dispose of these. The women, however, usually cling to the Tibetan style—coiled braids, plain, dark dresses, and woollen aprons with narrow stripes in many colors. The clothes vary in detail, depending on the latest fashion in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, but to the untrained eye they are all alike.

      Most of the Sherpas in Darjeeling—there are about a hundred families—live in a poor neighborhood called Tung Soong Bustee, a short walk from the center of town. One sunny morning recently, when the rest of the town was still buttoned up, I went over to have a look. This is the way Tenzing earned his living when he came here. From the square, I made a hairpin turn over to what once was Calcutta Road but now is Tenzing Norkay Road, a dry, hard dirt road with paths running off to houses scattered in the brush below.

      Soon I was looking down on the tin roofs of the cluster of buildings where Tenzing used to live. A dozen prayer flags, flying from bamboo poles, rose above them; they had been white originally, but were gray with the columns of prayers, thousands and thousands of words, stamped on them. Flapping in the breeze, they set up spiritual vibrations that, according to Sherpa belief, which is Tibetan Buddhist, would spread far and wide.

      A few women with the braids, high cheekbones, and small, square build of the Sherpas were filling pails and old kerosene tins with water from a public tap on the road. I heard hoofbeats and a voice, and when I turned, there was Tenzing.

      He was riding a brown pony, wearing English-style boots over khaki trousers, and using an English saddle with a bright Tibetan rug under it. The pony was just under thirteen hands, fit, and well groomed; stopping to chat for a moment, Tenzing said it came from Tibet, and showed me a brand on its hind quarters that looked like a Chinese character. Mount Everest has been a British institution—or at least climbing it has—since a year or two after the First World War. This came as something of a surprise, for Everest does not appear to stand above the peaks around it.

      Since then, there have been threats from flash contenders, like Amne Machin, in northwest China, but Everest is still rated highest, even though there have been arguments over exactly how high it is. In , the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India, a British project, called it 29, feet—admittedly an approximation. Some authorities say it is 29,—the result of later sightings—but 29, has prevailed, on the ground that no sighting can be reliable and it is better to choose one and stay with it.

      A custom developed early in the history of Himalayan climbing whereby, to avoid confusion, different nations in general took on different peaks. In the division, the British got Everest, and except for two Swiss parties, which tried the climb in , with Tenzing along both times, they have had it pretty much to themselves.

      Between the two World Wars, the only way to approach Everest was from Tibet, because Nepal did not admit climbing parties, and Britain was the only Western country on speaking terms with Tibet. In , Nepal opened up, and in , with the arrival of the Communists, Tibet closed down. In the days when the road lay only through Tibet, Darjeeling, which is near the caravan track from India to Lhasa, made a natural jumping-off place, where climbers could assemble, start breathing mountain air, check their equipment, learn something about the Himalayas, and, if they liked, be blessed before setting out by lamas from the nearby monastery of Ghoom.

      In Darjeeling, too, the expeditions could recruit Sherpas, whose worth as high-altitude porters was discovered at the start of this century and who have helped in all the major attacks on Everest and the other high peaks in this stretch of the Himalayas. Last year, however, a German-Austrian party climbing Nanga Parbat, near the northwestern end of the range, had to do without them, for Nanga Parbat is in the part of Kashmir now held by Pakistani troops, and Pakistan is not hospitable toward Indians.

      Being stopped by a frontier was a new experience for the Sherpas, who, all this century, have drifted innocently and unhindered across the otherwise stern border of Tibet and Nepal. If peaks were forbidden, it was not to Sherpas but to their Western employers—though this amounted to the same thing, since most Sherpas are not interested in climbing mountains by themselves. For them, it is a livelihood, made possible by Western whim. Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, has become the usual jumping-off place for climbers, but Darjeeling remains the recruiting ground for Sherpas.

      They are generally hired through an organization called the Himalayan Club, which provides expeditions with advice and services, and which keeps dossiers on more than a hundred Sherpas, listing their vital statistics, their working records, and their good and bad qualities. The Sherpas report early in the year, often walking from Namche Bazar for the purpose, so that they can have jobs by March, when the climbing season begins, and the Club assigns them tasks from sirdar, or foreman, down to common porter.

      Tenzing was born in a village called Thami, near Everest and at an altitude of fourteen thousand feet. His father owned yaks, and as a boy Tenzing herded them, often in pastures thousands of feet above Thami. He also went on caravan trips over the Nanpa La, a nineteen-thousand-foot pass near the western shoulder of Everest. From the start, he lived as close to Everest as a human being could. Two legends, both circulated by Tenzing and both perhaps true, have grown up to explain why he wanted to climb it.

      As everybody knows, he left an offering—a chocolate bar, biscuits, and candy—on the summit. Recently, however, he has been inclined to explain, making no reference to the Deity, that he had wanted to master Everest since his boyhood, when he caught glimpses of climbing parties and heard stories about them from older Sherpas. There seems room for both motives, but the difference is there, and it reflects a general de-emphasis of the Buddhist faith in his affairs since last year.

      One reason for this, it seems, is that many natives have become touchy about their religion; some Westerners laugh at it, so Asians keep silent. The Moslems broke off into Pakistan, some Sikhs would like to break off into their own Punjab, and the Himalayan Buddhists might get a similar idea. When Tenzing was a boy, his heart was set on going to Darjeeling, but his father insisted that he stay home and herd yaks.

      He obeyed until he was nineteen, and then, in , he and a few other young Sherpas fled to Darjeeling. For a couple of years, he made his way by renting out his pony and doing odd jobs, and in he was hired as a porter for a British Everest party. He went again in and again in , learning the things that Sherpa guides must learn, including how to cook Western meals for sahibs.

      His cooking is said to be good. The war suspended climbing for a decade, and it was not until that he tried Everest again, with the Swiss. He has tackled many other peaks as well. He has been through the mill. At times, one hears, he has been very down and very out, but long before his final success he was known as one of the most able Sherpa sirdars of this generation. Another is Ang Tharkay, who went on the Annapurna expedition with the French and is now helping a group of young Californians scale Mount Makalu, a 27,foot peak not far from Everest.

      Tenzing and Ang Tharkay began climbing at about the same time, and people often compared them. A Buddhist might argue that he was incarnated for that end, and it does almost appear that he was destined to climb it. It seems as if barriers opened when Tenzing drew near. Tenzing and Hillary were not the first men in their group to try for the summit; two British climbers, Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, went ahead of them, but had to stop because their oxygen was running out.

      The weather was perfect for Tenzing and Hillary, though there was every reason to expect it would be bad. Because of a siege of malaria, on top of the strain of the two climbs, Tenzing was run-down when he joined Hunt at Katmandu in March, , but between Katmandu and Everest he walked himself into shape. On the other hand, I have been told that in January, , Tenzing vowed at a dinner that he would climb Everest or die. For the British, this was a rather revolutionary idea—a bit like commissioning a man from the ranks—but the Swiss, who have no colonies, had set a precedent for it by treating Tenzing as a mountaineer in their own class and assigning him, along with Raymond Lambert, an Alpine guide, to make the big try.

      They nearly got to the summit. All this was in the background at the time Hunt asked Tenzing to be one of the climbers. When Tenzing and Hillary reached the top, on May 29th, it was the end of the climb and the beginning of the arguments. Issue No. This came from the outside world, from a public conditioned to thinking that there must always be a winner. Mountaineers, especially when they are roped together, as Tenzing and Hillary were, seem to lack the zest for personal triumph.

      Soon after Hillary and Tenzing descended, they said they had reached the top together, and that is what they have been saying ever since. The next controversy came when the party rejoined the world, in Katmandu. Nepalese nationalists objected to the news that Hunt and Hillary were to be knighted and that Tenzing was only to receive the George Medal. Tenzing objected publicly, and became estranged, for a time, from Hunt and the rest of the British in the expedition.

      Feeling in Katmandu blazed high. After the party went back to India, the breach was patched up. There has been no objection to the climb, incidentally, from Tibetan or Chinese Communists, even though the border between Tibet and Nepal crosses the summit of Everest, and Tenzing and Hillary might have been accused of trespassing.

      The Tenzing affair has worked the other way.