Mount Everest, piercing the heavens at a jaw-dropping 29,032 feet! Not just the Earth’s highest peak, Everest is a treasure trove of amazements, from glaciers that are disappearing alarmingly due to climate change, to the mystical Sherpa beliefs surrounding it. Named after Sir George Everest in 1865. A symbol of human tenacity, Everest continues to attract adventurers from across the globe, challenging them with its chilling temperatures and oxygen scarcity. Approximately 10,000 tourists come to Nepal to chill out the Everest Base Camp trek and summit. We will not unveil the greatness of Mount Everest in this blog but today we will uncover the facts of Mount Everest that you might have never heard of.
Everest was named in honor of Sir George Everest in 1865, this behemoth is known locally as ‘Sagarmatha’ and ‘Chomolungma’, symbols of its rich cultural history. Sagarmatha means ‘Goddess of the sky’ and Chomolungma means ‘Goddess of Mountains’.
The mountain was identified as the world’s highest in 1856 by the Survey Department of the Government of India, and was originally named Peak XV. It was renamed Mount Everest in 1865 in honor of Sir George Everest, the Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843.
3. Age of Mount Everest
Mount Everest is about 55 million years old. The process that led to the Himalayas’ formation, including Mount Everest, began around 50-55 million years ago when the Indian Plate began its collision with the Eurasian Plate. So, in terms of its age as a mountain, Mount Everest is roughly 50-55 million years old.
4. First Successful Ascent
The first successful ascent to the summit was made by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary of New Zealand in 1953 as part of a British expedition. Some believe that the summit was conquered much earlier by climbers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine back in 1942, however they were last seen on July 8 of that year.
5. Death Zone
The altitude above 8,000 meters is known as the “Death Zone”. The air is so thin in the Death Zone that it cannot provide enough oxygen for the human body to survive for an extended period of time.
In the Death Zone, not only are climbers dealing with extremely low oxygen levels, but they’re also facing harsh and unpredictable weather, freezing temperatures, and physical and mental exhaustion from the ascent.
6. Summit Record
Mount Everest is summited over 11000 times from Nepal and Tibet. Kami Rita Sherpa holds the record of most successful summits, 28th time on May 2023. He has also conquered Cho-Oyu, Manaslu, Annapurna, and Lhotse which are all higher than 8,000m.
7. 2 O’Clock Rule
The “2 o’clock rule” is derived from observations that weather conditions often worsen in the afternoon on Everest, as well as many other mountains. Storms, high winds, and plummeting temperatures can make the descent much more perilous, leading to the risk of exposure, frostbite, or worse.
8. Mortality Rate
More than 300 people have died attempting to climb Mount Everest, which makes Mount Everest 7th deadliest mountain in the world. Most bodies remain on the mountain as the harsh conditions make recovery extremely difficult and dangerous.
9. Traffic Jams
In recent years, overcrowding on Mount Everest has become a serious problem. A large number of climbers create traffic jams, causing extended time in the Death Zone and increasing the risk of altitude sickness, frostbite, and death.
10. Jumping Spiders: Earth Highest Resident
Jumping Spiders have been found on Mount Everest up to altitudes of 6,700 meters (about 22,000 feet). This makes them one of the highest-dwelling permanent residents of land on Earth.
These tiny creatures, measuring only about 4 to 5 millimeters in length, survive in the harsh, low-oxygen environment by hunting tiny springtails and other small invertebrates. They are even known to be able to survive on a diet of wind-blown pollen and the occasional frozen insect carried up the mountainside by winds.
11. USD46,000 ~ 130,000 to Climb Mount Everest
The cost of climbing Mount Everest can vary greatly, depending on various factors such as the type of expedition, the services included, the guide company, and other personal preferences.
The average cost in 2022, was around $54,972, with a median cost of $46,995. In 2021, the average cost was $54,044, with a median cost of $46,498. This suggests that prices have risen slightly from 2021 to 2022.
Here’s a general breakdown of what these costs might include:
The permit from the Nepalese government to climb Everest is one of the biggest single costs. In recent years, this has cost around $11,000 per person.
Many climbers go up Everest as part of a commercial expedition, which provides guides, support staff, and often much of the gear and supplies needed for the climb. The cost of these expeditions can vary greatly, from around $30,000 to over $130,000, depending on the company and the level of service provided.
Climbing Everest requires a significant amount of specialized equipment, such as high-altitude clothing, climbing gear, and possibly oxygen tanks. Some of this may be included in the cost of a guided expedition, but if not, it can add several thousand dollars to the total cost.
Travel and Accommodations
Getting to and from Nepal, accommodations in Kathmandu, and transportation to Everest Base Camp can also add to the cost.
High-altitude rescue insurance is crucial and can be expensive.
These can include tips for guides and Sherpas, additional food and supplies, communication services (like satellite phone usage), and any other unexpected expenses.