Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were determined to do the impossible and tackle the mountain that no other person had managed to conquer. Here are 5 facts about their rival – the mountain that towers above all the others…
1) The name ‘Everest’ was chosen by Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India. He found it difficult naming the mountain as in his attempts to find a local name, he ended up finding a multitude, including ‘Deodungha’ in Darjeeling and ‘Chomolungma’ in Tibet. Waugh decided instead that the mountain should be named after his predecessor, George Everest, and after further disagreements, the name eventually stuck.
2) The last year that nobody climbed Mount Everest since the successful ascent of Hillary and Norgay was 1974. Since then, there has been a successful climb of the mountain along one of the two main routes every year, as well as others along less established routes.
3) Every year, due to the upward thrust generated by two opposing tectonic plates underneath the Earth’s surface, Mount Everest grows 4mm taller – extending its record as the world’s highest mountain.
4) The highest number of deaths recorded during attempts at ascending Everest in one year was in 1996. In total, 15 climbers died, including nine in a single incident. This is closely followed by 2012, when 11 climbers lost their lives, showing how dangerous this mountain really is. It is speculated that hundreds of corpses are still on the mountain, gathered over the years.
5) Around eight tonnes of rubbish was collected from the slopes of Everest in 2012, which was then turned into 75 pieces of art. The collected ephemera from previous expeditions even included the remains of a helicopter. It took 65 porters and 75 yaks to bring all of the gathered garbage down over two expeditions, the idea behind the exhibition being to promote the Nepalese artists who took part, as well as to try and keep the mountain clean. Via 5 facts about… Mount Everest