Mount Everest has always fascinated people who were trying to catch a glimpse of it peak hidden in the clouds. Named the tallest mountain on Earth, Everest receives thousands of visitors each year, who brave the challenges of its harsh climate. It is situated between three regions: China and Tibet to the north and Nepal to the south. We have compiled an interesting list of the top 9 Mt Everest facts on various aspects. Check it out.
1. The Most Ascents
A Sherpas pair holds the title of the most ascents of the tallest mountain in the world. Phurba Tashi and Apa Sherpa have climbed Everest no less than 21 times. Apa holds the ultimate record for summiting the mountain every year during 1990-2011, while Phurba reached the top alone three times in 2007, among other endeavors. Their experiences permitted them to notice the changes that happened year by year due to global warming, and thus they often expressed their concern.
2. The Incredible History
Among the interesting facts about Mount Everest is its history which goes back a lot of time ago. Its base is formed from sandstone and limestone which were laid about 450 millions of years ago, unlike the Himalayan Mountains who are only 60 million years old. The upper formation of Everest presents marine fossils of ancient animals and shells.
3. The Height Dispute
How tall is Everest? It seems an exact number cannot be given, as the mountain has different heights depending on which border you are staying on. For instance, Nepal has estimated a height of 29,029 ft (8,848 meters), while China believes it has 29,016 ft (8,844 meters). This happens because Nepal measures the height of Mt Everest by including the snow on the top, while China excludes it. However, they managed to agree in 2010 on a value of 8,848 meters.
4. The Growth
The Mt Everest facts also include weirder aspects, like the continuous growth of the mountain. The Mr Everest elevation is a curious phenomenon, as it makes it grow with 0.16 in (4 millimeters) each year because of the movement of the continental plates. However, other tectonic activity seems to push it down, but overall Everest continues to grow slowly and its current height is estimated at 29,035 ft (8,850 meters).
5. The Multiple Names
The famous mountain also has different names. In Tibet it is known as Chomolungma, which stands for “Goddess Mother of Mountains”. The Nepalese named it Sagarmatha which means “Forehead in the Sky”. The name of Everest came from a British surveyor, Andrew Waugh, who couldn’t find a common name used by the locals and thus named it after General George Everest. The General was the leader of the team that surveyed the Himalayan mountains for the first time.
6. The Traffic Jam
Even if it is one of the hardest mountains to climb, there are countless Mt Everest climbers. The long queue of people who wait to climb the mountain is a tremendous sight to see, despite the costs of thousands of dollars. This is especially worrying because the longer people stay on the mountain the higher the chances are they will die. For instance, in 2012 in May, 234 people reached the peak in half a day, but four of them died.
7. The Waste
Our facts about Mt Everest unfortunately include less pleasant aspects. Due to the high level of tourists, it is currently littered with waste of 50 tons such as climbing equipment, oxygen bottles and yes, human feces. In order to solve this problem, the Nepalese government created a rule that each climber must carry 18 lb (8 kilograms) of waste when they descend from the mountain, or else they lose the $4,000 deposit. Eco Everest Expedition is also trying to help by collecting waste, but they cannot cover the huge amounts of garbage.
8. The True Height Record
A surprising Mt Everest fact might be that it is not the tallest on Earth overall. The title is held by an inactive volcano, Mauna Kea, located in Hawaii. However, Mauna Kea’s base is situated underwater, having an extraordinary height of 20,000 ft (6,000 meters) underwater plus its top of 13,796 ft (4,205 meters).
9. The Climate
Last but not least among our Mt Everest facts is its incredibly harsh climate. Not anyone can brave the tallest mountain in the world. The lowest temperature recorded on the peak is -40°F. However, a chilly wind makes it almost unbearable at -76°F! The coldest month on Everest is February, while the warmest one is August with average temperatures of -4°F. The snow appears from 17,400 ft (5,300 meters) where it stays all year round. Everest also has something called the death zone, which is located above 26,000 ft (8,000 meters) because oxygen is scarce and cannot sustain human life.