Mount Everest is the earth's highest mountain, with a peak at 29,029 ft above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international border between China and Nepal runs across the precise summit point. Its massif includes neighboring peaks Lhotse, 27,940 ft, Nuptse, 25,771 ft, and Changtse, 24,870 ft.
Mount Everest is a peak in Asia's great Himalaya Mountain range. In the ancient Sanskrit language of India, Himalaya means "the abode of snow." This snow-covered mountain system separates southern Asia from the Tibetan Plateau to the north.
In 1841 Sir George Everest, the British surveyor general of India recorded the location and height of the mountain. There was so much excitement about his discovery that years later the mountain was named after him. On May 29, 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and a Sherpa named Tenzing Norgay finally reached the top of Mount Everest.
The summit of Mount Everest is the highest point on Earth, at five and a half miles above sea level. For thousands of years, the mountain has been a sacred place for those who live in its shadow. Those who attempt to climb Mount Everest are only able to do so during a few weeks in the spring and late summer, due to its severe cold, high winds, and heavy snowfall.
In May of 1996, eight people in three different parties died in a storm on Mount Everest. It was not the worst Himalayan mountaineering disaster in history, but it received enormous public attention, perhaps the most since the time in 1924 when George Leigh Mallory disappeared with another climber into the mists near the summit of Everest and never returned.
More than 200 climbers have died attempting to climb Mount Everest. A few of them scaled the Mount Everest peak, but met their demise during the descent. Since 1953 more than 2200 people have successfully reached the summit.
Treks to Everest base camp, minus the summit attempt, are becoming increasingly popular on both the north and south sides of the mountain. On the north side, a Buddhist monastery stands at the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier, beneath Everest's spectacular north face. The monastery is one of two whose locations were selected specifically to allow religious contemplation of the great peak.
The Nepalese name for Mount Everest is Sagarmatha, which means “goddess of the sky”. The Tibetan name is Chomolungma, which means “mother goddess of the universe”.
Changes on the planet are affecting the world's tallest mountain, casting doubt on its climbability and even its height. Sherpas are wondering whether warmer climates will render Mount Everest too dangerous to summit, and geologic changes in the Himalayas have raised uncertainties about its altitude, according to separate reports. You might think a warmer climate would render Everest easier to climb — fewer treacherous glaciers and snowbanks and so forth — but the opposite is true; rockslides are increasing, and it’s much more difficult to clamber up bare rocks than to use metal crampons on thick ice.
The successful assault of Mount Everest in 1953 was the result of the heroic effort and sacrifice of every member of the twelve major expeditions from 1921 to 1953. In the words of Sir John Hunt, leader of the 1953 climb, the conquest of Everest is "a tale of sustained and tenacious endeavor by many, over a long period of time." Each expedition added critical knowledge to the planning, routes, skills, and equipment necessary for success.
Nearly ninety years on, the wish of M. le Baron Pierre Courbertin, the President of The International Olympic Committee to have an Olympic medal to be deposited on the summit, is about to be realised. Not only is it an immense tribute to the men of that 1922 attempt, but also appropriate that it will take place in the year of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.