> Natural Wonder > Mt. Everest
Everest was formed about 60,000,000 years ago. It
is 29,028 feet above sea level, making it the
tallest mountain in the world. It is located in
the Himalayas Mountain Range in South Central Asia
on the frontier of Nepal and Tibet. Through out
history, there have been many attempts to climb
this wonderful creation. In 1953, Sir Edmund
Hillary Tenzing Norgay successfully reached the
summit of the mountain. In 1963, just ten years
later, the first American, named James Whittaker,
successfully ascended the mountain summit. The
first woman to ascent this beautiful mountain, as
she described it, was Junko Tabei in 1975.
Previous to these attempts there have been many
unsuccessful climbs sometimes resulting in death.
original measurement of Everest's height, made by
Sir George Everest was 29,002 feet. He was
the surveyor who mapped and surveyed much of the
Himalayas, from a great distance away in India.
The story goes that he actually measured Mt.
Everest's height as 29,000 feet (averaging several
measurements), to the nearest few feet. But, he
feared that people would take that as a rough
estimate, maybe even plus or minus 1000 feet. So,
he added 2 feet, so people would know, just by
looking at the number, that it was not a rough
Everest is called Chomo-Lungma, by the local
Tibetans. Everest is on the border between Tibet
and Nepal. Supposedly, K2 is now called Kaytu
(sounding like "K2"), by the locals in
Kashmir. K2 is more difficult to climb than is
Everest. Many climbers have died on both
Of the world's tallest mountains, Annapurna (in
Nepal) was the first to be climbed, in 1950, by
Maurice Herzog. Everest was first climbed, in
1953, by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay (Norkay).
K2 was first climbed, in 1954, by Ardito Desio.
Everest is, of course, the highest point
above sea level. But, in some ways, it is
not the tallest mountain. Several undersea
mountains are apparently taller, from base
to peak. Mauna Kea, on the island of
Hawaii, is the tallest mountain in the
world, from base to peak (about 32,000
feet), its base being some 19,000 feet
to Mount Everest:
the early days of Everest's history, Nepal closed
her doors to foreign climbers. But in the early
1950s, the Himalayan country began to slowly open
its borders. The famous French mountaineer,
Maurice Herzog, was the first to acquire
permission to attempt the mighty Annapurna.
Although Herzog paid a severe price in the snow
blindness and frostbite which he consequently
suffered, Annapurna was the first of the Nepalese
massifs to be climbed.
Everest was another story. Northern approaches to
the peak were officially closed to climbers due to
the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950. However, a
few climbers had attempted to sneak through the
country during that period. For example, a
Canadian mountaineer, Earl Denman, masqueraded as
a Sherpa and crossed Tibet illegally in 1947.
Although he was accompanied by two of the world's
most famous Sherpas -- Tenzing Norgay and Ang Dawa
-- his attempt failed.
Today, the situation is somewhat different.
Expeditions to Everest have actually become
commercialized. In an effort to conquer the
mountain, some aspirants can actually purchase a
guided trip. And they pay about $60,000 US for the
privilege. On these commercial expeditions you pay
for others to handle the logistical nightmare.
Other adventurers who choose to organize their own
expeditions, find themselves faced with a mountain
of paperwork. It usually takes them anywhere from
three to seven years just to line up the
trip...and that's only the first part!
When they reach the Himalayan giant, most
mountaineers do not immediately scramble up to the
summit. Like the paperwork and the permissions,
climbing the mountain is an arduous task often
taking three to four months.
Northeastern Nepal. Himalayan mountain range.
LATITUDE: 27 59 17 N.
LONGITUDE: 86 55 31 E.
HEIGHT: 29,028 Feet above sea
FIRST SUCCESSFUL CLIMBING: 1953,
Tenzing Norgay and Edmung Hillary.
FIRST ATTEMPTED CLIMBING: 1921
Attractions in Kathmandu:
The Stupa of
Bodnath is 6 Km East of Kathmandu and the largest
one in Nepal.
The ancient city of Bhaktapur is about 12 Km East
of Kathmandu and well worth the trip out of town.
The medieval streets are well preserved and cover
quite a large area so allow plenty of time for
The Golden Temple is a Budhist monastry situated
just a few minutes walk from the heart of Patan.
Patan is the second largest town in the Kathmandu
The Kala (Black) Bhairab statue is close to the
square and represents the Hindu God Shiva in his
most fearsome aspect.
The Budhist temple and Stupa of Swayambunath lies
on the top of a hill just West of town.