Point of Beginning

Mount Everest Facts

June 13, 2007
Mount Everest was named after Sir George Everest, a British surveyor who spent 25 years of his life mapping the Indian subcontinent.

Location

Mount Everest is located in southern Asia's Great Himalayan mountain range, straddling the border of Tibet and Nepal. Global positioning indicates the mountain continues to grow a few fractions of an inch each year and to move slightly to the northeast due to the shifting of tectonic plates.

Height

Mount Everest is the highest point on Earth. Satellite-based technology pinpointed its height at 29,035 feet in 1999. Everest's upper slopes are so high that the atmosphere there contains just one-third of the breathable oxygen found at sea level. At 28,250 feet, Mount K-2 in Kashmir is the world's second-highest peak.

Names

Mount Everest was named after Sir George Everest, a British surveyor who spent 25 years of his life mapping the Indian subcontinent. Everest most likely never saw the mountain himself, but his triangulation theories allowed successors to locate its summit in 1852. In Tibet, the mountain's name is Chomolungma, or ``Goddess Mother of the World.'' In Nepal, the mountain's name is Sagarmatha, or ``Goddess of the Sky.''

Notable climbers

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first recorded climbers to scale Everest in 1953. Nepalese guide Appa Sherpa holds the record for most successful ascents at 17. New Zealand mountaineer Mark Inglis became the first double amputee to reach the summit in 2006. In May, 71-year-old Katsusuke Yanagisawa reportedly became the oldest man ever to climb the mountain. About 200 climbers have died while making attempts on Everest, including several this year.

Sources: Kalamazoo Gazette, May 31, 2007.