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My Story: Edmund Hillary

Facts About Mt. Everest

  • Tallest mountain in the world.
  • Number of people to attempt to climb Mt. Everest: approximately 4,000.
  • Number of people to successfully climb Mt. Everest: 660.
  • Number of people who have died trying to climb Mt. Everest: 142.
  • Height: 29,028 feet, or 5 and a half miles above sea level. This is equivalent to the size of almost 20 Empire State Buildings.
  • Location: part of the Himalaya mountain range; straddles border of Nepal and Tibet.
  • Named for: Sir George Everest, a British surveyor-general of India.
  • Age: approximately 60 million years old.
  • Other names: called "Chomolungma" by Tibetans and Sherpas, which means "Mother Goddess of the Earth."
  • Countries visible from the summit: Tibet, India, and Nepal.
  • First to climb to summit: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on May 29, 1953.
  • Notable dates:
    1921 — Dalai Lama allows British reconnaissance party to visit Tibet and the northern side of Mt. Everest.
    1924 — British explorers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine disappear near the summit, along the Northeast Ridge. It is possible that they may have actually been the first to reach the summit, but they never returned.
    1949 — Nepal opens its borders, making access to the mountain's southern peak possible.
    1953 — Hillary and Norgay reach summit.
    1963 — First Americans reach the summit.
    1989 — First two women, both American, reach the summit.
    1990 — Sir Edmund Hillary's son, Peter, reaches summit.
    1996 — Eleven people die during spring expeditions.

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