Known as the world’s highest mountain above sea level, Mt. Everest is a dream destination for outdoor lovers. Most people know that this mountain is in Nepal, however, many aren’t aware that it extends into China too.
It’s unlike most other places in the country and is a sight that is not only inspiring, but humbling as well. While many people visit the mountain to climb, it’s a site than anyone can enjoy.
If you’re planning a trip to Tibet or Nepal, here’s what you need to know about Mt. Everest.
Interesting Facts About Mount Everest
-It’s located in the Mahalangur Himal range of the Himalayas.
-The official height is 8,848.
-There has been debate about whether the height should be calculated according to the snow or the rock at the top.
-The mountain received its official name by the Royal Geographical Society, upon a recommendation by a British Surveyor General in India. He chose this name in honor of his predecessor, Sir George Everest.
-Sir George Everest objected to his name being that of the mountains, despite the fact that his objections were ignored.
-There are two main climbing routes on the mountain.
-The standard route is less challenging and can be handled by less-experienced climbers.
-Mt. Everest poses a lot of dangers like altitude sickness, wind, weather, and avalanches.
-Leading up to 2017, 300 people have died on Mt. Everest, with many of their bodies still remaining on the mountain.
-British mountaineers were the first recorded to try and reach the summit.
History Of Mount Everest
It was in 1841 that Sir George Everest realized that an obscure mountain in the Himalayas was the tallest in the world. In 1865 the mountain was named after him.
In 1921, the first ever attempts to climb Mount Everest began. A British expedition team attempted to climb to the summit twice but failed in both 1921 and 1922. In 1924, two climbers, Andrew Irvine and George Mallory, were seen about 800 feet from the summit. However, a bout of bad weather came through, causing them to disappear from sight. It wasn’t until 1999 that Mallory’s body was found, but there was no proof that they had actually reached the summit.
Edmund Hillary from New Zealand, and a Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, were the first people to stand on the summit in 1953. Over the years, there have been many people to reach the summit, as well as plenty of accidents and deaths.
In 1970, there was a major disaster with Japanese mountaineers. Eight of them died during their climb. However, in 1975 a Japanese woman, Junko Tabei, became the first female to reach the summit.
In 1979 and 1980, the first winter ascent was made by Polish climber, Andrzej Zawada. In 1993, the US astronaut, Karl Gordon Henize, died of high-altitude pulmonary edema while studying radiation on Mt. Everest.
One of the largest fatalities happened in 1996 when 15 people died throughout multiple expeditions.
Twelve people died in 2006, raising questions about how ethical it was for mountaineers to try and reach the summit. And, in 2014, a avalanche killed sixteen people on Mt. Everest. Up until current day, there has been an array of fatalities, rescues, natural disasters, and successful climbs. Despite this harrowing past, people still visit Mt. Everest each year to climb the summit.
Culture Of Mount Everest
Celebrating the beauty of nature is heavily intertwined with the culture of Mt. Everest. It’s a spiritual place that is brimming with local legend and religious significance.
Without even climbing to the summit, visitors can experience this rich culture and history. If you’re visiting Mt. Everest, make sure to:
Visit Everest Base Camp: Trekking to Everest Base Camp is one of the most achievable routes for those who don’t want to brave the summit. You’ll be led by local Sherpas who will share their culture and history along the way. Expect to stop off at monasteries and museums to learn even more. You can spend your days wandering around outside with the stunning mountains as the backdrop. Evenings are usually spent by the fire, eating a hot meal and chatting with the Sherpas.
Rongbuk Monastery: This Buddhist temple and monastery is said to be the highest in the world. It can be found at an altitude of 5,145m and was built back in 1899. The site has the new monastery and the old monastery, as well as significant statues and a nunnery.
Gama Valley: At the foot of Mt. Everest, this valley is said to be the most beautiful in the world. Visitors typically need to reach this area via horse or yak, which is why it’s a popular spot to visit through a tour service. Once there, guests can go trekking or just admire the pristine beauty.
Gyantse Dzong: This is one of the best preserved fortresses in Tibet. It overlooks Gyantse city, and exudes history and culture. Visitors can wander around the area, take photographs, and learn about its historical significance.
Tashilhunpo Monastery: This is the largest monastery of the Gelug Sect, and was once an important location for political and religious activities. Guests can tour the building and are encouraged to visit during the afternoon when most of the chapels are open to the public.
Sakya Monastery: This monastery is the center of the Sakya Sect and is open for visitors to come and pray. It holds a large collection of classical books and scriptures which is one of its most impressive sites.
Mangpu Hot Spring: This hot spring is said to be so therapeutic that it cures diseases. Guests can soak up the heat while looking out over the frosty landscape. It’s especially soothing for sore muscles after a day of trekking.
Tips For Visiting Mount Everest
-Visitors need a travel permit to visit Tibet. So, if you’re planning a trip to Mt. Everest, you’ll need to make sure you have this sorted out beforehand.
-The best time to visit Mt. Everest is in May, June, September, and October. This is when it’s the least rainy and cold.
-The best views of the peak can be had in October and November when the weather is dry and clear.
-April is the best month for photographers as it’s clear with plenty of beautiful cloud cover.
-The best places to stay tend to be the tent hostels or the accommodation within Rongbuk Monastery.
-Before visiting, make sure you are in good physical shape and have consulted your doctor beforehand. Even those who aren’t doing much trekking should still be cautious because of the cold temperatures and the high altitude.
-Make sure to invest in some high-quality outdoor clothing and gear. You’ll want to have proper footwear too as you’ll be doing plenty of walking.
-Make sure to get on a quality tour with knowledgeable guides because they will be responsible for the journey.