Mount Everest Facts and Information

2021-01-05 | Published By: Bold Himalaya

Towering 8,848.86m/29,031.69ft above sea level, Mount Everest is the roof of the earth and the most famous mountain in the world. Mt. Everest is the global beacon of exploration and endeavor that lures hundreds of climbers every year. Everest is part of the great Himalayan range. The current official elevation of8,848.86m/29,031.69ft accepted by China and Nepal, was founded by a 1955 Indian survey and confirmed by a 1975 Chinese survey. But, the peak was originally named "Gamma" and later subsequently changed to "peak b" in 1847. After that, it was suspected that "peak b" might be the highest mountain in the world, slightly higher than Kanchenjunga.
It was considered the highest mountain in the world at that time. The great height of the new mountain was confirmed after many more surveying measurements over the next few years, and "peak b" was renamed "Peak XV." And finally, Everest was the first English official name given by the Royal Geographical Society in 1865.

Besides that, in the late 19th century, many European cartographers mistakenly believed that a native name for the mountain was Gaurishankar, a mountain between Kathmandu and Everest. Mt. Everest is also known as Sagarmatha in Nepalese. The Sanskrit name Sagarmatha means 'Peak of Heaven' or 'Goddess of Sky'. Likewise, the Tibetan name for Everest is Qomolangma/ Chomolungma meaning Holy Mother.

- How Mt. Everest became the world’s highest peak (Formation)

Everest is estimated to be 50 to 60 million years old. It is considered a youngster by geological standards. Also, Mt. Everest is a part of the Himalayas, and their formation is the same. The beginning of the Himalayas is the impact of the Indian tectonic plate. This travels northward at 15 cm per year and met the Eurasian continent around 40-50 million years ago.
The composition of the Himalayas resulted in the lighter rock from the seabed's of that time being raised into mountains. To give an illustration, an often-cited fact applied to explain this process is that the summit of Mt. Everest is composed of marine limestone. Besides that, that force is still at work today, pushing the summit about a quarter of an inch higher each year.

- Survey of Mt. Everest

The name Mt. Everest was first proposed after being confirmed as the world’s highest mountain. Also, before Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga was considered the highest peak in the world.

19th Century Survey

To fix the location, heights, and names of the world’s highest mountains, the British began the Great Trigonometric Survey of India in 1802. But, the survey was incomplete at that time. Later, the British continued the survey in 1847 and began detailed observation of the Himalayan peaks. After some ups and downs, the British Surveyor General of India, Andrew Waugh did several measurements from the Sawajpore station at the east end of the Himalayas. At that time he noted a peak beyond it.

Likewise, one of Waugh’s subordinates, John Armstrong also saw the peak and called it peak ‘b’. Then, in 1849 Waugh dispatched James Nicolson to the field and his raw data gave an average height of 9,200m/30,200ft for peak ‘b’. Though it did not consider light refraction, the measurement indicated that peak ‘b’ was higher than Kanchenjunga. Now, peak ‘b’ became Peak XV. An Indian mathematician and surveyor from Bengal were the first to identify Mt. Everest (Peak XV) as the world’s highest peak in 1852, using a trigonometric calculation based on Nicolson’s measurements. The calculation was repeatedly verified and an official announcement that Peak XV was the highest was delayed. 

20th Century Survey

The 8,848m/29,029ft height given is officially approved by Nepal and China. The Chinese Academy of Sciences and State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping announced the elevation of Mt. Everest as 8,844.43 m (29,017.16 ft) with an accuracy of ±0.21 m (8.3 in), insisting it was the most accurate and precise measurement to date.

Also, a snow depth of 3.5m/11ft was measured by the team. It is in agreement with a net elevation of 8,848m/29,029ft. But, the argument arose between China and Nepal as to whether the official height should be the rock height (8,844 m, China) or the snow height (8,848 m, Nepal). In 2010, both sides agreed that the height of Everest is 8,848 m, and Nepal recognizes China's claim that the rock height of Everest is 8,844 m.

21st Century Survey

After several years of calculations based on observations made by the Great Trigonometric Survey, Andrew Waugh finally announced Everest (Peak XV) as 8,840 m/29,002ft in 1856. And Everest was given its official English name Andrew Waugh, in 1865. Then, the elevation of 8,848m/29,029ft was first determined by the Indian survey in 1955, using theodolites. It was subsequently reaffirmed by a Chinese measurement of 8,848.13 m/29,029.30 ft in 1975. But, in both cases, the snow cap was measured not the rock head.

An American Everest Expedition managed by Bradford Washburn, in 1999 secured a GPS unit into the highest bedrock. And through this device, a rock head elevation of 8,850m/29,035ft and a snow elevation of 1m higher were obtained. A more accurate topographic map of the Everest region was made under the direction of Bradford Washburn in the late 1980s, using extensive aerial photography.

- Exact Location of Mount Everest

Mt. Everest, also known as Sagarmatha is located in the Mahalangur range between Nepal and Tibet. The exact location of Mount Everest is 27.9881° N latitude and, 86.9250° E longitude. Everest lies in the part of the great Himalayas, stretching 2,500km long through Nepal, India, Pakistan, Tibet, and China. The south side of Mt. Everest lies in Nepal while the north side lies in Tibet. Come to Nepal and see the magnificent Mt. Everest with your eyes. Further, Mt. Everest is located in Sagarmatha National Park in the Solukhumbu district of Nepal. 

- Geology of Mount Everest 

Geologists have divided the rocks comprising Mt. Everest into three units called formations. Every formation is separated from the other by low-angle faults. It is called detachments, along which they have been thrust southward over each other.
Similarly, from the top of Mt. Everest to its base, those rock layers are the Qomolangma Formation, the North Col Formation, and the Rongbuk Formation. Additionally, the Qomolangma formation runs from the summit to the top of the Yellow Band. It is about 8,600m/28,200ft above sea level and is also known as the Jolmo Lungama formation. It consists of greyish to dark grey or white, parallel layered and embedded, Ordovician limestone.

Again, it is interlayered with subordinate beds of recrystallized dolomite with argillaceous laminae and siltstone. But, the Qomolangma formation is broken up by several high-angle faults that terminate at the low-angle normal fault, the Qomolangma Detachment. Besides that, the bulk of Everest consists of the North Col Formation between 7,000/23,000ft and 8,600m/28,200ft. The Yellow band in this formation forms its upper part bet the 8, 200m/26,900ft to 8,600m/28,200ft.

Again, the yellow band here consists of intercalated beds of Middle Cambrian diopside-epidote-bearing marble. It is either a distinctive yellowish-brown and muscovite- biotite phyllite or semischist. And finally, the Rongbuk Formation underlies the North Col Formation below 7,000m/23,00ft and forms the base of Mt. Everest. It consists of sillimanite-K-feldspar grade schist plus gneiss intruded by various sills and barriers of leucogranite. Everest consists of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.

It ought been faulted southward across continental crust formed by Archean granulites of the Indian plate during the Cenozoic collision of India with Asia. So, the recent interpretation argues that the Qomolangma and North Col Formation consist of marine sediments. It accumulates within the continental shelf of the northern passive continental margin of India before it collided with Asia.

- Weather and climate in Mount Everest

Mt. Everest has a polar climate (Köppen EF) with all months averaging well below freezing. In an average year, the recorded July temperature will be -18 degrees Celsius, and the recorded January temperature will be -36 degrees Celsius. Besides that, the Glacier covers the slopes of Everest to its base. The Kangshung glaciers consume the East, Central, and West.
Similarly, the Rongbuk glaciers and the Pumori Glacier cover the north and northwest, and the Khumbu glaciers to the west and south. It is filled by the glacier bed of the Western Cwm, an embedded valley of ice among Everest and the Lhotse-Nuptse Ridge to the south. Moreover, glacial activity has been the primary force behind the huge and continuous erosion of Everest and other mountains. And, we all know that the climate and weather of the Himalayas and Himalayan regions are always unpredictable.

-Flora fauna in Mount Everest Region

There is very little indigenous flora or fauna on Everest. But, the Everest region is full of diverse flora and fauna. Moss grows at 6,480 m/21,260 ft. on Mt. Everest. It might be the highest elevation plant species. Besides that, an alpine cushion plant named Arenaria is known to grow below 5,500 m/18,000 ft. in the region. Besides that, the fauna found on Everest is rare and unique.
Euphory's omnisuperstes, a minute black jumping spider, are found at altitudes as high as 6,700 m/22,000 ft. It is possible to make the highest confirmed non-microscopic permanent resident on Earth. It hides in crevices and may feed on frozen insects that have been driven there by the wind. Likewise, there is a high possibility of microscopic life at even higher altitudes.

Moreover, Yaks are frequently used to haul gear for Mt. Everest climbs. They can carry 100 kg (220 pounds) and have thick fur and large lungs. Similarly, other animals in the region include the Himalayan Tahr. Himalayan Tahrs are sometimes attacked by the snow leopard of the region. Besides that, the Himalayan black bear can be found up to about 4,300 m/14,000 ft. The red pandas are also present in this region. Additionally, birds, like the bar-headed goose, have been seen flying at the higher altitudes of the mountain. But other birds, such as the chough, have been found as high as the South Col at 7,920 m/25,980 ft.

Besides that, Yellow-billed choughs have been viewed as high as 7,900 m/26,000 ft. also bar-headed geese migrate over the Himalayas. Also, George Lowe (part of the expedition of Tenzing and Hillary) 1953 stated that he noticed bar-headed geese flying over Mt. Everest summit. Also, according to a study based on satellite data from 1993 to 2018, vegetation is expanding in the Everest region. Researchers have discovered plants in areas that were previously deemed bare.

- Becoming worlds Climber's attraction

Mount Everest is absolutely beautiful. The summit of the mountain, which is the world’s highest, is a goal that many climbers have looked to reach. While escalating to the top, it is an impressive goal accomplished by only those that are brave and bold enough to try. Each year, thousands of tourists come to take this once-in-a-lifetime trip from all around the world.
Everest is so high in the air, that the climber requires oxygen tanks to breathe and the climber needs extremely warm clothes to survive. Additionally, you will magnificent views of hundreds of other mountains. You will be surrounded by panoramas of mountains and peaks all over. Being the world’s highest mountain is the big deal in itself.

- Expedition History of Mount Everest

Mt. Everest, being the highest mountain in the world attracts thousands of trekkers every year. But, the interest of climbers increased after Everest’s first known summiting occurred in 1953. Everest remained a difficult climb for decades. Even serious attempts by professional climbers and large nation expeditions were the norm until the commercial era began in the 1990s.
Only about 200 people had suited by 1987, despite the effort and attention poured into expeditions. In 1953, New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepali Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were credited as the first to summit Mt. Everest. Before their ascent, several mountaineers attempted to summit Mount Everest, including George Mallory who discovered the north route to the summit in 1921, and George Finch, who reached an altitude of over 8230m/27,000 ft using oxygen for the first time in 1922.

The first confirmed summit from Mt. Everest's north side was by Tibetan Nawang Gombu and Chinese mountaineer Wang Fu-Zhou and Chu Yin-Hau on 25 May 1960. Japanese Junko Tabei became the first woman to climb Everest in 1975. Then, Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler, 1978 became the first to reach the summit without supplemental oxygen.

The first blind person to reach the summit was Erik Weihenmayer in 2001. There is also a record of the oldest person to reach the summit at the age of 76 Min Bahadur Sherchan. Also, at the age of just 13, Jordan Romero recorded his name as the youngest person to reach the summit. The first man to ski down Everest in the 1970s is Yuichiro Miura.