Mt. Everest • Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. It rises about 5 1/2 miles (8.9 kilometers) above sea level. It is one of the mountains that make up the Himalaya, on the frontiers of Tibet and Nepal, north of India.
Mt. Everest • The official height of Mount Everest is 29,035 feet (8,850 meters). This was determined with the use of advanced satellite technology in 1999. However, the same geological forces that created Mount Everest are still at work. The mountain will probably grow higher over the course of many years.
Mountain Everest Why is it called Mountain Everest? Mount Everest was named after Sir George Everest (1790-1866), the surveyor-general of India who was the first to produce detailed maps of the Indian subcontintent including the Himalayas.
History of Climbing Everest • Mallory and IrvineOn June 8, 1924, two members of a British expedition, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, attempted the summit. Famous for his retort to the press—"because it's there"—when asked why he wanted to climb Everest, Mallory had already failed twice at reaching the summit. The two men were last spotted "going strong" for the top until the clouds perpetually swirling around Everest engulfed them. They then vanished.
History of Climbing Everest Mallory's body was not found for another 75 years, in May 1999. No evidence was found on his body—such as a camera containing photos of the summit, or a diary entry recording their time of arrival at the summit—to clear up the mystery of whether these two Everest pioneers made it to the top before the mountain killed them.
History of Climbing Everest • Hillary and Tenzing Ten more expeditions over a period of thirty years failed to conquer Everest, with 13 losing their lives. Then, at 11:30 am on May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand beekeeper, and Tenzing Norgay, an acclaimed Sherpaclimber, became the first to reach the roof of the world. Their climb was made from the Nepalese side, which had eased its restrictions on foreigners at about the same time that Tibet, invaded in 1950 by China, shut its borders.
History of Climbing Everest • Hillary and Tenzing World famous overnight, Hillary became a hero of the British empire—the news reached London just in time for Elizabeth II's coronation—and Tenzing was touted as a symbol of national pride by three separate nations: Nepal, Tibet, and India.
Edmund Hillary was one of the members of the expedition led by Eric Shipton in 1951 that discovered the southern route to the top of the mountain. Sir Edmund Hillary poses with Sherpa climber Tenzing Norgay at Everest base
Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa climber Tenzing Norgay hugged each other with relief and joy but only stayed on the summit only for 15 minutes because they were low on oxygen.
Tenzing Norgay buried some sweets and biscuits in the snow as a Buddhist offering to the gods. They looked for signs of George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine who had disappeared in 1924 in a similar attempt to conquer Everest, but found nothing.
Mr. Hillary described the peak, which is 29,028 feet (8,847 m) above sea level, as "a symmetrical, beautiful snow cone summit". Then they began the slow and tortuous descent to rejoin their team leader Colonel John Hunt further down the mountain at Camp VI.
Why could they succeed? Col Hunt attributed the successful climb to advice from other mountaineers who had attempted the feat over the years, careful planning, excellent open-circuit oxygen equipment and good weather.
After they succeeded,…. Sir Edmund took part in several expeditions after that including a trip across Antarctica to the South Pole in 1958 and to the source of the Yangtze River. He set up a medical and educational trust, the Himalayan Trust for the Sherpa people in 1961 and was New Zealand High Commissioner to India in Delhi from 1984 to 1989. Tenzing Norgay was awarded the George Medal for his achievement and later became director of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling. He died in 1986.
The Himalayan Trust • In all, the trust has built 27 schools, two hospitals and 12 medical clinics, plus numerous bridges and airfields. In recent years the trust has expanded its scope, devoting considerable funds to rebuilding monasteries and to reforesting valleys and slopes in the Mustang, Khumbu and Pokhara regions. Hillary's son Peter, himself a mountaineer, has also been active in working for the Sherpas.
Guided Writing • Have you ever had a goal that you felt you would never reach? • Did your friends and family help you reach your goal?
Edmund Hillary • Born in Auckland, New Zealand • Born on 19, July 1919 • Hillary's first climb was up 7,500-foot Mount Oliver in southern New Zealand. • Then, in 1951, at the age of 31, he was asked to join a British expedition to the Everest region. • Two years later, Hillary was invited with Norgay and 400 others on the massive British Everest Expedition, the first ascent from the Nepalese side.
Edmund Hillary • In 1958, Hillary himself edited a book devoted to just such explorers. It was called "Challenge of the Unknown," and it contained excerpts from accounts by such adventurers as Lindbergh; Antarctic explorer Adm. Richard E. Byrd; Thor Heyerdahl, who sailed from Peru to Polynesia on a balsa-wood raft; Sir Ernest Shackleton, who crossed the sub-Antarctic Ocean in a whaleboat; and Col. P.H. Fawcett, who would lose his life looking for the lost mines of Muribeca.
Edmund Hillary • In the introduction to that book, Hillary wrote: • "Modern developments in machinery and equipment have produced major changes in the technique of exploration. Aircraft and vehicles are in many cases replacing the human legs; oxygen bottles are giving new strength to air-starved lungs in the thin air that clothes the giants of the Himalayas; and radio communication has removed the loneliness from the most desolate land. But despite all this I firmly believe that in the end it is the man himself that counts. When the going gets tough and things go wrong the same qualities are needed to win through as they were in the past --
Edmund Hillary • qualities of courage, resourcefulness, the ability to put up with discomfort and hardship, and the enthusiasm to hold tight to an ideal and to see it through with doggedness and determination. "The explorers of the past were great men and we should honor them. But let us not forget that their spirit still lives on. It is still not hard to find a man who will adventure for the sake of a dream or one who will search, for the pleasure of searching, and not for what he may find."