Many mountaineers have summited Mount Everest since its first ascent. The first people to reach the summit at 8,848 meters, also recognized as the first ascenders were Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa from Nepal. They reached the peak on May 29, 1953.
Japan’s Junko Tabei became the first woman to climb Mount Everest successfully. She achieved this feat on May 16, 1975, twenty-two years after the first ascenders.
About 800 people attempt to scale Mount Everest every year. The latest database shows that 5,294 individuals have successfully climbed Mount Everest till January 2019.
The highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest (8,848 meters).
Climbing Mount Everest is a remarkable achievement because it is the highest mountain in the world standing 8,848 meters tall. Some recent measurement claims the peak to be 8,850 meters high from sea level.
Even though this measurement is debatable, it has been confirmed that Mount Everest is growing taller by 2.4 inches every year, thanks to the movement of tectonic plates.
Although every mountaineer dreams of scaling this peak at least once in their lifetime, Everest has not been kind to all who dared. More than 200 people have died trying, and more than 100 are still missing.
Even this deadly threat has not lessened the charm of this majestic mountain. Lying on the border of Nepal and Tibet, Mount Everest has been climbed without oxygen, climbed solo, climbed by disabled, or even by teenagers!
A Selective List of Mount Everest Summiteers
Some of the notable mountaineers who have climbed Mount Everest are –
- First ascenders – Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa
- First female ascender – Junko Tabei
- The highest number of ascents by a male – 24 times by Kami Rita Sherpa (Nepal)
- The highest number of ascents by a female – 9 times by Lhakpa Sherpa (Nepal)
- Oldest male ascender – Yuichiro Miura (Japan) aged 80 years, 224 days on 23 May, 2013
- Oldest female ascender – Tamae Watanabe (Japan) aged 73 years, 180 days on 19 May, 2012
- The youngest person to climb – Jordan Romero (USA) aged 13 years, 10 months and 10 days on May 22, 2010
Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa
Apart from this, other records have been set in Mount Everest climbing.
- First ascent without supplemental oxygen – Reinhold Messner (Italy) and Peter Habeler (Austria) on May 8, 1978
- First winter ascent – Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy (Poland) on February 17, 1980
- Most ascents without supplemental oxygen – 10 times by Ang Rita (Nepal)
- Fastest Everest climb – 10 hours 56 minutes and 46 seconds by Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa (Nepal) on May 26, 2003
- Fastest Everest climb without supplemental oxygen – 20 hours and 24 minutes by Aman Kumar Sinha (India) on October 17, 2008
- Longest stay on the summit – 21 hours by Babu Chiri Sherpa (Nepal) on May 6, 1999
Here’s another impressive list of achievers.
- The first marriage in the summit – Pem Dorjee and Moni Mulepat (Nepal) on May 30, 2005
- First double-amputee – Mark Inglis (New Zealand) on May 15, 2006
- First male amputee (foot) – Tom Whittaker (USA) on May 27, 1998
- First female amputee (one leg) – Arunima Sinha (India) on May 21, 2013
- First blind ascender – Erik Weihenmayer (USA) on May 25, 2001
- First paraglider descent from the summit – Jean-Marc Boivin (France) on September 26, 1988
- The first person to ascent from three different routes – Kushang Sherpa (India)
Can I Climb Mount Everest?
Yes, you can. But you need to learn the basics of mountaineering first. You also need to know the dangers associated with mountaineering.
If you are already an expert in mountaineering and have climbed few other peaks, then you should contact an expedition team or touring company to facilitate your climb.
For beginners, you can learn the basics of mountaineering from my other article How to get into mountaineering?
How Much does it Cost to Climb Mount Everest?
The climbing permit from Nepal is USD 11,000 per person.
However, the price varies with different commercial expedition operators. Western companies charge around US dollars 60,000 to 65,000 while the local operators charge between US dollars 25,000 to 45,000. This cost includes government permit, equipment, transport, and porters, mainly Sherpas.
Any expedition to Mount Everest requires you to have life insurance. US dollars 11,000 per person is set during popular spring ascension.
Each climber and western guide needs to pay US dollars 600 to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee. Some of this money is spent on environmental improvements throughout the Khumbu region.
How Long does it take to Climb Mount Everest?
On average, climbing Mount Everest takes 7-9 weeks.
Apart from just climbing, you need to acclimatize your body to the thin air. This process takes a long time since you will be staying in one camp and climbing for a few hours before returning to the previous camp so that you get used to the climate.
For the expedition of Mount Everest, the most time consuming is the acclimatization period. The base camp is at 5,300 meters and sits at the foot of the icefall.
The advanced base is another major staging post in Camp 2. Climbers continue to Camp 3 and Camp 4. Camp 3 is risky due to being exposed to rockfall.
Summit day usually falls in mid-May. Warm temperatures and mild winds help the climbers to ascend at around midnight so that they can reach the summit in the morning with enough daylight remaining for them to get back to camp before nightfall.
There are two routes to the top of Mount Everest. The north ridge is situated in Tibet and is considered to be technically more difficult.
The south ridge in Nepal is the popular choice among climbers. This route is also not easy as the climbers have to pass the Khumbu icefall (frozen waterfall that moves slowly) to reach Camp One.
When to Summit Mount Everest?
Attempting to scale Mount Everest Without knowing the best season to climb it can kill you. Therefore, you must know the seasons around Mount Everest and the best time to climb it.
There are four seasons in Nepal – Autumn, Winter, Monsoon, and Spring.
September, October, and November fall under the Autumn season in Nepal. The sun is bright during this season, and the mountains will see temperatures drop to around -12 Degree Celsius. Therefore, this season is considered to be the best time to climb the highest peak in the world.
December, January, and February are winter in Nepal. Due to heavy snowfalls and the most acute weather, this period is considered to be the most dangerous season to climb Everest.
Monsoon Season sees heavy rainfall and storms during June, July, and August. Climbers avoid this season to climb Everest due to the high potential for objective hazards.
Spring Season is also preferred by many mountaineers to summit Everest. Expert climbers prefer this season due to less population trying to scale the mountain. However, a considerable amount of snowfall and frequent storms in spite of warmer weather curtains potential disaster.
How many People have Died Climbing Mount Everest?
As of 2019, more than 300 people have lost their lives in Mount Everest.
The first recorded deaths were of seven porters who were killed by an avalanche in 1922.
1996 was one of the worst years for mountaineers trying to climb Mount Everest. Fifteen people died trying to reach the summit.
April 25, 2015, saw 19 people killed in an avalanche at base camp when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal killing more than 9,000 people around the country. This year marks the worst tragedy ever in Everest’s history.
In 2019, a record number of climbers tried to summit this highest mountain in the world where 11 people perished.
Famous Everest Deaths
- Babu Chiri Sherpa, who had climbed Mount Everest 10 times setting a world record for that time died in 2001 from a fall near Camp 2.
- Rob Hall, the first non-Sherpa to climb Everest five times, died in 1996.
- Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first Nepali woman to climb Mount Everest died while descending after a successful summit.