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Mount Everest

How tall is the Mt. Everest?
The official altitude of the world's highest peak is 29,029 feet (8,848m). However, the National Geographic Society has determined the height to be 6 feet taller, i.e. 29,035 feet. But the Nepal government has not yet made this new altitude official.
Shifting tectonic plates continue to push Everest upward along with the whole Himalayan mountain range, at 1.6 to 3.9 inches (4 to 10 centimeters) every year.


Where is the Mt. Everest located?
Everest is a part of the Himalayan mountain range along the border of Nepal and Tibet. It is located 27° 59' North latitude and 86° 55' East longitude.


Why is it called as the “Everest”?
The location of Everest was first recorded in 1841 by Sir George Everest, the Surveyor General of India during 1830 to 1843 naming it as "Peak XV". However, in 1865, this peak was given the nomenclature of Mt. Everest to honor Sir George. The Nepalese and Tibetan name of Everest are “Sagarmatha” and “Chomolungma” respectively.


Is it windy at the top of Everest?
Yes, gusting with the strength almost of a hurricane at118+ miles/hour, the “Jet Stream” blasts the rocky, icy summit of Everest almost all the year round. The “Jet Stream” is a constant wind force swirling 4 - 6 miles above the earth. Observers can tell when the Jet Stream is blowing on the summit of Everest from the long white stream of ice crystals extending out from the tip of the mountain. Those wishing to actually stand on the summit have to choose their moment carefully. The mountain is suitable for climbing in early May, when the Jet Stream is pushed northwards over Tibet by the arrival of the monsoon. There is also a window of opportunity during the autumn, when the Jet Stream is again pushed northwards.



Is the air very thin on Everest?

With every increase in altitude, the oxygen level deteriorates. For example, at 9800 feet, the air has only 2/3rd of the oxygen available at the sea level. At 20,000 ft, the level of oxygen drops dramatically to half the amount. At 29,035ft, the summit of Everest, the oxygen level further curtails to 1/3rd of the amount. These statistics suggest that the level of oxygen on Everest is very concerning.

How does your body get used to the altitude?
To get acclimatized to deteriorating level of oxygen, the mountaineers set up a camp at the base of the Everest. The climbers actually set up four different higher camps before reaching the summit. For the next 30 days or so, they frequently move up and down allowing their bodies to get used to the reduced oxygen content in the air. This process is called acclimatization.
Acclimatizing properly is essential to safely ascend to high altitudes. Climbers acclimatize by ascending slowly; resting one day after every 1,000 feet ascent. They drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy food. They also practice a rule of thumb: climb high, sleep low. Climbing high and then descending to lower altitudes allows the body to build up and gain strength with fresh oxygen, digest food, get sound sleep and any heals bruises. Climbers usually don't like going down, but the significant benefits on the body by staying at lower altitudes motivate them for the same. It's important that the climbers don't stay down for long as it negatively affects the acclimatization process.

How high are the camps?
The approximate elevations of each of the camps are:
· Base Camp - 17,500ft (5,400m)
· Camp 1 - 20,000ft (6,100m)
· Camp 2 - 21,300ft (6,500m)
· Camp 3 - 24,000ft (7,400m)
· Camp 4 - 26,000ft (8,000m)
· Summit - 29,035ft (8,848m)

What is the range of temperature in Everest?
Everest summit temperature roughly fluctuates between -20ºC during summer and -35ºC. The coldest forecasted summit temperature was -41ºC (on several occasions in Dec 2002, Jan and Feb 2003). The warmest forecasted temperature is -16ºC.

What is the hardest part about climbing Everest?
Each climber has his/her own perception regarding the difficulty of climbing Everest. Most would however succumb to the altitudinal predicament. Crossing the intimidating Khumbu Icefall going from the Base Camp to Camp I could be bone-chilling experience for majority of the climbers. The mountaineers climb through this moving sea of ice using ordinary aluminum garden ladders.

When Everest was first climbed?
On May 29, 1953, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa of Nepal & Edmund Percival Hillary of New Zealand ascended the summit of Mt. Everest via the “southeast ridge route”.

What are some other important "facts" associated with Mt. Everest?

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