Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain. It is part of the Himalayas, a huge mountain range in Southern Asia that includes more than 110 mountains over 24,000 feet (7,300 meters).
Mount Everest is on the border between China and Nepal, with the border crossing the mountain’s summit.
Mount Everest Facts for Kids
- Mount Everest’s summit is the highest place on Earth at 29,035 feet (8,850 meters) above sea level.
- The name Mount Everest has only been used since 1865 when the mountain was named after the British Surveyor General of India from 1830-1843, Sir George Everest.
- Mount Everest is also known as Chomolungma in Tibetan, which means “Goddess Mother of the World”, or in Nepali as Sagarmatha, meaning “Mother of the Universe”.
- The first successful climbers to reach its top were Edmund Hillary with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953.
- More than 7,600 people had reached Everest’s summit by 2017, with almost 300 people dying.
- Mount Everest has a three-sided pyramid shape, each side is called a face, with ridges where 2 faces join. The 3 faces are known as: the Southwest Face (Nepal), the East Face or Kangshung, and the North Face (both from the Tibetan region of China). The East Face has had the fewest attempts and the least successes.
- Being so high, the summit of Everest is extremely cold. The warmest average daytime temperature at the top is -2°F (-19°C) in July. The coldest month is January, with an average daytime temperature of -33°F (-36°C), although temperatures can reach -75°F (-60°C). Anyone attempting to climb Mount Everest runs a severe risk of frostbite.
- Climbers do not only have to prepare for the cold but also strong winds. Everest is so tall that its summit reaches the lower limit of the jet-stream, extremely powerful winds that blow high in the Earth’s atmosphere. Winds on Everest regularly reach over 100 mph (160 km/h).
- The risk of altitude sickness is also extremely high, this is caused by the lack of oxygen in high up places. This may not only affect climbers physically but also mentally as they can become confused and may make mistakes in what is already a very dangerous environment. The use of bottled oxygen can help to combat altitude sickness, although if a climber relies on an extra oxygen supply which then runs out, the risk is even greater. Climbers must spend time acclimatizing, getting their bodies used to the lower oxygen levels to reduce the risks.
- Mount Everest is often associated with the local people who live in the valley below, known as Sherpas. They were traditionally an agricultural people, grazing their animals high up in the mountains. Their adaptation to life at a high altitude has made them excellent guides and assistants to those who wish to climb Everest.
- April and May are generally the best months to try to reach the summit, as the weather is milder. However, attempts made any later risk avalanches caused by the monsoon, a season of heavy rain during the summer in Asia. Avalanches are one of the main causes of deaths on Mount Everest. There is also a short chance to climb Everest after the monsoon, but before winter sets in, during the month of September.
Question: How was Mount Everest formed?
Answer: The Himalayan mountain range, which Everest is part of, began around 40-50 million years ago when the tectonic plates of India-Australia and Eurasia collided with one another. Tectonic plates are huge pieces of solid rock that make up the Earth’s crust and landmasses, they are constantly moving, although extremely slowly.
This movement and collision pushed down the Indian-Australian plate under the Eurasian plate, causing the rock to fold back upon itself creating the mountain range. The Himalayas and Everest itself, continue to move a few inches northeast every year and to raise a very small amount.
Question: Can anyone climb Mount Everest?
Answer: The Nepalese government is currently looking at increasing restrictions on who will be allowed to attempt Everest in the future. Currently, you need to be over 18 years old and to be able to afford an $11,000 permit from the government of Nepal and a personal guide. There are other costs such as many weeks of food and camping at base camp (17,600 ft/5,364 meters) to acclimatize, the cost of equipment, medical supplies, flights, and other transport.
In 2001, Erik Weihenmayer made history as the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. However, as of 2017, the Nepalese government has banned solo climbers, blind climbers and double amputees from attempting the summit. For climbers looking to avoid Nepalese regulations, there is always the possibility of climbing from the Tibetan side, where fewer restrictions have been made. However, around 75% of successful summit attempts have been made from the Nepalese southern side.