Mount Everest Facts & Figures

With thanks to Jeremy Windsor and George Rodway for helping to compile this list.

Some interesting Mount Everest facts and figures:

  • Mt Everest was originally known as "Peak h", and then "Peak XV", before assuming the name Mt Everest.

  • Mt Everest was named after Sir George Everest, Surveyor General of India. Sir George never actually laid eyes on his namesake

  • Mt Everest is known as Sagarmatha in Nepal and Chomolongma in Tibet.

  • The first altitude measurements of Everest were made between November 1849 and January 1850. The surveyors obtained a reading of 8840 m, just 10 m off of the accepted present-day measurement.

  • The height of Mt Everest is 8850 m.

  • The first reconnaissance expedition was in 1921, and the first actual summit attempts in 1922. Four climbers (Henry Moreshead, George Mallory, Edward Norton and Howard Somervell) climbed to over 8000 m, for the first time in history, without supplemental oxygen. On the same 1922 British expedition, George Finch and Geoffrey Bruce reached over 8300 m with supplemental oxygen.

  • All pre-World War II attempts (1922, 1924, 1933, 1936, and 1938) were approached from the north, or Tibetan, side of Everest because Nepal was closed to foreigners during this time. However, the first ascent in 1953 was from the south, or Nepalese, side -- Nepal had opened its borders in 1949.

  • The first successful ascent was on 29th May, 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

  • Atmospheric pressure on the summit of Everest has been recorded at 253 mmHg. This is one-third of the atmospheric pressure found at sea level.

  • Everest was first climbed without supplemental oxygen in May of 1978 by Peter Habeler and Reinhold Messner

  • The first dedicated medical research expedition to Everest occurred in 1981 under the leadership of Professor John B. West, and was known as the American Medical Research Expedition to Everest, or AMREE.

  • Although successfully climbed by more than 3000 people, over 200 have died on the slopes of Everest.