Hemant Albert Soreng
Somewhere, Everywhere, Anywhere

Hi, I'm more of a story teller of my various travels and experiences. This blog is an account of my adventures so far. Hope you enjoy reading it and in a way travel with me...

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A bit about Mt. Everest: My take

By on March 19, 2024

“Because, its there.” – George Mallory in 1923, when asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest


Everybody knows that Mt. Everest is the Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, but it is not the highest mountain if you consider the base below the sea level. Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Denali, Kilimanjaro and Nanga Parbat are much taller. Click here for details

Back to Everest, which incidentally was first discovered in 1852 by an Indian named Radhanath Sikdar, a mathematician and surveyor. It was then named Peak XV and eventually the name changed to Everest to honour another surveyor Sir George Everest who was the British Surveyor General at the time. However, long before that it was called Qomolangma (or Chomolungma) in Tibetan, which means Holy Mother. And more recently in the 1960s it was named Sagarmatha (Goddess of the Sky) in Nepali.

Everest is located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas with the Tibet-Nepal border running across its summit point. Its elevation (snow height) as recently measured is 8,848.86 m (29,031 ft 8.5 in).

Many of the world’s highest mountains are near Mt. Everest esp. Lhotse (8,516 m/27,942 ft) which shares the same base camp and a few higher camps.


Climbing History

Being the highest mountain, Everest has always attracted climbers and mountaineers, as far back as 1921 when the British Mountaineer George Mallory came on a Reconnaissance Expedition. After a few more attempts over the years, he along with Andrew Irvine made a made an attempt on the summit via the North Col-North Ridge-Northeast Ridge route from which they never returned.

While its common knowledge that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay successfully summited Everest on 29 May 1953, its still being debated that Mallory and Irvine may have been the first men to reach the top.

Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer is based on the story of George Mallory. A must read.

When Tenzing Norgay became the first man (along with Hillary) to summit Mt. Everest, all the countries in the region namely India, Nepal, Tibet started claiming him to their own.

If India’s version is to be believed then Lt. Col Avatar S. Cheema in 1965 became the second Indian to summit.

On 23 May 1983, Bachendri Pal became the first Indian woman to climb Mt. Everest.

List of Indian summiteers of Mount Everest

Overall, around 4,000 people in the world have successfully summited Mt. Everest so far.


Climbing Routes

There are 18 different climbing routes but the two main routes are one approaching the summit from the southeast in Nepal known as the South Col Route and the other from the north in Tibet known as The Northeast Ridge Route.

The South Col Route, that I am going to take, is the more popular of the two. The route is relatively less technical yet significant and still poses dangers such as altitude sickness, weather, and wind along with unpredictable avalanches and the treacherous Khumbu Icefall.

-> The Everest Expedition: South Col Route

The Northeast Ridge Route, in comparison is a bit steeper, colder and more windy esp. since it on the North. However, the road access to the North Base Camp (5,150 m/16,900 ft) makes it easier to go there than the South Base Camp (5,364 m/17,598 ft) in Nepal, which is a good 8-day hike from Lukla, which is accessible by a 30 min flight from Kathmandu/Ramechhap.


->Back to: My upcoming journey to Mt. Everest