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Mount Everest Facts

Location, History, Cost, Climbing, Risks, and Other Interesting Facts

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Mount Everest
Richard Collins/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Where is Mount Everest Located?

Mount Everest is located on the border between Tibet and Nepal in the Himalayan Mountains in Asia. Everest is situated on the Tibetan Plateau known as Qing Zang Gaoyuan; the summit is directly between Tibet/China and Nepal.

How High is Mount Everest?

At 29,035 feet (8,850 meters) above sea level, Mount Everest is the tallest and most prominent mountain in the world based on measurement to sea level.

Asia's Himalayas -- the tallest mountain range in the world -- span across six countries: China, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.

How Much Does it Cost to Climb Mount Everest?

Climbing Mount Everest comes with a hefty price tag: For guides, equipment, Sherpas, oxygen, permit, and fees for support at Base Camp, the cost to climb mount Everest ranges from US $35,000 to $75,000.

Climbers must also show proof of funds to pay for helicopter evacuation if necessary. A single supplemental oxygen bottle can cost US $500 each -- as many as five are often needed to attempt a climb.

In 1996, Jon Krakauer's team paid $65,000 each for their summit bids. American David Hahn -- who reached the summit for his 13th time in 2011 -- charges US $74,000 to lead an expedition!

Who Climbed Mount Everest First?

Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and his Nepalese Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, were the first to reach the summit on May 29, 1953 at around 11:30 a.m. At the time China was closed to foreigners and Nepal allowed only one Everest expedition per year; previous expeditions had come close but failed to reach the summit.

The duo reportedly buried some candies and small cross before immediately starting their descent.

Who Holds the Record for Reaching the Summit?

Apa Sherpa had reached the summit 21 times by age 52 (2012). He now lives in Draper, Utah. American David Hahn holds the record for a non-Sherpa; he reached the summit for his 13th time in 2011.

Jordan Romero -- a 13-year-old boy from California -- set the record for being the youngest to climb Mount Everest on May 22, 2010.

Climbing Mount Everest

Because the summit is directly between Tibet and Nepal, Mount Everest can be climbed either from the Tibet/China side (the north ridge) or from the Nepal side (the southeast ridge). Starting in Nepal and climbing from the southeast ridge is generally considered the easiest, both for mountaineering and political reasons.

Most climbers attempt to climb Mount Everest from the southeast side, beginning around 17,700 feet at Everest Base Camp. Located in Nepal, Everest Base Camp is visited by thousands of trekkers each year; no mountaineering experience or technical equipment is necessary.

Depending on what time climbers leave for the summit, they must leave almost immediately once they reach the top to escape the thin air and to reach a safe point before dark -- no one gets to hang out and enjoy the view!

Mount Everest Deaths

Although deaths on Mount Everest often dominate the news because of the mountain's notoriety, it's certainly not the most dangerous on earth. Annapurna in Nepal has a fatality rate for climbers of roughly 38% -- more than one in three climbers perish on average.

By comparison, Mount Everest has a current fatality rate of around 4.3% or 4.3 deaths per 100 summit attempts. As of 2012, the mountain has claimed 210 climbers.

The deadliest season in the history of Everest attempts was in 1996 when poor weather and other factors caused the deaths of 15 climbers. The disastrous season on Mount Everest is the focus of many books including Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air.

The deadliest avalanche in the history of Mount Everest occurred in April 2014 when at least 13 Sherpas lost their lives while setting up routes for the 2014 climbing season.

The Top 10 Tallest Mountains in the World

Measurements are based on sea level, not the elevation above surrounding land.

  • Mount Everest: 29,035 feet (8,850 meters)
  • K2 (located between China and Pakistan): 28,251 feet (8,611 meters)
  • Kangchenjunga (located between India and Nepal): 28,169 feet (8,586 meters)
  • Lhotse (part of the Everest range): 27,940 feet (8,516 meters)
  • Makalu (located between Nepal and China): 27,838 feet (8,485 meters)
  • Cho Oyu (near Mount Everest between Nepal and China): 26,864 feet (8,188 meters)
  • Dhaulagiri I (Nepal): 26,795 feet (8,167 meters)
  • Manaslu (Nepal): 26,781 feet (8,163 meters)
  • Nanga Parbat (Pakistan): 26,660 feet (8,126 meters)
  • Annapurna I (Nepal): 26,545 feet (8,091 meters)
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