Many have attempted to scale Mount Everest over the years. 4,000 people and counting have attempted to summit the mountain. It is a difficult mountain and so high that oxygen becomes scarce near the summit. Only 50% of those who have attempted to climb Everest have succeeded. Out of the over 230 people who have died, more than 100 of them are still somewhere on the mountain, lost to the elements and time.
1. World’s Tallest Mountain
There aren’t man mountains in the world that reach the 20,000 foot plateau. Many of them actually exist in the same range where Mount Everest resides. The official height of the mountain is above 29,000 feet and is currently established at 29,028 feet. What’s interesting about Everest is that it continues to grow taller every year by 4 millimeters.
2. Pollution is Killing the Mountain
Although the “pack it out” philosophy is taught when climbing Mount Everest, it isn’t widely practiced. Nepal has even passed laws that require all climbers to bring down 18 pounds of trash when returning from a hike to the summit. A climbing team is required to make a $4,000 security deposit that they will lose if they don’t comply with local laws about waste.
3. Life Exists Up There
Even though life struggles to survive at the very top of Mount Everest, there are still animals to be found as high as 22,000 feet. There is a small black jumping spider that lives in the cracks and crevices of the ice and snow. It feeds off of the insects and blown-in food that the winds carry to it.
4. A Century To Climb
Mount Everest was officially discovered in 1841, although locals undoubtedly knew of the mountain that towered above them every day. It wasn’t until 1953, however, that the summit of Everest would be achieved. That accomplishment belongs to Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide. Sherpas are still guiding climbing teams up the mountain every season.
The oldest to achieve the summit of Mount Everest was 76 years old. The youngest to reach the summit was just 13. For a mountain that is called the forehead of the sky and the mother of the universe, there are fewer challenges above land to be hand than climbing this mountain.