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E is for Everest

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know my obsession with all things Everest. And now the 2015 Everest season is upon us. Everest season? What’s that, you ask? Well, because of the extreme altitude and weather conditions, there is a very tight window in which in can be summitted with any degree of success — usually mid-end of May.

Any earlier and it’s too cold and windy, any later and the mountain is just too unstable. The chances of avalanche increases as do the odds that the Khumbu Icefall will shift. The Khumbu Icefall is the glacier where sixteen people died last year in the deadliest season ever recorded.

Several guide teams have elected not to mount an expedition this year, among them Peak Freaks, who have been guiding Everest Expeditions for more than two decades.But the Nepal Ministry of Tourism reports that 287 individuals have received Everest climbing permits for 2015 so not all guide companies are displaying this level of caution. And a new route has been established through the Icefall for the 2015 season.

Facts about Mount Everest:

  • Elevation: 29,035 (8850m)-found to be 6′ higher in 1999
  • Name in Nepal: Sagarmatha (means: goddess of the sky)
  • In Tibet: Chomolungma: (means: mother goddess of the universe)
  • First successful ascent: May 29, 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary, NZ and Tenzing Norgay, NP, via the South Col Route
  • First Solo Ascent: Aug. 20, 1980, Reinhold Messner, IT, via the NE Ridge to North Face
  • First Ascent by an American: May 1, 1963, James Whittaker, via the South-Col
  • First Ascent without oxygen: May 8, 1978- Reinhold Messner, IT, and Peter Habeler, AUT, via the South-East Ridge
  • Fastest Ascent from South: Babu Chhiri Sherpa 34, NP-16 hours and 56 minutes (5-21-2000)
  • Youngest person: Temba Tsheri (NP) 15 on May, 22, 2001
  • Oldest Person: Sherman Bull May, 25, 2001 -64 yrs
  • First Legally Blind Person: Erik Weihenmeyer May, 25, 2001
  • Best and Worst Years on Everest: 1993, 129 summitted and eight died (a ratio of 16:1); in 1996, 98 summitted and 15 died (a ratio of 6½:1)
  • Highest cause of death: Avalanches-about a (2:1) ratio over falls
  • Most dangerous area on mountain: Khumbu Ice Fall-19 deaths
  • First ski descent: Davo Karnicar (Slovenia) 10-7-2000
  • Corpses remaining on Everest: about 120
  • Fastest descent: In 1988, Jean-Marc Boivin of France descended from the top in just 11 minutes, paragliding.
  • Largest number to reach the top in one day: 40, on May 10, 1993

If your Everest curiosity has been “peaked” (heh- yes I know it’s piqued) here’s some more information.

Here is a National Geographic quiz to test your Everest knowledge.

Additional Everest Resources.

I may use some other letters to update on this year’s season. Because it’s my blog and I can do that



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