Everest closeup

Everest distant

Climbing Mt. Everest
(alt. 29,035 ft.)

Events associated with climbing the highest mountain in the world

Prepared by Lawrence Martin, MD

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Feat Year Climber(s)
First to reach summit 1953 Norgay & Hillary
First American to summit 1963 Jim Whittaker
First woman climber 1975 Junko Tabei (Japan)
First ascent without oxygen 1978 Reinhold Messner (Italy) & Peter Habeler (Austria)
First to summit alone, without oxygen 1980 Reinhold Messner (Italy)
Disaster Year 1996 15 deaths (see Into Thin Air)
First disabled person to summit 1998 Tom Whittaker
Youngest person to summit 2001 Temba Tsheri Sherpa (age 16)
First blind person to summit 2001 Erik Weihenmayer (Colorado, age 32)
First person with 1 arm to reach summit 2003 Gary Guller
First couple to marry on summit 2005 Mona Mulepati and Pem Dorje Sherpa (Nepalese)
Oldest person to summit 2008 Yuichiro Miura (Japan, age 75)

South Col Route

Photos at top of page are of Everest's peak on clear days. Photo at right is of the "South Col" climbing route, from Mt. Everest South Col Route Maps & Videos (click on figure to enlarge, then hit back button to return to web page). The "South Col" is the most popular climbing route, and the one used during the first successful summit on May 29, 1953, by Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Edmond Hillary.

Norgay and Hillary used supplemental oxygen to make their ascent, as did all subsequent climbers for the next 25 years. On May 8, 1978, Reinhold Messner from Italy, and Peter Habeler from Austria, made the first ascent without supplemental oxygen. Messner summited without supplemental O2 a second time, from a different route, on August 20, 1980. It is now estimated that less than 4% of current climbers go without supplmental oxygen. For a medically-oriented discussion of climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen, see Arterial Blood Gases on Mt. Everest.

Below is a map showing the location of Mt. Everest on the border of Nepal and China. Other climbing routes lead from both Nepal and China. The South Col route leads from Nepal.

Like no other mountain, Everest engenders an almanac of lists, firsts, feats, and, inevitably, a grisly accounting of deaths (some 120+ corpses litter the mountain).

Everest Map

Books on climbing Mt. Everest and K2, with links to Amazon.com

Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer

The Climb, by Anatoli Boukreev

Left For Dead, by Beck Weathers

High Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places, by David Brashears

No Shortcuts To The Top, by Ed Viesturs

Himalayan Quest, by Ed Viesturs

Everest: Mountain Without Mercy, by Broughton Coburn

K2, The Savage Mountain, by Charles S. Houston

Lakeside Press Home Page | Alphabetical Index of all web sites | Subject Index of all web sites
email: larry.martin@roadrunner.com
February 21, 2009