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Mount Everest — natural wonder

The ancient HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit» \o
«Sanskrit» Sanskrit names for the mountain are Devgiri ( HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit» \o «Sanskrit» Sanskrit for
«Holy Mountain») and Devadurga (the English pronounced it deodungha in
the 1800s). HYPERLINK «http://www.harappa.com/engr/darjeeling.html» \l
«everest» \o «http://www.harappa.com/engr/darjeeling.html#everest» [1]
. In HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepali» \o «Nepali»
Nepali it is known as Sagarmatha , meaning «Head of the Sky». The
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_language» \o «Tibetan
language» Tibetan name is Chomolungma or Qomolangma , meaning «Mother
of the Universe»), and the related HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language» \o «Chinese language»
Chinese name is Zh?mulngm F?ng ( HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplified_Chinese» \o «Simplified
Chinese» Simplified Chinese : ?????; HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_Chinese» \o «Traditional
Chinese» Traditional Chinese : ?????) or Shengm F?ng ( HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplified_Chinese» \o «Simplified
Chinese» Simplified Chinese : ???; HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_Chinese» \o «Traditional
Chinese» Traditional Chinese : ???).

In HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1865» \o «1865» 1865 , the
mountain was given its HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language» \o «English language»
English name by HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Scott_Waugh» \o «Andrew Scott
Waugh» Andrew Waugh , the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom» \o «United Kingdom»
British HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Surveyors_General_of_India» \o
«Category:Surveyors General of India» surveyor-general of India . With
both Nepal and HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet» \o
«Tibet» Tibet closed to foreign travel, he wrote:

I was taught by my respected chief and predecessor, Colonel Sir
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Everest» \o «George
Everest» George Everest to assign to every geographical object its
true local or native appellation. But here is a mountain, most probably
the highest in the world, without any local name that we can discover,
whose native appellation, if it has any, will not very likely be
ascertained before we are allowed to penetrate into Nepal. In the
meantime the privilege as well as the duty devolves on me to assign…a
name whereby it may be known among citizens and geographers and become a
household word among civilized nations.

Waugh chose to name the mountain after HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Everest» \o «George Everest»
George Everest , first using the spelling Mont Everest, and then Mount
Everest. However, the modern pronunciation of Everest: is in fact
different from Sir George’s own pronunciation of his surname, which
was(EAVE-rest).

In the early 1960s, the HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepal»
\o «Nepal» Nepalese government realized that Mount Everest had no
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepalese_language» \o «Nepalese
language» Nepalese name. This was because the mountain was not known
and named in ethnic Nepal (that is, the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathmandu_valley» \o «Kathmandu valley»
Kathmandu valley and surrounding areas). The government set out to find
a name for the mountain (the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherpa» \o «Sherpa» Sherpa /Tibetan name
Chomolangma was not acceptable, as it would have been against the idea
of unification (Nepalization) of the country. The name Sagarmatha was
thus invented by HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baburam_Acharya» \o «Baburam Acharya»
Baburam Acharya .

In 2002, the Chinese HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Daily» \o «People’s Daily»
People’s Daily newspaper published an article making a case against the
continued use of the English name for the mountain in the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_world» \o «Western world» Western
world , insisting that it should be referred to by its Tibetan name. The
newspaper argued that the Chinese name preceded the English one, as
Mount Qomolangma was marked on a Chinese map more than 280 years ago.
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «_note-3» \o «» [4]

Measurement

Aerial view of Mount Everest from the south

Another aerial view of Mount Everest from the south

HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radhanath_Sikdar» \o
«Radhanath Sikdar» Radhanath Sikdar , an Indian mathematician and
surveyor from HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal» \o
«Bengal» Bengal , was the first to identify Everest as the world’s
highest peak in 1852, using HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigonometry» \o «Trigonometry»
trigonometric calculations based on measurements of «Peak XV» (as it
was then known) made with HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodolite» \o «Theodolite» theodolites
from 240 km (150 miles) away in India. Measurement could not be made
from closer due to a lack of access to Nepal. «Peak XV» was found to be
exactly 29,000 feet (8,839 m) high, but was publicly declared to be
29,002 feet (8,840 m). The arbitrary addition of 2 feet (0.6 m) was to
avoid the impression that an exact height of 29,000 feet was nothing
more than a rounded estimate.

More recently, the mountain has been found to be 8,848 m (29,028
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_%28unit_of_length%29» \o
«Foot (unit of length)» feet ) high, although there is some variation
in the measurements. The mountain HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K2» \o «K2» K2 comes in second at
8,611 m (28,251 feet) high. On HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_22» \o «May 22» May 22 , HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005» \o «2005» 2005 , the People’s
Republic of China’s Everest Expedition Team ascended to the top of the
mountain. After several months’ complicated measurement and calculation,
on HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_9» \o «October 9»
October 9 , HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005» \o «2005»
2005 , the PRC’s State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping officially
announced the height of Everest as 8,844.43 m ± 0.21 m (29,017.16 ± 0.69
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_%28unit_of_length%29» \o
«Foot (unit of length)» ft ). They claimed it was the most accurate
measurement to date. HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l
«_note-4» \o «» [5] But this new height is based on the actual highest
point of rock and not on the snow and ice that sits on top of that rock
on the summit, so, in keeping with the practice used on HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_Blanc» \o «Mont Blanc» Mont Blanc
and HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khan_Tangiri_Shyngy» \o
«Khan Tangiri Shyngy» Khan Tangiri Shyngy , it is not shown here. The
Chinese also measured a snow/ice depth of 3.5 m, HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «_note-5» \o «» [6] which implies
agreement with a net elevation of 8,848 m. But in reality the snow and
ice thickness varies, making a definitive height of the snow cap, and
hence the precise height attained by summiteers without sophisticated
GPS, impossible to determine.

The elevation of 8,848 m (29,028 ft) was first determined by an Indian
survey in 1955, made closer to the mountain, also using HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodolite» \o «Theodolite» theodolites .
It was subsequently reaffirmed by a 1975 Chinese measurement. HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «_note-6» \o «» [7] In both cases
the snow cap, not the rock head, was measured. In May 1999 an American
Everest Expedition, directed by HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford_Washburn» \o «Bradford Washburn»
Bradford Washburn , anchored a HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Positioning_System» \o «Global
Positioning System» GPS unit into the highest bedrock. A rock head
elevation of 8,850 m (29,035 feet), and a snow/ice elevation 1 m (3 ft)
higher, were obtained via this device. HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «_note-alpres» \o «» [8] Although
it has not been officially recognized by Nepal, HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «_note-7» \o «» [9] this figure is
widely quoted. HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoid» \o
«Geoid» Geoid uncertainty casts doubt upon the accuracy claimed by
both the 1999 and 2005 surveys.

A detailed HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photogrammetry» \o
«Photogrammetry» photogrammetric map (at a scale of 1:50,000) of the
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khumbu» \o «Khumbu» Khumbu
region, including the south side of Mount Everest, was made by Erwin
Schneider as part of the 1955 International Himalayan Expedition, which
also attempted HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lhotse» \o
«Lhotse» Lhotse . An even more detailed HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topography» \o «Topography» topographic
map of the Everest area was made in the late 1980s under the direction
of Bradford Washburn, using extensive HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_photography» \o «Aerial
photography» aerial photography .

It is thought that the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_tectonics» \o «Plate tectonics»
plate tectonics of the area are adding to the height and moving the
summit north-eastwards. Two accounts, HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «_note-alpres» \o «» [8] HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «_note-8» \o «» [10] suggest the
rates of change are 4 mm per year (upwards) 3-6 mm per year
(northeastwards), but another account mentions more lateral movement
(27 mm), HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «_note-9» \o «»
[11] and even shrinkage has been suggested. HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «_note-10» \o «» [12]

Everest is the mountain whose summit attains the greatest distance above
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level» \o «Sea level» sea
level . Two other mountains are sometimes claimed as alternative
«tallest mountains on Earth». HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauna_Kea» \o «Mauna Kea» Mauna Kea in
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii» \o «Hawaii» Hawaii is
tallest when measured from its base; it rises over 10,203 m (about 6.3 
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mile» \o «Mile» mi ) when
measured from its base on the mid-ocean floor, but only attains 4,205 m
(13,796 ft) above sea level. The summit of HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimborazo_%28volcano%29» \o «Chimborazo
(volcano)» Chimborazo in HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecuador» \o «Ecuador» Ecuador is 2,168 m
(7,113  HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_%28unit_of_length%29» \o «Foot (unit
of length)» ft ) farther from the Earth’s centre (6,384.4 km or
3,967.1  HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mile» \o «Mile» mi )
than that of Everest (6,382.3 km or 3,965.8 mi), because the Earth
bulges at the Equator. However, Chimborazo attains a height of 6,267 m
(20,561  HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_%28unit_of_length%29» \o «Foot (unit
of length)» ft ) above sea level, and by this criterion it is not even
the highest peak of the HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andes»
\o «Andes» Andes .

The deepest spot in the ocean is deeper than Everest is high: the
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challenger_Deep» \o «Challenger
Deep» Challenger Deep , located in the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariana_Trench» \o «Mariana Trench»
Mariana Trench , is so deep that if Everest were to be placed into it
there would be more than 2 km (1.25 mi) of water covering it.

The Mount Everest region, and the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayas» \o «Himalayas» Himalayas in
general, are thought to be experiencing ice-melt due to HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming» \o «Global warming»
global warming . HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l
«_note-11» \o «» [13] The exceptionally heavy southwest summer
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsoon» \o «Monsoon» monsoon
of 2005 is consistent with continued warming and augmented convective
uplift on the HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_plateau»
\o «Tibetan plateau» Tibetan plateau to the north. HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citing_sources» \o
«Wikipedia:Citing sources» [citation needed]

Climbing routes

This section does not adequately cite its HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citing_sources» \o
«Wikipedia:Citing sources» references or sources .

Please help HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mount_Everest&action=edit» \o
«http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mount_Everest&action=edit»
improve this article by adding citations to HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Attribution» \o
«Wikipedia:Attribution» reliable sources . ( HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Contents» \o «Help:Contents» help ,
HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Fact_and_Reference_C
heck» \o «Wikipedia:WikiProject Fact and Reference Check» get involved!
)

This article has been tagged since December 2006.

View from space showing South Col route and North Col/Ridge route

Southern and northern climbing routes as seen from the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station» \o
«International Space Station» International Space Station .

Mt. Everest has two main climbing routes, the southeast ridge from Nepal
and the northeast ridge from HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet» \o «Tibet» Tibet , as well as
HYPERLINK «http://www.everesthistory.com/routes.htm» \o
«http://www.everesthistory.com/routes.htm» many other less frequently
climbed routes. Of the two main routes, the southeast ridge is
technically easier and is the more frequently-used route. It was the
route used by Hillary and Tenzing in 1953 and the first recognised of
fifteen routes to the top by 1996. This was, however, a route decision
dictated more by politics than by design as the Chinese border was
closed to foreigners in 1949. HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinhold_Messner» \o «Reinhold Messner»
Reinhold Messner (Italy) summited the mountain solo for the first time,
without supplementary oxygen or support, on the more difficult Northwest
route via the North Col to the North Face and the Great Couloir, on
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_20» \o «August 20»
August 20 1980. He climbed for three days entirely alone from his base
camp at 6500 meters. This route has been noted as the 8th climbing route
to the summit.

Most attempts are made during April and May before the summer
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsoon» \o «Monsoon» monsoon
season. A change in the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_stream» \o «Jet stream» jet stream
at this time of year reduces the average wind speeds high on the
mountain. While attempts are sometimes made after the monsoons in
September and October, the additional snow deposited by the monsoons and
the less stable weather patterns makes climbing more difficult.

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