Mount Everest

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Everest, Mount

(ĕv`ərĭst, ĕv`rəst), peak, 29,032 ft (8,849 m) high (as officially recognized by China and Nepal; rock height only, 29,016 ft/8,844 m), on the border of Tibet and Nepal, in the central Himalayas. It is the highest elevation in the world. In 1999 American climbers using GPS measured the Everest's total height at 29,035 ft (8,850 m), but that measurement has not been accepted by Nepal or China. Called Chomolungma or Qomolangma [Mother Goddess of the Land] by Tibetans and Sagarmatha [head of the sea] by Nepalis, it is named in English for the surveyor Sir George EverestEverest, Sir George
, 1790–1866, British surveyor, b. Breconshire, Wales. He worked on the trigonometrical survey of India from 1806 to 1843. He became superintendent of the survey in 1823 and surveyor general of India in 1830; Mt. Everest is named for him. He was knighted in 1861.
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. It was first climbed on May 28, 1953, when Sir Edmund HillaryHillary, Sir Edmund Percival,
1919–2008, New Zealand mountain climber and explorer. He went on many mountain-climbing expeditions before 1953, when he and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal were the first people to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
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 and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal reached the summit. The body of George H. L. MalloryMallory, George Herbert Leigh
, 1886–1924, English mountain climber. After some spectacular ascents in the Alps, he participated in the Everest expeditions of 1921, 1922, and 1924.
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, who died in an earlier attempt (1924), was found on the mountain in 1999.


See S. B. Ortner, Life and Death on Mt. Everest (1999); W. Davis, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest (2011).

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