Mount Everest

November 28, 2012 3:31 am
What is the highest place you have ever stood? Perhaps you’ve been to the top of a tall hill, or the observation deck of a skyscraper. Imagine standing on the highest point on Earth—the top of Mount Everest.
WHERE IS MOUNT EVEREST?
Mount Everest is part of the Himalayas, a mountain range in Asia. This mountain range forms a wall between India and China. Mount Everest itself straddles the border between Nepal and Tibet. Nepal is a small country sandwiched between India and China. Tibet is a part of China.
HOW TALL IS THE MOUNTAIN?
Scientists have measured Mount Everest very carefully. The top of the mountain is 29,035 feet (8,850 meters) above sea level. That is almost 5 ½ miles, 17 times taller than the tallest skyscraper in the world!
The air at the top of Mount Everest is very thin. It’s hard to breathe up there. The thin air can make people sick even on the lower slopes of the mountain.
WHY “EVEREST”?
Mount Everest is named after a British land surveyor, Sir George Everest. In 1865, he became the first person to accurately estimate the height of the mountain.
People living near the mountain, however, have other names for it. One name, Sagarmatha, means “Forehead in the Sky.” Another local name, Chomolungma, means “Mother Goddess of the World.”
HOW’S THE WEATHER UP THERE?
Harsh weather makes this giant mountain particularly tough to climb. The top is covered with a thick layer of ice. The temperature there never climbs above freezing. In the summer, violent snowstorms batter the mountain. Winds reach speeds of 177 miles per hour (285 kilometers per hour). In winter, the temperature can drop to -76° Fahrenheit (-60° Celsius).
CLIMBING MOUNT EVEREST
Thousands of people have tried to climb Mount Everest. Most have failed. Many have died trying.
The first two people to stand on top of Mount Everest did so in 1953. They were the New Zealand climber Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa helper, Tenzing Norgay. Sherpas are a people who live in the Himalayas. Since then, several hundred climbers have reached the top of the mountain. But among most climbers, Mount Everest remains the most prized peak to conquer.
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