I will say it upfront. I love Everest stories. Reading about Everest, both the survival and adventure aspect of it but also all the behind the scenes and political parts of it, really interests me. In this article, you will find numerous facts, stories, books, and videos about Everest that I have found interesting and wanted to share with you.
Mount Everest is 29,028 feet (8,848 meters) tall
Located on the border or Nepal and Tibet
In Tibet, it is referred to Chomolungma, which means "Goddess Mother of the World" or "Goddess of the Valley"
The Sanskrit name for Everest, Sagarmatha, means “Peak of Heaven”
The warmest daytime temperature is -2 F (in July)
The coldest temperatures average at -33 F, however, they can drop as low as -76 F (in January)
Due to the height of Everest it cannot sustain human life, but people do live in the valleys below the mountain
Source: Tenzing, Norgay, and (Henry Cecil) John Hunt. “Mount Everest.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 9 Apr. 2020, www.britannica.com/place/Mount-Everest.
Source: Noyce, Wilfrid, and Norgay Tenzing. “Mount Everest.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 9 Apr. 2020, www.britannica.com/place/Mount-Everest#/media/1/197160/222020.
The most well known book about Everest in my opinion is Into Thin Air by John Krakauer. In the book he dives deep into his own personal journey climbing the mountain during the deadliest season on Everest. What's truly compelling about this book is that Krakauer follows several different expeditions on the mountain the day he reaches the summit, which is also the day many of the people on the mountain die. He also covers some of the history of people climbing Everest, information about the roles Sherpas play in the climb, and other interesting facts. It's a fantastic book for both nonfiction enthusiasts or fictional readers.
Another, lesser known Everest account is Left For Dead by Beck Weathers. Beck was on John Krakauer's expedition when the storm suddenly hit. He was left for dead. The story goes in depth about Weather's journey both during and after the expedition but also his personal life, which is falling apart. This is an edge of your seat survival story that will keep you reading. As a disclaimer, I have yet to read this one, but I am definitely adding it to my TBR.
Check out the Encyclopedia Britannica page for Everest for an in-depth look at Everest facts. The website has multiple links and pages about Everest, containing primarily facts about Everest with numbers, statistics, geological information, history, and more. Click here to get to the website!
National Geographic released a fascinating article in 2016 discussing the effects of a massive earthquake and avalanche from 2015, as well as a deadly avalanche in 2014. As a result, in 2015, no one made it to the top of Everest. The article discusses the impacts of these natural disasters on Nepal's fragile economy, the expedition businesses, the vast number of support staff, especially Sherpas, in Nepal, and the debates about safety for both the southern and northern routes up Everest. Click here to read the article!
A 20 minute documentary on Youtube called Glory or Death: Climbing Mount Everest is a really interesting look at what it's like to climb Mount Everest and the dangers of it. It includes multiple interviews with different people, such as climbers and sherpas. The short film also talks about the issue of having inexperienced climbers climbing Everest solely because they have the money but not the skill. Overall, this is a great video covering many different topics and including many interesting personal stories. As a warning, it is a very real video, and it does not just show the bright side of things. If you are interested in watching it you can click here!
A shorter 4 minute video from National Geographic about climbing Mount Everest is also available on Youtube. It is called Expedition Everest: The Mission - 360. A really cool aspect of this video is that it is a 360 video, so you can really feel like you are there since you are able to look around on your device. In the video, the narrator discusses the goal for the mission, which is to collect scientific data. Due to the short length of this video, it is very surface level, but it is cool that it is a 360 video, so you can really feel there, on the mountain. Click here to watch the video!
If you are interested in just climbing large mountains in general or are looking for a longer video to watch, this 46 minute video about climbing K2, the second highest mountain, may interest you. It is called Breathtaking: K2 - The World's Most Dangerous Mountain. This longer documentary goes in depth about the act of climbing the mountain. I have yet to watch the entirety of this documentary, however I have previewed it and watched some parts and it is very well done. If you are interested, click here to watch the documentary!
On the National Geographic website, there is a photo slideshow that shows the changes in gear that climbers use from the past compared to the present. It is a 16 slide slideshow that shows everything from backpacks to tents to cameras and communications equipment. Click here to view.