Status: World’s Highest Mountain
Mount Everest north face from Ronguk monastery in Tibet.
Between 40 and 50 million years ago the Indian-Australia tectonic plate began to collide with the Eurasian tectonic plate. The Indian-Australian Plate began to be forced under (subduct) under the Eurasian Plate. The stress of this movement caused the land on the Eurasian Plate to start rising beginning 25 to 30 billion years ago.
We now call this uprising the Himalayan Mountain Range; the newest and, therefore, tallest mountain range on Earth.
Everest continues to rise in height a fraction of an inch and move a few inches to the northeast every year. It’s summit is composed of sedimentary rock made from the shells from the bottom of the Tethys Sea which once existed between India and Asia.
A perfect reminder of how even the lowest can climb to the greatest heights given enough time, effort and patience.
Although we have chosen to place the mountain in Nepal it actually straddles the border of Nepal and Tibet (China).
At 29,032 feet (8,849 metres) tall the summit of Everest is the highest place on the planet.
The mountain’s Tibetan name is Chomolungma which means “Goddess of the Valley” or simply “Goddess Mother of the World”. It’s Sanskrit name is SagarMatha means “Peak of Heaven”
It was not recognized as the tallest mountain on Earth until 1852 when the almighty British Empire did an official of survey of India. It was originally known as Peak XV until it named after Sir George Everest the British Surveyor of India from 1830-1843.
The amount of oxygen at the summit is one third of the amount in the atmosphere at sea level. Powerful winds - up to 100 miles/hour (160 km/h), the mountain is high enough that it touches the bottom of the Jet Stream - and incredibly low temperatures - -2F (-19C) at it’s warmest and -33F (-60C) at it’s coldest – and storms can come appear with no warning.
The summit of the mountain is very hostile to all life.
No helicopter can fly in the thin air so if you get into trouble on most of Everest you are on your own. Even without making any mistakes the mountain is more than capable of killing anyone in minutes or even seconds.
The mountain is now covered in garbage and human waste including the bodies of 280 people who died attempting the ascent. Most climbers now bring down as much as they can leaving not just a zero footprint but a negative one.
The mountain is still very isolated. Before the 1960’s everything had to be brought in by humans and animals. There are now air fields in the valleys surrounding the mountain making it somewhat easier.
Above 25,000 feet climbers enter the death zone where their pulse and respiration increase – in an attempt to get more oxygen into the body – digesting food becomes much harder and the even the thought of eating becomes nauseating, sleeping becomes all but impossible and hypoxia – lack of oxygen – begins to set in leaving you confused.
And then there’s altitude sickness.
At this point the mountain seems to be actively trying to kill you.
At least 322 people have died on Mt Everest.
The north face – the hardest way to ascend the mountain – is said to be the most haunted and paranormally active.
As mentioned above the mountain is covered in dead bodies. Any rescue mission on the mountain is considered tantamount to suicide and the removal of human remains is not a priority. Some beliefs think it is actually disrespectful to remove the bodies.
Many of the bodies are unidentified.
In 2017 the bodies of 4 climbers were found in a tent in base camp; it is thought they died of altitude sickness. What’s curious is that none of the expedition companies had any missing climbers and Everest Base Camp is not a place you can get to unnoticed. So, who were these people?
Black shadows have been seen on the slopes and often said to approach living climbers with their hands out seeming to beg for something. It is commonly thought they are seeking food long after starving to death.
The villagers living in the valleys tell many stories of ghosts coming down from the mountain. Usually these are the spirits of the climbers the mountain has claimed but there are also stories of not so friendly spirits who have attempted to – and in some cases been successful – possess them.
In many cases only a local exorcism can remove the “evil” spirits.
The ghost of Andrew Irvine – the partner of the more famous George Mallory – who died less than a 1,000 feet from the summit has been reported by many climbers as appearing in times of need and encouraging them.
Andrew’s body has never be found on the mountain.
Most encounters with former climbers are positive ones. They generally appear in times of need and provide encouragement to the living who are facing life-threatening challenges on the mountain.
Some of the best footprints of the yeti have been found on the slopes of Mount Everest.
There are also numerous reports of unidentified flying objects from both the slopes and the Base Camp.