Mt. Everest, which is located in Nepal, is the tallest mountain the world. Locals call it Sagarmatha or “Goddess of the Sky.” Conditions here are extreme: it is very cold, visibility sharply drops at night, and the cliffs are treacherous. High, strong winds can escalate into blinding snow storms.
However, these conditions are exactly what attract climbers from all over the world. They view Mt. Everest as the ultimate achievement and test of endurance, skill and resiliency. Thousands of people climb the mountain a year, and the strongest and bravest among them aim to reach the peak.
It is difficult to pinpoint the number of people who have tried to climb this mountain, since the figures tend to vary every year. In 2004, for example, 1,400 people of 20 different nationalities did over 2,000 climbs.
Many people believe that the first people to climb Mt. Everest and reach its peak was Sir Edmund Percival Hillary of New Zealand and his Sherpa or guide, Tenzing Norgay (this occurred on May 29, 1953). While this is the first documented case. However, two English climbers named Mallory and Irvine claim they set that world record in 1924.
The first woman to reach the Everest summit was Junko Tabei, in 1975. Three years later, Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler made news as the first team to reach the peak without supplemental oxygen. In 1980, Messner became the first climber to reach the summit alone.
Yuichi Miura is known as the oldest person to reach the summit (he was 70 years old). Temba Tsheri was the youngest person (he was 15). Erik Weihenmayer was the first blind climber.