Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843, records the location of
1848: Peak b
is surveyed the British, which ruled India; The height is
calculated at 30,200 feet from measurements taken 110 miles
Great Trigonmetrical Survey of India determines the Peak XV is
the highest mountain in the world.
1854: Peak b
renamed Peak XV.
Surveyor Andrew Waugh completes the first height measurement,
declaring Everest to be 8840 meters high. (29,002 feet).
1865: Peak XV
re-named Mt. Everest to honor Sir George Everest, the Surveyor
General of India. Everest is known as Chomolungma in Tibet and
Sagarmatha in Nepal.
Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, concerned about possible
Russian influence inside Tibet, sends Sir Francis Younghusband
to ostensibly negotiate "frontiers and trade". The
Tibetans refuse to enter negotiations, so Younghusband leads a
British Army Expedition to Lhasa. A treaty is eventually
signed in September, 1904, after the Dalai Lama flees to
member of Younghusband's staff, J. Claude White, photographs
the Eastern side of Everest from Kampa Dzong, 94 miles away.
While not the first photograph of Everest ever taken, it's the
first to show any significant details of the mountain.
Singh, a member of the British Indian Survey, obtains
permission to enter the Mount Everest region from the Nepalese
side. He maps the Dudh Kosi valley - gateway to the southern
route up the mountain - all the way to the end of the Khumbu
John Noel, a British military officer, travels to Tibet in
disguise (at the time foreigners were forbidden in Tibet) to
find the best way to approach Everest. He comes to within 60
miles of Everest, only to find his way blocked by an
unexpected mountain range that did not appear on his faulty
maps. Noel is able to view the top 1000 feet (300 meters) of
Everest when it appears out of the shifting mists, a
"glittering spire of rock fluted with snow".
Dalai Lama opens Tibet to outsiders after the political
situation involving China and Russia relaxes somewhat. The
Royal Geographic Society and the Alpine Club hold a joint
meeting to discuss how to proceed with an expedition to Mount
Everest. Explorers had reached both the North and South Poles,
so the next "feat" was Everest. The Mount Everest
Committee is established by Younghusband, and a formal
resolution is passed stating that an expedition would take
place the following year with reconnaissance as the first
priority, (although a summit attempt was not discouraged). A
full-scale summit attempt was to be launched the following
year in 1922.
First British Everest Reconnaissance Expedition to the
mountain, led by Lt. Colonel Charles Howard-Bury. This is
George Leigh Mallory's first trip to the mountain. After
spending ten weeks exploring the northern and eastern reaches
of the mountain, on September 24, 1921, Guy Bullock and George
Mallory were the first climbers to reach the North Col of
Everest at an altitude of around 23,000 feet (7000 meters).
The northern route up the mountain had now been established.
Second British Everest Expedition to the mountain, led by
Brigadier General C.G. Bruce, following the same route
reconnoitered the previous year. George Mallory returns along
with climbers George Finch, Geoffrey Bruce, Henry Morshead,
Edward Norton, Howard Somervell, and John Noel as expedition
filmmaker. On May 22nd, Mallory, Norton, Somervell and
Morshead make the first assault, and climb to 26,800 feet
(8170 m) on the North Ridge before retreating. On May 23rd,
George Finch and Geoffrey Bruce climb up the North Ridge and
Face to 27,300 (8320 meters) feet using oxygen. On June 7th,
Mallory leads a third attempt on the summit that claims the
lives of seven Sherpa climbers in an avalanche below the North
Col, the first reported deaths on Everest.
on a lecture tour in the United States, a reporter asks
Mallory why he wants to climb Everest, and Mallory immortally
replies "Because it's there".
Third British Everest Expedition to the mountain, led by
Acting Leader Lt. Colonel Edward Norton after Brigadier
General C.G. Bruce is indisposed due to a flare-up of malaria.
As a result George Mallory is promoted to Climbing Leader.
Geoffrey Bruce, Howard Somervell, and John Noel return from
the previous year, along with newcomers Noel E. Odell and
Andrew Comyn Irvine.
4th: After weeks of appalling weather, a string of camps are
established on the northern side of the mountain, culminating
in Camp 6 at 26,700 feet (8140 meters) on the North Ridge.
Norton and Somervell attempt an oxygenless ascent, following
an ascending diagonal line across the North Face of the
mountain towards the Great Couloir. After Somervell is forced
to give up at about 28,000 feet (8500 meters), Norton
continues alone, reaching a high point of 28,126 feet (8570
meters) near the top of the Great Couloir, a height record not
exceeded by anyone for the next 29 years!
8th: George Mallory and Andrew Irvine attempt the summit using
oxygen and Irvine's modified oxygen apparatus. Noel Odell,
climbing in support below, catches a glimpse of the climbers
at 12:50 pm ascending a "great rock step" on the NE
Ridge above. According to Odell they were behind schedule but
climbing "with alacrity"; the first of many climbers
on Everest to go for the summit too late. Odell originally
thought he spotted the two climbers ascending the Second Step,
but later changed his mind to the First Step when told how
difficult the Second Step looked to a later generation of
Everest climbers (the 1933 British Expedition). During the
1933 expedition, Andrew Irvine's ice ax is found on the upper
slopes of the mountain at about 27,690 feet (8440 meters) and
approximately 250 yards (meters) east of the First Step. Eric
Simonson's 1999 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition
discovers an oxygen bottle that belonged to the pair near the
base of the First Step, and Mallory's remains were found at
26,750 feet (8150 meters), on a line vertically below the ice
ax position. No evidence of a successful summit bid has been
found, nor have any signs of the two climbers been found above
the Second Step, the key to the route. Despite the lack of
hard evidence, the debate on whether they reached the summit
of Everest continues to this day.
19: The Mount Everest Committee is re-established with Sir
William Goodenough as Chair. Concerned of the growing
reputation of American and German climbers - the latter having
gained much experience on Kangchenjunga - the Committee makes
inquiries into the possibility of another British expedition
to Everest. Eventually the Dalai Lama gives "reluctant
permission" so that "friendly relations may not be
3: First flight over Mount Everest by two British Westland
biplanes powered by turbocharged Pegasus engines. The planes
take off from Purneah, India. Buffeted by downdrafts and
Everest's plume, the flight fails to obtain a photo of the
summit when the photographer blacks out due to a ruptured
oxygen line. The flight is successfully repeated on April
19th, although the actual summit wasn't flown over this time.
Fourth British Expedition. A new generation of climbers
attempts Everest under the Leadership of Hugh Ruttledge. These
new climbers include Jack Longland, Frank Smythe, Eric
Shipton, P. Wyn Harris, and L.R. Wager. Along with a powerful
and spirited team of Sherpa "Tigers", Camp 6 is
established on a ledge half-way up the Yellow Band at a height
of 27,300 feet (8320 meters) - the Sherpas wanted to continue
higher to a campsite at the base of the First Step, but it is
wisely decided that they would not get back to the North Col
before dark. Longland leads the Sherpas back down, but they
are caught in a fierce and unexpected storm. Longland manages
to keep his bearings and keeps the party en route down the
spine of the North Arete. During the descent they discover the
remains of the 1924 Camp 6, and even find a working
battery-operated torch in the debris.
May 30th: The
first oxygenless summit attempt by Wyn Harris and Wager. Their
plan is to reconnoiter Mallory's ridge route, and if not
feasible, attempt Norton's Great Couloir route instead. Early
in the ascent they find Andrew Irvine's ice ax at 27,690 feet
(8440 meters), some 250 yards (meters) east of the First Step.
The pair continues traversing below the NE Ridge, but are
unable to gain the Ridge via a shallow gully below the Second
Step, having missed their only chance to gain the Ridge by
ascending a 4th class gully on the north side of the First
Step. They continue traversing into and across the Great
Couloir, and manage to reach Norton's high point before
June 1st: A
second oxygenless attempt is made by Eric Shipton and Frank
Smythe. In a truly superhuman effort, they make an
attempt after spending two nights in the Death Zone without
oxygen waiting for good weather. They follow essentially the
same ascending line taken by Wyn Harris and Wager to the base
of the First Step, but continue along Norton's traversing
Great Couloir route. Shipton is forced to give up a little
past the First Step, and Smythe continues alone, crossing the
Great Couloir somewhat lower down than his predecessors where
the ledges were more favorable. Smythe too gives up at
Norton's high point, so the 1933 Expedition ends up
eccentric Maurice Wilson attempts to solo Everest, having no
mountaineering experience but possessing an inner faith to
succeed. Camped at the base of the North Col, Wilson asks his
Sherpas to wait ten days for him to return, after which they
would be free to leave. He doesn't return, so the Sherpas
return to Darjeeling, where Tenzing Norgay reports seeing them
with large amounts of money. Wilson's body is later found at
approximately 21,000 feet (6400 meters) below the North Col by
members of the 1935 Reconnaissance Expedition. He was found in
the remains of his tent; apparently he had died while in the
act of taking off his boots. How far did he get? No one
knows... His body was buried in a crevasse and it periodically resurfaces over
the years as the East Rongbuk Glacier continues its steady
British Expedition (Reconnaissance). A small post-monsoon
expedition led by Eric Shipton, that was Tenzing Norgay's
first trip to the mountain as a young porter. Expedition
members include Bill Tilman, Dr. C.B.M. Warren, E.G.H. Kempson,
L.V. Bryant, and E.H.L. Wigram. The expedition concentrates on
exploring, surveying, and climbing in the Everest region
(where off in the distance they can see that Everest is in
perfect condition to climb). The party doesn't reach Rongbuk
until early July, where coated in monsoon snow, the mountain
is out of condition to climb. Nevertheless, since
investigating the possibility of a post-monsoon attempt is one
of the charges of the reconnaissance, they establish Camp III
at the base of the North Col, where they find the remains of
Maurice Wilson. On July 12 they reach the North Col with
enough supplies for two weeks. Continuous monsoon snows
prevent any further advance up the mountain, so the expedition
splits into several groups that engage in an orgy of climbing
and exploring in the region before returning to
British Expedition with Hugh Ruttledge returning as Leader.
Also returning to Everest are Frank Smythe, Eric Shipton, P.
Wyn Harris, E.G.H. Kempson, Dr. C.B.M. Warren, and E.H.L.
Wigram along with two newcomers, P.R. Oliver and J.M.L. Gavin.
Tenzing Norgay returns for his second expedition as a porter.
For the first time, lightweight radio sets are taken to
Everest. A large, strong, and experienced expedition with many
hopes of reaching the top, it failed because of the early
onset of the monsoon on May 25th. Interestingly enough, the
only two expeditions to Everest that had a late monsoon were
the '21 and '35 Reconnaissance!
British Expedition. Led by Bill Tilman who advocated smaller,
less expensive expeditions (although he is convinced to bring
four oxygen sets along). Accompanying Tilman are Eric Shipton,
Frank Smythe, C.B.M. Warren, P. Floyd, P.R. Oliver, and Noel
Odell from the tragic 1924 expedition. Odell is now 47 years old, but extremely fit after climbing
Nanda Devi in 1936 with Tilman. Returning yet again as a
porter is the persistent Tenzing Norgay. Remembering the early
onset of the monsoon suffered by the 1936 expedition, they
arrive at Rongbuk early on April 6th and surprisingly find the
mountain already clear of winter snow. Three weeks later Camp
III is established below the North Col, but the weather is too
cold and the party too ill to continue. They retreat to the
Kharta Valley to recuperate at the lower altitude. When they
returned to Everest a week later, the monsoon had unbelievably
broken on May 5th and the mountain was covered in snow.
Nevertheless a camp is placed on the North Col, and then Camp
6 is established on a scree slope below the Yellow Band at
27,200 feet (8290 meters). In back-to-back assaults, Smythe
and Shipton are turned back by the deep snow, as are Tilman
and Lloyd the next day. The expedition fails, but it had
proved that a small expedition could place climbers in
position for a serious summit bid.
successor to the old Everest Committee is formed - the
Himalayan Committee of the Alpine Club and Royal Geographical
Canadian-born Brit Earl Denman attempts to illegally climb
Everest from the North along with Sherpas Ang Dawa and Tenzing
Norgay, the latter back after nine years for his fourth
attempt on the mountain. After nearly being arrested by a
Tibetan patrol en route, the trio reach the Rongbuk Monastery.
Using Denman's woefully inadequate equipment, and suffering
terribly from the cold, they reach the foot of the North Col
but in a terribly weakened condition. After a feeble attempt
on the lower slopes of the Col, they admit defeat and turn
back. Denman is forced to walk part of the way back to
Darjeeling in bare feet after his boots wear out. Amazingly
the whole 600-plus mile (1000 km) roundtrip from Darjeeling to
Everest and back took only five weeks by foot.
October the Communist Chinese invade Tibet, and Tibet falls
under Chinese rule. Everest expeditions from the North are
1950: After a
palace revolution in which the ruling Rana family are
overthrown, Nepal opens up to the West, partially as a result
of the Chinese takeover in Tibet. Foreign expeditions are
allowed access to the southern side of Everest for the first
Anglo-American Nepal Reconnaissance. Organized and led by the
American Dr. Charles Houston and including Bill Tilman. The
group enters the Solu Khumbu region - homeland of the Sherpas
- and explores to the base of the Khumbu Icefall. Tilman
concludes that the route up into the Western Cwm is not a
official permission from Nepal, and only a few months after
the 1950 Anglo-American Nepal Reconnaissance, the Dane Klavs
Becker-Larsen attempts to climb the Northern pre-war Everest
route but via a southern approach. With a party of Sherpa
porters and guides, he attempts to enter Tibet via the Lho La,
and actually climbs about halfway up before being turned back
by rockfall and his lack of experience (it was the first time
he had ever used an ice ax!). Undeterred, Larsen crosses the
Nampa La instead and reaches the Rongbuk Monastery. Several
days later Larsen and two Sherpas attempt to climb the North
Col but turn back after yet more rockfall. Larsen wisely gives
up the attempt and returns to Nepal.
Reconnaissance supported by the Alpine Club and the Royal
Geographic Society. A post-monsoon exploration led by Eric
Shipton with M.P. Ward, T. Bourdillon, W.H. Murray, and New
Zealanders Edmund Hillary and H. Riddiford, the expedition was
forced to contend with swollen streams, washed-out bridges,
leeches, and reluctant porters. On the 22nd of September they
reached Namche Bazaar, and three days later left with the
objective of scaling the Khumbu Icefall and entering the Western Cwm. From a vantagepoint on the lower slopes of Pumori, they
could see that the route up to the South Col looked feasible.
Eventually the expedition pushed the route almost completely
through to the top of the Icefall before retreating.
Expeditions sponsored by the Swiss Foundation for Alpine
Attempt: led by Dr. E. Wyss-Dunant with climbers G. Chevalley,
R. Lambert, R. Dittert, L. Flory, R. Aubert, A. Roch, J. Asper,
E. Hofstetter, and Tenzing Norgay as Sirdar. The party ascends
the Geneva Spur and places Camp VI on the South Col. Camp VII
is placed at approximately 27,500 feet (8382 meters) on the SE
Ridge. After a miserable night without sleeping bags or a
stove, Tenzing Norgay and Raymond Lambert make an attempt
using oxygen but fail below the South Summit at an altitude of
28,210 feet (8595 meters), beating Norton's height record by
only 84 feet (25 meters)!
Attempt: led by G. Chevalley with climbers R. Lambert, E.
Reiss, J. Buzio, A. Spohel, G. Gross, N.G. Dyhrenfurth. The
indomitable Tenzing returns again as expedition Sirdar.
Instead of climbing the Geneva Spur, the route is pushed up
the Lhotse Face instead, now the standard route. Unfortunately
the expedition is fraught with bad luck and the Sherpa Mingma
Dorje is killed on the Lhotse Face by falling ice, the first
Everest fatality in twenty years since Maurice Wilson.
Climbing along with the same party, incredibly a second rope
slips on the ice and falls 600 feet (180 meters) to the bottom
of the slope. Miraculously no one else is injured. A camp is
established on the South Col, but the arrival of winter's
bitter cold and fierce gales puts an end to the attempt. The
expedition lays the groundwork for 1953.
of a post-monsoon Russian attempt from the North led by Dr.
Pawel Datschnolian, possibly with the hope of beating the
Swiss to the top and scoring major propaganda points in an age
of Sputnik. There are reports that this expedition left Moscow
on October 16th and eventually placed Camp VII at 26,800 feet
(8170 meters) before six climbers (including Datschnolian)
simply disappeared. The Russians deny the expedition ever took
place and the Chinese have never made any mention of it.
Interestingly enough, in an interview with the Tibetan Gonbu
(also known as Gonpa), a member of the successful 1960 Chinese
first ascent of the North Ridge, a "mystery camp"
was encountered at 27,900 feet (8500 meters). Located above
the Yellow Band, this camp could not have been placed there by
any of the British pre-war expeditions. Was the camp placed
there by this "mystery" Soviet expedition?
Expedition and FIRST SUMMIT. Led by Colonel John Hunt and
consisting of climbers Dr. R.C. Evans, G. Band, T. Bourdillon,
A. Gregory, Edmund Hillary, W.G. Lowe, C. Noyce, M.P. Ward, M.
Westmacott, and C.G. Wylie. Returning as Sirdar from the Swiss
attempts is yet again Tenzing Norgay. The route through the
Icefall is completed by April 22, Camp VI is established at
the foot of the Lhotse face at 23,000 feet (7000 meters), and
after a lengthy delay, the South Col is reached via the Lhotse
Face route pioneered by the Swiss the year before.
May 26: First
Assault by Evans and Bourdillon from the South Col using
closed-circuit oxygen sets. The same day Hunt leads a party of
Sherpas from the South Col with the intent to establish Camp
IX on the SE Ridge for the second assault party consisting of
Hillary and Tenzing. Evans and Bourdillon reach the South
Summit at 1 PM at an elevation of 28,750 feet (8770 meters),
but are forced to descend due to the lateness of the hour,
strong winds, and lack of oxygen.
Second Assault by Hillary and Tenzing using open-circuit
oxygen sets. They leave Camp IX at approximately 27,900 feet
(8500 meters) by 6:30 AM, and reach the S. Summit by 9 AM.
After negotiating the 40 foot (12 meter) Hillary Step, they
are the first to reach the summit of Everest, reaching the top
at 11:30 AM. After descending to the South Col, they are met
by George Lowe where Hillary states: "Well, George, we
knocked the bastard off!"
height of Everest is adjusted by 26 feet to 29,028 feet (8848
Everest/Lhotse Expedition led by A. Eggler with W. Diehl, H.
Grimm, Dr E. Leuchtold, F. Luchsinger, J. Marmet, F. Muller,
E. Reiss, A. Reist, E. Schmied, H. Von Gunten and Sirdar
Pasang Dawa Lama. The South Col was reached by the middle of
May, and a successful summit bid was done on Lhotse via the
very difficult North ridge on May 18 by Reiss and Von Gunten.
On May 23 from a high camp at 27,500 feet (8400 meters) on the
SE Ridge, Schmied and Marmet reach the summit. The following
day Reist and Von Gunten also reach the summit.
Chinese/Russian reconnaissance from the North that reaches
21,000 feet (6,400 meters) below the North Col. The plan was
for the two countries to return later for a joint assault, but
this expedition never materialized after relations between the
two states deteriorate.
and Tibetan team of 214 men and women, led by Shih Chan- chun,
makes the first summit of Everest via the North Col and
Northeast Ridge. Long doubted by Western mountaineers because
of the lack of a summit photo and the claim of summiting at
night, the photos and film the Chinese did release reveal that
they at least climbed the Second Step, the key to the route
(although Reinhold Messner claims he possesses documentation
proving they didn't climb it, so far this evidence has not
been produced). The final assault party of Wang Fu-chou, Liu
Lien-man, Chu Yin-hua, and the Tibetan Gonbu (also known as
Gonpa) assaulted the final 15 foot (5 meter) Second Step
headwall using pitons and team tactics. After Liu Lien- man
repeatedly falls off attempting to lead the pitch, Chu Yin-hua
takes off his boots and socks, and using a shoulder stand
last vertical pitch in bare feet! Exhausted by his effort, Liu
Lien- man is forced to halt at 28,600 feet (8,700 meters), but
the remaining three climbers make it to the summit where they
purportedly leave a plaster bust of Chairman Mao by a rock
Indian Expedition led by Brigadier G. Singh. Climbers Capt. N.
Kumar, Sonam Gyatso, and Sherpa Nawang Gombu reach 28,300 feet
(8625 meters) just below the South Summit before retreating in
a violent storm and driving snow.
four-man expedition led by the American Woodrow Wilson Sayre
following the pre-war British route up the North Col and NE
Ridge. Possessing a permit to climb Gyanchung Kang from the
Nepalese side, the party ascends the Ngozumpa Icefall with
Sherpa support, but then surreptitiously crosses the Nup La
into Tibet. Without porters and relying on a grueling schedule
of load-shuttling that covers the same ground three times
daily, the group reaches the base of the North Col in nineteen
days. They climb the North Col, but a fall lands Sayre and
partner Roger Hart in a crevasse where they survive the night
by wrapping themselves up in a tent. Undeterred, Sayre and
Norman Hansen set off the very next day up the North Ridge,
but can only climb 1,200 feet (400 meters) in the next two
days. Realizing that they are beaten, they turn back but Sayre
slips and falls 600 feet (200 meters) down the North Ridge
snowfield before stopping. Incredibly, the now emaciated and
half-starved expedition is able to return back over the Nup La
into Nepal without encountering Chinese patrols.
Indian Expedition with Major John Dias as leader. Returning to
the SE Ridge route, climbers Sonam Gyatso, Hari Dang, and
Mohan Kohli are forced to retreat from a high point of 28,600
feet (8720 meters) because of bad weather.
American Expedition with Norman Dyhrenfurth as leader and
including A. Auten, Barry Bishop, Jake Breitenbach, J. Corbet,
D. Dingman, D. Doody, R. Emerson, Tom Hornbein, Lute Jerstad,
J. Lester, Willi Unsoeld, and Jim Whittaker. A huge
expedition, costing almost $400,000 and supported by the
National Geographic Society, over 900 porters carry 29 tons of
food and equipment to the base of the mountain. Base Camp is
established at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall on Mar 21 and
the route through the icefall prepared soon after. Jake
Breitenbach is killed by collapsing seracs in the Icefall but
the expedition continues. The expedition splits into two
parties - the West Ridgers and the South Collers.
Assault: May 1 From Camp 6 at 27,450 feet (8370 meters) on the
SE Ridge, Jim Whittaker and Sherpa Nawang Gombu reach the
summit in strong winds at 1 PM. Whittaker becomes the first
American to summit Everest.
Assault: After a tent at Camp 4W - including occupants - is
nearly blown off the West Shoulder by hurricane force winds,
Camp 5W is placed in the Hornbien Couloir at the foot of the
Yellow Band at 27,250 feet (8300 meters). Tom Hornbein and
Willi Unsoeld squeeze their way through the couloir and ascend
a 60 foot (20 meter) headwall before emerging onto the upper
summit pyramid at 27,900 feet (8500 meters). The pair then
traverse across to the West Ridge proper, reaching the summit
at 6:15 PM. They are forced to descend the SE Ridge where they
meet Jerstad and Bishop who had summited at 3:30 PM. The four
men descend to around 28,000 feet (8500 meters) before having
to bivouac for the night on the ridge proper. They survive a
long, cold night out in the open and descend safely to the
South Col the next day. Unsoeld later loses most of his toes
to frostbite. The first new route and the first traverse of
Indian Expedition, with Commander M.S Kohli as leader. On May
20, 1965 they succeed when A.S. Cheema and Sherpa Nawang Gombu
ascend the SE Ridge. Gombu becomes the first person to summit
Everest twice (the 11th and 17th summit). Out of the first
seventeen summits of Everest, Nawang had two of them!
Additional summits were achieved by Sonam Gyatso, Sonam
Wangyal, C.P. Vohra, Ang Kami, H.P.S. Ahluwalia, H.C.S. Rawat,
and Phu Dorje.
Nepal is closed to mountaineering during this politically
tense period involving antagonists India and China.
Japanese SW Face Reconnaissance Expeditions. In the Spring, a
party including Naomi Uemura enters the Western Cwm and probes
the lower slopes. The Japanese return in the autumn with
Uemura and Masatsugu Konishi, and the route is pushed up the
Central Gully to the base of the Rock Band before the
expedition returns home, convinced that a full-scale
expedition could succeed.
Japanese SW Face
Expedition led by the seventy-year old veteran Saburo
Matsukata. A massive expedition with 39 climbers,
seventy-seven Sherpas and a woman, Setsuko Watanabe. Unable to improve on the previous year's
reconnaissance efforts due to poor snow conditions and
rockfall, the expedition switches to the standard South Col
route. Teruo Matsuura and Naomi Uemura reach the summit on May
11, followed by K. Hirabayashi and
Sherpa on the next
day. Watanabe sets an altitude record for women by climbing
to the South Col.
Japanese Ski Expedition. Climbing along with the SW Face
expedition, Yuichiro Miura skis from the South Col to the
bottom of the Lhotse Face on May 6. Reaching speeds of 100 mph
(160 kph), Miura slows himself with a parachute but loses
control after hitting some rocks. He slides unconscious about
600 feet (200 meters) down the icy slopes, and fortunately
stops just short of a huge crevasse.
International Expedition. Norman Dyhrenfurth leads an
expedition with thirty climbers from thirteen different
countries including Don Whillans, Dougal Haston, Naomi Uemura,
Pierre Mazeaud, and H. Bahuguna. This optimistic expedition
hopes to simultaneously climb the SW Face and the West Ridge
Direct, but is fraught with one- upsmanship, personality
conflicts, and organizational problems. Bahuguna is caught out
in a storm at Camp 3W. A rescue party climbs up to help him
and he is found clipped onto the fixed ropes, missing a glove,
his bare midriff exposed to the storm, and his face coated in
ice. When it proves impossible to move him horizontally, they
try to lower him vertically into the shelter of a crevasse,
but the rope runs out before they can reach it a la Tony Kurtz
on the Eiger Nordwald. Whillans utters his famous remark,
"Sorry Harsh old son, you've had it." The expedition
falters after his death, but Whillans and Haston push the SW
Face route to 27,400 feet (8,350 meters) before lack of
equipment forces an end to the expedition.
Argentine Post-Monsoon Expedition. A post-monsoon expedition
where J. Peterek and U. Vitale reach 26,600 feet (8,100
meters) before being defeated by high winds and an unfavorable
European Expedition to the SW Face led by Dr. Karl
Herrligkoffer and including climbers Don Whillans, Doug Scott,
Hamish MacInnes, Felix Kuen, Adolf Huber, Werner Haim, and Leo
Breitenberger. The expedition is plagued by personality
conflicts and the withdrawal of many of the climbers, but the
route is pushed as high as 27,200 feet (8,300 meters) before
the attempt is abandoned.
SW Face Expedition led by Chris Bonington including climbers
Mick Burke, Nick Estcourt, Dougal Haston, K. Kent, Hamish
MacInnes, Tony Tighe, and Doug Scott. A post-monsoon
expedition confronted with terrible weather, an elevation of
27,200 feet (8,300 meters) is reached below the Rock Band
before retreating. Tragically, Tony Tighe is killed in the
Icefall during the descent.
Expedition. Another huge expedition with sixty-four members
led by Guido Monzino. Helicopters are used to shuttle
equipment past the Khumbu Icefall and one hundred Sherpas are
also employed. Eight climbers succeed via the South Col Route,
including 16 year old Sambhu Tamang of Nepal. It is later
revealed that Sambhu was actually 18.
Italian Summiters were Rinaldo Carrel,
Virginio Epis, and
Japanese Expedition. Led by Michio Yuasa, this large forty-
eight man expedition attempted both the SW Face and South Col
route. The SW Face party reaches 27,200 feet (8,300 meters)
before giving up. Success is achieved on the South Col route
when Hisahi Ishiguro and Yasuo Kato reach the summit, the
first post-monsoon success on the mountain.
Expedition attempts the South Col route. A high camp is
placed on the SE Ridge, and twice teams were in position for a
attempt, but both times are defeated by high winds. The second
team manages to reach 27,900 feet (8,500 meters) before
1974: French West Ridge Expedition. Led by Gerald Devouassoux,
monsoon attempt to climb the West Ridge Direct starting from
La. Because of political considerations, they don't climb the
leading up to the Lho La directly, but start from the base of
Khumbu Icefall; the expedition eventually reaches the West
by September 9. A major lapse in monitoring weather reports
them from learning that an unexpected return of warm monsoon
is about to occur. The tragic result is that Gerald
five Sherpas are swept away in an immense avalanche, after
expedition is called off.
1975: Japanese Ladies Expedition led by Mrs Eiko Hisana. On
Junko Tabei of Japan became the first woman to reach the
the South-East Ridge.
1975: Chinese Expedition led by Shih Chan-chun, leader of the
Chinese ascent, and organized by a "Party Committee"
Wang Fu-chou, one of the 1960 summiters. A military-style
that uses soldiers to carry supplies to the North Col and
tactics to progressively reposition camps higher and higher up
mountain. A final assault camp is established between the
Second Steps at 28,500 feet (8,680 meters) by the Mushroom
the Second Step is prepared with an aluminum ladder to
final vertical headwall pitch. A team of nine climbers - eight
Tibetan and one Chinese - reaches the summit on May 27,
Tibetan woman, Phantog. Phantog becomes the second woman to
Everest, losing this honor to Junko Tabei by only a few days.
the first woman to summit from the Tibetan side.
1975: British SW Face Expedition (post-monsoon). Leader Chris
Bonington and including H. MacInnes, Peter Boardman, Martin
P. Braithwaite, Micke Burke, M. Cheney, C. Clarke, Nick
Dougal Haston, and Doug Scott. Base Camp is reached on August
Advance Base is established on September 2. The expedition is
with good weather and smooth logistics, resulting in the
placement of camps up the Central Gully to Camp 5 at 25,500
(7800 meters). The Rock Band is ascended via a gully on the
by Estcourt and Braithwaite, who have some sporty moments when
oxygen runs out on dicey pitches at 27,000 feet (8200 meters).
upper icefield is reached via an awkward outward-sloping ramp;
and Scott establish Camp 6 a few days later at an elevation of
feet (8300 meters). The next day they fix 1,500 feet of rope
upper snowfield, extending the route towards a gully leading
the South Summit.
First Assault: Sept 24: Haston and Scott reach the South
Summit at 3 PM after 11 hours of climbing. After preparing a snow cave and
drinking a brew, they continue on to the summit which they
reach at 6
PM. They descend to the South Summit and bivouac in the
After a freezing, oxygenless night complete with hypoxic
conversations with feet, toes, and imaginary companions, the
descend to Camp 6 safely, passing the second assault party on
Second Assault: Sept 26: Boardman and Sirdar Pertemba reach
summit and descend in a gathering storm, where they encounter
Burke just below the summit. They wait for him as long as
before descending, but Burke is never seen alive again. He
made the top but fell off of the heavily corniced summit ridge
descending in the deteriorating conditions.
Ascent without bottled oxygen: Peter Habeler (Austria) and
Reinhold Messner (Italy) 5/8/78 via the South-East Ridge
first European woman and the third woman to summit Everest, Wanda
Rutkiewicz, reaches the top. Wanda goes on to become known
as the greatest woman climber ever.
first woman, Hannelore Schmatz, dies on Everest descending
from the Summit after becoming only the 4th woman to Summit
opens up the north side (Tibet) again to western climbers.
Stremfeli and Nejc Zaplotnik Summit via the true West ridge
and descend via the Hornbein Couloir on 5/13/79.
Winter ascent Krzysztof
Wielicki (Poland) 2/17/80
Reinhold Messner (Italy) 8/20/80 via the North Col to the
North Face and the Great Couloir. He climbed for three days
entirely alone from his base camp at 6500 meters without the
use of artificial oxygen via the North Col/North Face route.
Skreslet first Canadian to reach the Summit.
1983: Lou Reichardt,
Kim Momb, and Carlos Buhler reached the Summit via the East or
Kangshung face on 10/8/83.
Macartney-Snape and Greg Mortimer reached the Summit via the
April 20, 1984,
Hristo Prodanov (Bulgaria) - Made the first ever ascent of the
West Ridge Direct without oxygen (he also did it solo, which
makes it the first and only solo ascent of the ridge). Also,
first Bulgarian to summit Everest.
Batard, a Frenchman, sets the speed record on Everest on the
South East ridge route from EBC to the Summit in 22.5
1988: The First
American Woman, Stacey Allison reaches the Summit of
Married Couple to summit together: Andrej & Marija
Stremfelj (Slovenia), 10/7/90.
Son of a summiter to Summit Everest: Peter Hillary (New
father and son to summit together: Jean Noel Roche and his son
Roche Bertrand aka Zebulon. They flew together on a tandem paraglider from the
south Col. They landed at base camp on the 7th of October
1990. Roche Bertrand was 17 at the time and became the
youngest person to ever climb Everest at the time.
case of two brothers to reach the Summit together: Alberto
and Felix Inurrategui September 25, 1992.
first Nepalese woman, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, summits Everest but
dies descending from the Summit on 4/23/93.
Dicky Dolma becomes the youngest
woman to Summit Everest at 19 years old.
1995: The first
ascent of the Northeast Ridge, completed by Kiyoshi Furuno
(Japan), Shigeki Imoto (Japan), Dawa Tshering Sherpa, Pasang Sherpa, and Nima Sherpa.
Mallory, grandson of George Leigh Mallory, reaches the Summit
1996: 15 die
on Everest, the most in a single year, including the most successful
guide of his time, the great climber Rob Hall.
Rita Sherpa (born 1947), Summits Everest for the 10th time. (1983,1984,1985,1987,1988,1990,1992,1993,1995,and 1996 all
ascents without bottled oxygen.)
first ascent of the North-Northeast couloir by Peter Kuznetzov,
Valeri Kohanov and Grigori Semikolenkov on 5/20/96.
Side: Fastest Ascent via the standard North Col-north
ridge-north face Route: Hans Kammerlander (Italian) 5/24/96,
16 hours 45 minutes from base camp. He left BC at 6400 meters
at 5pm on May 23, 1996 and was on the Summit 16 hours 45
minutes later at 9:45am the next day. He descended most of the
route on skis.
1999: On May
12, 1999: Lev
Sarkisov (2/12/38) became the oldest man to summit Everest.
His record was later broken, but Lev is a special person.
Lev, from Georgia, was 60years, 161 days young when he reached
1999: May 6,
Chiri Sherpa spent 21 hours and 30 minutes on the Summit of Everest.
Mallory's body is found by and expedition lead by Eric
Simonson. The mystery remains unanswered.
National Geographic Society revised the elevation of Everest
to 29,035 feet (8850 meters). Nepal does not accept the
becomes the youngest American to Summit Everest
2000: New Speed
Record Nepal Side: Babu
Chiri Sherpa; from Everest base camp to the Summit via the
South East ridge in 16 hours and 56 minutes on May 21st,
Sherpa Summits for the 11th time.
woman: Anna Czerwinska (born 7/10/49) climbed Everest from
Nepal side on 5/22/2000.
true Ski descent: Davo
becomes the oldest woman to summit Everest at 50years old
Roche Bertrand and
his wife Claire Bernier Roche flew together on a tandem
paraglider from the North side Summit of Everest. The
paraglider arrived at ABC 8 minutes later...This first husband
and wife to fly from the Summit together !
Stefan Gatt the
first to Snowboard from the Summit of Everest.
on his Snowboard completed the
first-ever descent of Everest on a snowboard from the Summit
At 16 Temba
Tsheri Sherpa become the youngest person to Summit
American Sherman Bull, at age 64, is the oldest person to summit Mount Everest.
American Erik Weihenmayer becomes the first ever blind person
to Summit Everest.
Sherman Bull becomes the oldest man to summit Everest at 64
Tamae Watanabe (born 11/21/1938) becomes the oldest woman to
Summit everest at 63 years old.
Ishikawa becomes the oldest man to summit everest at 65 years
Yuichiro Miura Summited Everest at 70 to become the oldest man
to reach the Summit. He summited with his son. Gota Miura.
American Gary Guller become the first person with only one arm
to Summit Everest.
George Dijmarescu Summits Everest five times from the North in
Apa Sherpa Summits Everest for a record 13th time.
The Chinese Broadcast LIVE from the Summit of Everest again.
Yuichiro Miura becomes the oldest man to summit Everest at 70
Become the youngest American to
Babu's Sherpa Speed ascent record is broken
Three Brothers Summit Everest on the same day
Ming Kipa Sherpa become the youngest woman to summit Everest
at 15 years old…
Jess Roskelley Become the youngest American to Summit Everest
...and more to come!