Timeline of climbing Mount Everest

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Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain, with a peak at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level.

Timeline[edit]

United Kingdom 1921: Reconnaissance expedition[edit]

The first British expedition[1] – organized and financed by the newly formed Mount Everest Committee – came under the leadership of Colonel Charles Howard-Bury, with Harold Raeburn as mountaineering leader, and included George Mallory, Guy Bullock and Edward Oliver Wheeler.[2] It was primarily for mapping and reconnaissance to discover whether a route to the summit could be found from the north side. As the health of Raeburn broke down, Mallory assumed responsibility for most of the exploration to the north and east of the mountain. He wrote to his wife: "We are about to walk off the map..." After five months of arduous climbing around the base of the mountain, Wheeler explored the hidden East Rongbuk Glacier and its route to the base of the North Col. On September 23, Mallory became the first person to set foot on the mountain and he, Bullock and Wheeler reached the North Col at 7,020 metres (23,030 ft) before being forced back due to strong winds.[3] To Mallory's experienced eye, the route up the North ridge intersecting the NE Ridge and from there to the summit looked long, but feasible for a fresher party.[2]

United Kingdom 1922: First attempt[edit]

The second British expedition, under General Charles Granville Bruce and climbing leader Lt-Col. Edward Lisle Strutt, and containing Mallory, returned for a full-scale attempt on the mountain. On May 22, they climbed to 8,170 m (26,800 ft) on the North Ridge before retreating. They were the first humans to climb above 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) on a mountain.

A day later, George Finch and Geoffrey Bruce climbed up the North Ridge and Face to 8,320 m (27,300 ft) using oxygen for the first time. They climbed from the North Col to their highest camp at a phenomenal rate of 900 vert-ft/hr., and were the first climbers to sleep using oxygen. Today it is considered a significant climbing accomplishment, achieved by only 28 climbers as of May 2012, to climb the 14 mountains on earth – the eight-thousanders – that reach and exceed 8,000 metres. At 8,321 metres, Finch and Bruce had actually exceeded the summit of 9 of the 14 eight-thousanders.

On June 7, George Mallory, about to lead a third attempt, was caught in an avalanche on the steep walls of the North Col in which seven Sherpa climbers were killed. These became the first reported deaths on Everest.

United Kingdom 1924: Mallory and Irvine[edit]

The third British expedition was led by Brigadier-General Charles Bruce, although becoming indisposed as a result of a flare-up of malaria, he relinquished leadership of the expedition to Lt-Col. Edward Norton, with Mallory promoted to climbing leader. Bruce, Howard Somervell, and John Noel returned from the previous year, along with newcomers Noel Odell and Andrew Irvine.

On June 2, Mallory & Bruce set off from the North Col (C-4) to make the first summit attempt. But extreme wind and cold, exhaustion and the refusal of the porters to carry farther led Mallory to abandon the attempt and the next day the party returned to the North Col camp. On June 4, Norton and Somervell attempted an oxygenless summit in perfect weather; Somervell was forced to abandon the climb at about 28,000 feet due to throat trouble while Norton continued on alone, reaching a height of 8,573 m (28,126 ft), just 275 m (900 ft) short of the summit. Exhausted, he turned back and rejoined Somervell for the descent.

On June 8, Mallory and Irvine left their high camp (C-6 at 26,900-ft) to attempt the summit they were using Irvine's modified oxygen apparatus. Odell, climbing in support below, wrote in his diary that at 26,000-ft he "saw Mallory & Irvine on the ridge, nearing base of final pyramid" climbing what he thought at the time was the very difficult Second Step at 12:50 p.m. It was the last time the two were seen; whether either of them reached the summit remains a question that has reverberated through the decades.

Back in England, the climbing establishment pressured Odell to change his view. After about six months he began to equivocate on which Step it was he saw them—from the Second to possibly the First. If the First, they had no chance of having reached the top; if the Second, they would have had about three hours of oxygen each and the summit was at least three hours away. It is conceivable (though unlikely) that Mallory might have taken Irvine's remaining oxygen and attempted to reach the summit.

A much more probable scenario is that the two reached First Step at about 10:30AM. Mallory, seeing the treacherous nature of the traverse to the Second Step, went it alone. He reconnoitered the base of the climbing crux and decided it was not for him that day. He returned, picked up Irvine and the two decided to climb the First Step for a look around and to photograph the complex approach to the Second Step. It was when climbing this small promontory that they were spotted from below by Odell, who assumed that, since they were ascending, they must therefore have been on the Second Step, although it is now difficult to believe that the two would still be climbing from so low down at a time—five hours late—that was considered to be the turn-around hour. Descending from the First Step, the two continued down when, at 2PM, they were hit by a severe snow squall. Roping up, Mallory, leading, may have slipped pulling himself and Irvine down. The rope must have caught to inflict severe rope-jerk injury around Mallory's (and presumably, Irvine's) waist. Some researchers believe Irvine was able to stay high and struggle along the crest of the NE Ridge another 100 yards, only to succumb to cold and possible injuries of the fall. Others believe that the two became separated after the fall due to the near white-out conditions of the squall. Based on his final location, it would seem that Mallory had continued straight down in search of his partner, while Irvine, also injured, might have continued diagonally down through the Yellow Band.

In 1979, climber Wang Hong-bao of China revealed to the climbing leader of a Japanese expedition that in 1975, while taking a stroll from his bivouac he had discovered "an English dead" at 8100m, roughly below the site of Irvine's ice axe discovered in 1933 near the NE Ridge. Wang was killed in an avalanche the next day before he could provide additional details.

In 1999, however, Conrad Anker of the Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition found Mallory's body in the predicted search area near the old Chinese bivouac. There are opposing views within the mountaineering community as to whether the duo may have reached the summit 29 years before the first successful ascent by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Despite the existence of many theories, the success of Mallory and Irvine's summit assault must be viewed as remote at best.

The leading theory amongst those supporting the summit push has Mallory overcoming the difficulty of the sheer face of the Second Step by standing on Irvine's shoulders. Armed with Irvine's remaining 3/4-full oxygen tank he could conceivably have reached the summit late in the day, but this would have meant that Irvine would have had to descend by himself. However, rope-jerk injuries around Mallory's waist must mean the two were roped when they fell from below the First Step. 1960s Chinese Everest climber Xu Jing told Eric Simonson and Jochen Hemmleb in 2001 that he recalled spotting a corpse somewhere in the Yellow Band. Despite numerous searches of the north face, no sign of Irvine has turned up so far. One researcher claims to have finally spotted Irvine's body using microscopic examination of aerial photographs. This possible discovery set off a new round of search expeditions in 2010 and 2011.

United Kingdom 1933: Ruttledge[edit]

A major expedition, under the leadership of Hugh Ruttledge, set out to climb with the great expectations that this time they would succeed. Oxygen was taken but not used due to the incorrect but lingering belief that it was of little benefit to a properly acclimatised climber. After delays caused by poor weather and illness of team members, a much higher assault camp was placed than in 1924. On the first summit attempt, Lawrence Wager and Percy Wyn-Harris intended to follow the North-East ridge, but were unable to regain it, having bypassed (rather than climb over) the First Step, which they reached at 7 AM. The direct access to the Second Step from the First involves a treacherous traverse. Instead of taking it, they dropped down to follow the lower, easier traverse pioneered by Norton in 1924. Observing the Second Step from 100-ft. below it, Wyn-Harris declared it "unclimbable." Shortly after crossing the Great Couloir, they turned back due to poor snow conditions and the lateness of the hour. A subsequent attempt by Eric Shipton and Frank Smythe followed the same route but Smythe, who pressed on alone when Shipton turned back because of illness, got no higher.[4]

1934[edit]

  • United Kingdom Maurice Wilson, a British eccentric, stated his intention to summit Everest by himself. After only a few flying lessons, Wilson flew illegally from Britain to India, hiking through Darjeeling and into Tibet and with the help of Sherpa guides began his attempt. Wilson was not a climber and had no climbing equipment. He expected to transport himself to the summit with spiritual help and signal the monks at the Ronbuk monastery of his success with a shaving mirror. It is not believed he attained the North Col (7000m). Maurice Wilson's body and his diary were found wrapped in a tent in 1935 by another British expedition. Although several times dumped into a crevasse below the North Col, his body has been rediscovered a number of times, including in 1960 by the Chinese expedition. Unlike Mallory's body, Wilson's has decayed because the temperature at the head of the East Rongbuk Glacier does rise above freezing.[6][7][8][9]

1935[edit]

  • United Kingdom Shipton leads a small reconnaissance expedition during the monsoon season in preparation for the following year's expedition. The team climbed smaller peaks in the vicinity of Everest, and examined alternative possible routes on the mountain, including the West Ridge, and entry into the Western Cwm via Lho La. Both were dismissed as impractical, though Shipton did decide that an ascent from the Western Cwm would be possible if entry from the Nepalese side could be made. This would be the route by which the mountain would eventually be climbed in 1953. The expedition is also notable as the first visit to Everest for Tenzing Norgay, who was engaged as one of the 'porters'.[10]

1936[edit]

  • United Kingdom Ruttledge's second expedition.[11]

1938[edit]

  • United Kingdom After taking part in the 1935 reconnaissance expedition, the prolific British mountaineering explorer Bill Tilman was appointed leader of the 1938 Everest expedition which attempted the ascent via the north west ridge. They reached over 27,000 ft (8,230 m) without supplemental oxygen before being forced down due to bad weather and sickness.[12]

1947[edit]

  • Canadian Red Ensign 1957-1965.svg In March 1947, a Canadian engineer named Earl Denman, Norgay & Ang Dawa Sherpa entered Tibet illegally to attempt the mountain; the attempt ended when a strong storm at 22,000 ft (6,700 m) pounded them. Denman admitted defeat and all three turned around and safely returned.[13]

1950[edit]

  • United Kingdom United States Nepal opened its borders to foreigners. Earlier expeditions had attempted the mountain from Tibet, via the north face. However, this access was closed to western expeditions in 1950, after the Chinese took control over Tibet. In 1950, Bill Tilman and a small party which included Charles Houston, Oscar Houston and Betsy Cowles undertook an exploratory expedition to Everest through Nepal along the route which has now become the standard approach to Everest from the south.

1951[edit]

  • United Kingdom A British expedition led by Shipton, and including Edmund Hillary, Tom Bourdillon, W. H. Murray and Mike Ward travelled into Nepal to survey a new route via the southern face. On September 30 at 20,000 ft (6,100 m) on Pumori, Shipton and Hillary saw the whole of the Western Cwm and concluded that ascent was possible from the top of the Cwm to the west face of Lhotse followed by a traverse to the South Col. They spent the next month attempting to reach the Western Cwm through the Khumbu Icefall but were stopped just short of success when an insurmountable crevasse (100–300 ft wide) blocked further progress near the top of the icefall. Murray wrote: "We were defeated".[14]
  • Denmark Klaus Becker-Larsen along with two Sherpas attempt the North col but turn back due to rockfall. He had no mountaineering experience and minimal equipment. First European to reach Nangpa La.[15]

1952[edit]

  • Switzerland A Swiss expedition led by Edouard Wyss-Dunant attempted to climb via the South Col and the southeast ridge. After five days of effort, the team found a route through the icefall; they got past the crevasse that stymied the 1951 expedition by first descending 60 ft into it to a snow bridge and then used a precarious rope bridge to reach the other side. They were the first people to stand in the Western Cwm. On May 27, four climbers (Raymond Lambert, Tenzing Norgay, Rene Aubert and Leon Flory) started from their tents on the South Col, two teams of Lambert/Tenzing and Aubert/Flory. Lambert/Tenzing reached Camp VII first at 27,500 ft (8,400 m) followed by Aubert/Flory. The tent was too small for both teams and Aubert/Flory decided to return to the South Col. The team had only undergone the ascent for reconnaissance and so only one tent and a bit of food had been taken. On May 28 in unsettled weather, the final assault team of Lambert and Tenzing turned back 150 metres short of the south summit.[16]
  • SwitzerlandThe Swiss attempted another expedition in the autumn of 1952 under the lead of Gabriel Chevalley. Besides Chevalley, the team included again Lambert and Tenzing from the spring expedition, as well as five new climbers. In late November, the team was stopped by bad weather after reaching an altitude of 8100 metres.[17]
  • Soviet Union Several Western climbing journals reported that the Soviet Union had launched an attempt from Tibet in October with the aim of reaching the summit before the following year's British expedition. The alleged expedition, apparently led by Pavel Datschnolian, was said to have been a disaster, resulting in the deaths of Datschnolian and five other men. Both Russian and Chinese authorities have consistently denied that such an attempt took place, no physical evidence has ever been found to confirm its existence, nor is there any record of a person named Pavel Datschnolian.[18][19]

1953: Hillary and Tenzing[edit]

  • United Kingdom New Zealand Nepal In 1953, a ninth British expedition, led by John Hunt and organized and financed by the Joint Himalayan Committee, returned to Nepal. After Wilfrid Noyce and Annullu had forced a passage to the South Col, two climbing pairs previously selected by Hunt attempted to reach the summit. The first pair, Charles Evans and Tom Bourdillon, using closed-circuit oxygen,[20] achieved the first ascent of the 8,750 m (28,700 ft) South Summit, within as little as 100 m (300 ft) of the final summit, but could go no further due to oxygen equipment problems and lack of time.[21] Two days later, the expedition made its second and final assault on the summit with its fittest and most determined climbing pair. Using conventional open-circuit oxygen, the summit was eventually reached at 11:30 a.m. local time on May 29, 1953 by the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay from Nepal climbing the South Col route. They paused at the summit to take photographs and buried a few sweets and a small cross in the snow before descending. Although they characterized it as the culmination of a team effort by the whole expedition, there was intense public speculation as to which of the pair had set foot on the summit first. A few years later to end the speculation Tenzing disclosed that it was Hillary. News of the expedition's success reached London on the morning of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. Times reporter James Morris sent a coded message by runner to Namche Bazaar, where a wireless transmitter was used to relay the message to London. The conquest of Everest was probably the last major news item to be delivered to the world by runner. Returning to Kathmandu a few days later, Hillary and Hunt discovered that they had been knighted for their efforts.

1956: Swiss Expedition[edit]

  • Switzerland The Swiss expedition of 1956 put the next four climbers on the top of Everest. The expedition made the first ascent of Lhotse (fourth highest) when Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger reached the top of Lhotse on May 18. The expedition setup camp 6 on the South Col and camp 7 at 8,400 metres (27,600 ft). On May 23, Ernst Schmied and Juerg Marmet reached the summit of Everest followed by Dolf Reist and Hans-Rudolf von Gunten on May 24.[22]

1960: The North Ridge[edit]

  • China On May 25, a Chinese team consisting of Wang Fuzhou, Qu Yinhua and a Tibetan, Gingbu (Konbu), claimed to have made the first summit via the North Ridge. The claim is without substantiation. The Chinese claimed to have reached the summit at night. The highest photograph was taken somewhere above the Second Step, based on a comparison of the view of distant peaks in the 1960 photograph to later photos showing the same scene, beyond which there are no technically challenging climbs, but nowhere near the summit.

1962[edit]

  • United States Woodrow Wilson Sayre and 3 colleagues made an illegal incursion into China from Nepal and reached about 25,000 feet on the North Ridge before turning back from exhaustion. The attempt was documented in a book by Sayre entitled "Four Against Everest."[23]

1963[edit]

  • United States Nepal First ascent by an American: Jim Whittaker,[24] accompanied by Nawang Gombu Sherpa who later went on to become the first man to climb Everest twice in 1965; first ascent of the West Ridge on May 22 by Americans Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld.[25] Hornbein and Unsoeld descended by the South Col, making the ascent the first traverse of Everest.[26]

1965[edit]

  • Nepal On May 20, Nawang Gombu became the first person to reach the summit twice, firstly with an American expedition in 1963 and secondly with an Indian expedition in 1965.[27]
  • India A 21-man Indian expedition, led by Lieutenant Commander M.S. Kohli, succeeded in putting nine men on the summit. Nawang Gombu belonged to the expedition.[15]

1969[edit]

  • Japan Two reconnaissance expeditions were undertaken in preparation of the 1970 summit expedition. The primary objective was to scout the yet unclimbed south-west face. On October 31, after establishing several camps on the south-west face, a maximum elevation of 8,000m was reached.[28]

1970[edit]

1971[edit]

1972[edit]

1973[edit]

1974[edit]

1975[edit]

  • Japan On May 16, Junko Tabei of Japan became the first woman on the summit. Tabei was one of seven Japanese climbers injured in an avalanche at Camp II on May 4.[33] Tabei and her climbing partner, Sherpa Ang Tshering I, were the 38th/39th unique individuals to complete the ascent.[34] In 1992, Tabei became the first woman to complete the Seven Summits.[35])
  • United Kingdom On September 24, a British expedition led by Chris Bonington achieved the first ascent of the Southwest Face. Summiteers Doug Scott and Dougal Haston made the first ascent by British citizens.[36] The SW Face had defeated five previous expeditions between 1969 and 1973 due to a band of cliffs known as the Rock Band. On September 20, Nick Estcourt and Paul Braithwaite achieved the first ascent of the Rock Band. The summit was reached by two teams: first on September 24 by Scott and Haston, who survived the highest ever bivouac when they were benighted on the South Summit during their descent. On September 26 four more climbers attempted a second ascent. Peter Boardman and Sirdar Pertemba Sherpa were successful, but BBC cameraman Mick Burke, climbing alone after Martin Boysen turned back, failed to return from the summit.[37]

1978: First ascent without oxygen[edit]

1979[edit]

1980[edit]

  • Poland February 17 – First winter ascent by Andrzej Zawada's team from Poland: Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki.[40] This was also the first winter summit of any of the world's fourteen 8000 metre peaks.
  • Poland May 19 – New climbing route on the south face by Poles Andrzej Czok and Jerzy Kukuczka.[40]
  • Italy August 20 – Reinhold Messner became the first to climb Everest solo and without oxygen tanks.[38] He pioneered a new route on the north col/face, roughly continuing Finch's climb in 1922. He traveled the Northwest route for three days entirely alone from his base camp at 6,500 metres (21,300 ft).[39]

1982[edit]

  • Soviet Union The first acknowledged Soviet expedition climbed a new route on the Southwest Face to the left of the Central Gully.[41] Eleven climbers reached the summit, and the route was recognized as technically the hardest route yet climbed on Everest.[42]
  • United Kingdom A small British expedition led by Bonington made the first attempt to climb the full length of the northeast ridge (the Chinese route gained the ridge at a high point via the north face). The summit was not reached, and Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker disappeared while making a final attempt to climb the Three Pinnacles at over 8000m.[43]
  • Canada One of the best planned, equipped, and financed attempts took place in October when the 1982 Canadian Mount Everest Expedition arrived. Tragedy struck early; after the expedition's cameraman died in an icefall and three Sherpas died soon after in an avalanche, six of the Canadian team members threw in the towel. One of the remaining members, Laurie Skreslet along with two Sherpas, made it to the top on October 5, becoming the first Canadian to reach the summit; two days later, Pat Morrow became the second Canadian to do the same.[44]
  • United States May 15 – Marty Hoey falls to her death from the North Side. Marty was widely expected to become the first American woman to summit Everest, which did not occur for another 6 years (see Sept. 29, 1988).[40]
  • Japan December 27 – Everest veteran Yasuo Kato made the second winter ascent and became the first climber to summit everest in three different seasons. He climed alone from the south summit. On his descent, he and his climbing companion Toshiaki Kobayashi bivouaed below the south summit. They failed to return in bad weather.[45]

1983[edit]

  • United States October 8 – Lou Reichardt, Kim Momb, and Carlos Buhler became the first to summit the East Face.[40] The next day Dan Reid, George Lowe and Jay Cassell reached the summit.

1984[edit]

  • Bulgaria April 20 – Bulgarian Hristo Prodanov reached the summit via the west ridge, alone and without oxygen, and died on the way back. On May 8–9, another four members /Metodi Savov and Ivan Valchev on May 8; Nikolay Petkov and Kiril Doskov on May 9/reached the summit via the western ridge route and descended the South Col route. Since the expedition climbed the west ridge proper and didn't go through the Hornbein couloir, it is sometimes credited with opening a new route on the west ridge.[46]
  • India May 23 – Bachendri Pal via the standard southeast ridge route, becoming the first Indian woman to do so.[40]
  • Australia October 3 – First Australian ascent, without supplemental oxygen, on a new route ("White Limbo") on the North Face. Tim Macartney-Snape and Greg Mortimer summitted.
  • United States October 20 - Phil Ershler became the first American to summit Everest’s North Wall.[47]

1986[edit]

  • Switzerland Erhard Loretan and Jean Troillet climb the north face in a single push without oxygen, ropes, or tents in 42 hours, then glissade down in under 5 hours. They climbed mostly at night and carried no backpacks above 8000m, a style that became known as "night naked".
  • Canada Sharon Wood becomes the first North American woman to summit on May 20, with Dwayne Congdon.

1988[edit]

  • France Jean-Marc Boivin of France makes the first paraglider descent of the mountain.[48] Boivin's 11-12 minute, 2,948 metres (9,700 ft) descent to Camp II holds the altitude record for start of a paraglider flight.[49]
  • France Marc Batard completed the southeast route ascent without supplementary oxygen in the record time of 22h 30min from Base Camp to summit.[50]
  • ChinaJapanNepal On May 5, a joint team from China, Japan, and Nepal reached the top from the north and the south simultaneously and crossed over to descend from the opposite sides. This event was broadcast live worldwide.[51]
  • United States September 29 – Stacy Allison becomes the first American woman atop Everest.[40]
  • New Zealand 16 October – Lydia Bradey, New Zealand, became the first woman to climb Everest without oxygen, via the SE ridge, climbing alone. Initially two of her team-mates (who were not at base Camp at the time) disputed her claim but since then the ascent has been recognised by several governments and the Himalayan Data Base (Nepal).
  • Nepal On 10 May 1988, Sungdare Sherpa became the first person to summit Everest five times. Sungdare first summitted on 2 October 1979.[34]

1989[edit]

  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia May 10 Yugoslav expedition. Southeast Ridge. Stipe Bozic, Viki Groselj, Dimitar Ilievski-Murato, and Sherpas Sonam and Agiva all reached the summit. Ilievski-Murato failed to return.[52]
  • Mexico Nepal May 16 – Ricardo Torres-Nava and two Sherpas, Ang Lhakpa and Dorje, got to the mountaintop with supplementary oxygen in an American expedition. Torres-Nava become the first Mexican and Latin American to do so.[53]
  • Mexico July 18 – Carlos Carsolio reached the summit without bottled oxygen. This would be his fifth eight-thousander of fourteen.

1990[edit]

  • Socialist Federal Republic of YugoslaviaSlovenia On October 7, Marija and Andrej Štremfelj became the first married couple to reach the summit. Marija Štremfelj was the first Slovene woman to reach the summit.[citation needed]
  • New Zealand Peter Hillary, Edmund Hillary's son, became the first offspring of a summiter to reach the summit.
  • Australia Tim Macartney-Snape became the first person to walk and climb from sea level to the top of Mount Everest (his second ascent of the peak).[54] Macartney-Snape began his approximately 1,200 km (750 mi) "Sea to Summit" expedition three months earlier, on foot, on Sagar Island in the Bay of Bengal.

1992[edit]

  • Chile Two rival Chilean expeditions; one led by Rodrigo Jordan climbing the second ever ascent through the Kangshung, and the other led by Mauricio Purto became the first South Americans to reach the summit. The first Chilean and South American climber to set foot on the summit was Cristian Garcia-Huidobro at 10:25 on May 15, who is claimed to have insulted and mocked the rival team's leader, Mr. Purto, as he reached the summit on the second place. Supposedly a member of Mr. Purto's team pushed Mr. Garcia-Huidobro enticing him to fight, if this quarrel ever took place it has the dubious honour of being the highest brawl in the world.
  • Israel Doron Erel became the first Israeli to climb Mount Everest.[55]

1993[edit]

  • With ninety alpinists in the autumn alone, commercial climbing started.
  • Nepal April 22 – First ascent by a Nepali woman, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa. She died while descending.[56]
  • SpainVenezuela October 7 – Ramón Blanco of Spain/Venezuela became the oldest person to reach the summit aged 60 years, 160 days.[56]
  • India May 10 - Santosh Yadav of India became the first woman to climb Mount Everest twice within a year (May 1992 and May 1993).

1995[edit]

1996[edit]

In 1996, fifteen people died trying to reach the summit, making it the deadliest year in Everest history. On May 10, a storm stranded several climbers between the summit and the safety of Camp IV, killing Rob Hall, Scott Fischer, Yasuko Namba, Doug Hansen and guide Andy Harris on the south and the Indian (Ladakhi) climbers Tsewang Paljor, Dorje Morup, Tsewang Smanla on the north. Hall and Fischer were both highly experienced climbers who were leading paid expeditions to the summit.

Journalist Jon Krakauer, on assignment from Outside magazine, was in Hall's party. He published the bestseller Into Thin Air about the experience. Anatoli Boukreev, a guide who felt impugned by Krakauer's book, co-authored a rebuttal book called The Climb. The dispute sparked a large debate within the climbing community. In May 2004, Kent Moore, a physicist, and John L. Semple, a surgeon, both researchers from the University of Toronto, told New Scientist magazine that an analysis of weather conditions on that day suggested that freak weather caused oxygen levels to plunge approximately 14%.[57][58]

During the same season, climber and filmmaker David Breashears and his team filmed the IMAX feature Everest on the mountain (some climbing scenes were later recreated for the film in British Columbia, Canada). The 70 mm IMAX camera was specially modified to be lightweight enough to carry up the mountain, and to function in the extreme cold with the use of particular greases on the mechanical parts, plastic bearings and special batteries. Production was halted as Breashears and his team assisted the survivors of the May 10 disaster, but the team eventually reached the top on May 23 and filmed the first large format footage of the summit. On Breashears' team was Jamling Tenzing Norgay, the son of Norgay, following in his father's footsteps for the first time. Also on his team was Ed Viesturs of Seattle, WA, who summited without the use of supplemental oxygen, and Araceli Segarra, who became the first woman from Spain to summit Everest.

The storm's impact on climbers on the mountain's other side, the North Ridge, where several climbers also died, was detailed in a first hand account by British filmmaker and writer Matt Dickinson in his book The Other Side of Everest.

  • Nepal Sherpa Ang Rita was the first person to summit ten times, between 7 May 1983 through 23 May 1996.
  • Italy Hans Kammerlander (Italy) climbed the mountain from the north side in the record ascent time of 17 hours from base camp to the summit. He climbed alone without supplementary oxygen and skied down from 7,800 metres.[50]
  • Sweden Göran Kropp of Sweden became the first person to ride his bicycle all the way from his home in Sweden to the mountain, scale it alone without the use of oxygen tanks, and bicycle most of the way back.

1998[edit]

  • United StatesUnited Kingdom Naturalized American and British born Tom Whittaker, whose right foot had been amputated, became the first disabled person to successfully reach the summit.[59]
  • Nepal Kazi Sherpa became the fastest to summit via southeast ridge (South Col), without supplemental oxygen. Kazi took 20 hours 24 minutes from basecamp to the summit, alone, unsupported, drug-unaided (Diamox not used); thereby breaking Marc Batard's previous record from 1988 by 2 hours 5 minutes.[60][61][62][63]

1999[edit]

  • Nepal Sherpa Babu Chiri Sherpa of Nepal stayed for 21 hours on the mountaintop.[64]
  • South Africa Cathy O'Dowd became the first woman to reach summit from northern and southern routes.
  • Mexico May 5 – Elsa Ávila became the first Mexican and Latin American woman to summit.[65]
  • Japan May 13 – Japanese Ken Noguchi's summitted, making him the youngest to reach the highest peaks on all seven continents at 25 years 265 days old.
  • Ecuador May 25 – Iván Vallejo became the first Ecuadorian to reach the top without bottled oxygen. It would be his third eight-thousander of his fourteen.[66]
  • Georgia (country) May 26 – Mamuka Tsikhiseli from Georgia climbed from the Tibet side at 11:32 a.m local time.
  • Georgia (country) May 12 – Lev Sarkisov from Georgia became the oldest person to reach the summit aged 60 years, 160 days.[citation needed]
  • On the north side of the mountain, as part of Eric Simonson and Jochen Hemmleb's search expedition, Conrad Anker discovered the body of George Mallory at 8165m, roughly below the ice axe discovered on the NE Ridge in 1933. No camera was found. Rope-jerk mottling around Mallory's waist suggest he was roped to Irvine during that—or a previous fall.[67]
  • Greece Constantine Niarchos, billionaire's Stavros Niarchos son, became the first greek to summit Mt Everest. Sadly, a few months later he died.

2000[edit]

  • Pakistan On May 17 Nazir Sabir from Pakistan reached the highest summit at 0730 hours, becoming the first Pakistani to climb to the roof of the world.
  • Slovenia On October 7 Davo Karničar from Slovenia became the first man to accomplish an uninterrupted ski descent from the top to the base camp in five hours. Karnicar reached speeds of 75 mph.[68][69] (While Japanese climber and skier Yuichiro Miura is known for his 6 May 1970 feat as The Man Who Skied Down Everest, his 1,280 metres (4,199 ft) descent on skis began from Everest's 7,906 metres (25,938 ft) South Col.)
  • Poland Anna Czerwińska from Poland became the oldest woman to Summit Mount Everest (at the time) at the age of 50 (born 7/10/49 climbed Everest from the Nepal side on 5/22/2000).

2001[edit]

2002[edit]

  • Russia Expedition by Ural Mountaineering from Yekaterinburg led by Gennady Kirievskiy summited Everest via the North side. All 9 members summited on 18 May 2002.[72]
  • Japan Tamae Watanabe summits at the age of 63 years and 177 days on 16 May, the oldest woman to do so until she sets the record again in 2012.[31]
  • United States Phil and Susan Ershler first couple to climb the Seven Summits after reaching the Everest summit on May 16, 2002.[73]

2003[edit]

  • Dick Bass, the first American to climb the Seven Summits, and who first reached the summit in 1985 at 55 years old, returned to attempt to reclaim his title at age 73, but he made it to base camp only. Bass's teammates included Jim Wickwire and John Roskelley.
  • The Outdoor Life Network staged a high profile survivor style show where the winners got the chance to climb Everest. Conrad Anker and David Breashears were commentators on this expedition.
  • Japan Yuichiro Miura became the oldest person to reach the summit at 70 years and 222 days (on May 22).[31]
  • Nepal Twenty-five-year-old Nepalese Sherpa Pemba Dorjie made the world's fastest ascent in 12 hours 45 minutes on May 23.
  • Nepal Three days later, Sherpa Lakpa Gelu broke this record with 10 hours 56 minutes. After a short dispute with Dorjie, the tourism ministry confirmed Gelu's record in July.[74]
  • Nepal Ming Kipa, 15, became the youngest woman to climb Everest (also becoming the youngest person from 2003 to 2010).[75]

2004[edit]

  • Nepal The fastest oxygen-supported ascent over the southeast ridge (South Col) was Nepalese Pemba Dorjie Sherpa's 2004 climb, taking 8 hours 10 minutes for the 17 km route from base camp to the summit.[74] Pemba's record-claim was subject to an unprecedented dispute by renowned Mt. Everest chronicler Elizabeth Hawley and other mountaineers in Nepal.[76][77] Pemba was later arrested and jailed for his alleged involvement in a swindling scandal unrelated to Mt. Everest.[78] Also on this climb Robert Jen became the first Asian American to climb Mt. Everest.
  • Russia A 13 man Russian expedition led by Victor Kozlov climbed Everest via the North Face, team members summited between May 29 and June 1, 2004.[79]
  • Greece First Greek expedition, led 5 climbers to the summit from the South side and 3 from the North.

2005[edit]

  • China A Chinese government-sponsored survey team with 24 members reached the peak on May 22 to anchor surveying equipment for the remeasurement of summit height. Several methods were used to assess snow and ice thickness for the new measurement and to compare it with historical data.[80]
  • France On May 14, a Eurocopter AS-350 B3 helicopter flew and landed on the summit for the first time, repeating the feat the next day.[81]

2006[edit]

  • New Zealand On May 15, the New Zealander Mark Inglis became the first person to reach the summit with two artificial legs.
  • Japan On May 17, 70-year-old Takao Arayama reached the peak, becoming the oldest man by three days to reach the summit.[31]
  • Nepal On May 19, Apa Sherpa of Thame, Nepal summited for the 16th time, breaking his own world record.
  • United Kingdom Pauline Sanderson became the first person to complete a self-propelled ascent of Mount Everest, the highest point on the earth's surface, starting from the Dead Sea, at −423 metres (−1,388 ft) the lowest point on the earth's surface.[82][83] Sanderson began her approximately 8,000 km (5,000 mi) "EverestMax" expedition six months earlier, by bicycle, from the shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan.[84] (Sanderson's husband, Phil, joined her for the final ascent, making them the first married British couple to summit Everest together.)[84]

2007[edit]

  • Nepal On May 16, Apa Sherpa climbed Everest for the 17th time, breaking his own record.
  • India on 15 and 16 May, 25 members, including 13 sherpas, of the Indian Army Everest Expedition 2007, scaled Mount Everest. This was the forth expedition by the Indian Army to Everest; but the first from Tibet side.[85][86][87]
  • Egypt On May 17, Omar Samra became the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to reach the summit of Everest, at 7:19 EGP.[citation needed]
  • Japan On May 22, Katsusuke Yanagisawa became the oldest person to reach the summit at 71 years and 61 days.[88]
  • United Kingdom On May 24, Kenton Cool reached the summit for the second time in a week.[citation needed]
  • On May 17, first traverse by three women (Filipina) coming North Side, Tibet and going down in South Side, Nepal.[citation needed]
  • Austria The fastest ascent via the northeast ridge was accomplished by Austrian climber Christian Stangl, who took 16 hours 42 minutes for the 10 km distance from Camp III (Advanced Base Camp) to the summit, just barely beating Italian Hans Kammerlander's record of 17 hours, accomplished in 1996.[89][90] Both men climbed alone. In 2010, Stangl was proven, and later confessed to, having claimed a fraudulent summit-climb of K2 in 2010.[91][92][93]

2008[edit]

  • Saudi Arabia On May 21, Farouq Saad al-Zuman reached the summit of the Everest and became the first Saudi Arabian to climb Everest.[94]
  • Nepal On May 22, 2008, Apa Sherpa climbed Everest for the 18th time, again breaking his own record.
  • Japan Nepal Yuichiro Miura reclaimed his title of oldest person to reach the summit at age 75 years and 227 days on May 26, but it was later established that the day before, Nepali Min Bahadur Sherchan, aged 76 years and 330 days had summited.[31] Yuichiro Miura once again reclaimed his title of oldest to reach the summit on May 22, 2013 age 80.[95]

2009[edit]

  • Nepal On May 16, Apa Sherpa climbed Everest for the 19th time, once again breaking his own record.
  • Korea On May 20, Korean climbers Park Young-seok, Jin Jan-chang, Kang Ki-seok and Shin Dong-min reached the summit of Everest via a new route on the Southwest face (Park's Korean Route)[96]

2010[edit]

  • The youngest person to climb Mount Everest was 13-year-old Jordan Romero in May 2010 from the Tibetan side.[97] His ascent, as part of an apparent "race" to bring younger and younger children to the mountain (shortly after Romero's ascent, Pemba Dorjie Sherpa announced plans to bring his 9 year old son to the summit[98]), triggered a wave of criticism that prompted Chinese authorities to establish age limits on Mt Everest. At the present time, China no longer grants permits to prospective climbers under 18 or over 60. Nepal sets the minimum age at 16 but has no maximum age.[99]
  • The oldest climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest from both sides (Nepal and Tibet) of the mountain is 60-year-old Julio Bird, a Puerto Rican cardiologist who reached the summit of Mount Everest from the north side on 17 May 2010.[100]

2011[edit]

  • Japan Takashi Ozaki, 59, dies of altitude sickness while attempting his third ascent.[31]
  • Nepal Apa Sherpa holds the record for reaching the summit more times than any other person, 21 times between 10 May 1990 and 11 May 2011.[101] The record for a non-Sherpa is held by American climber and expedition guide Dave Hahn, reaching the summit 14 times between 19 May 1994 and 26 May 2012.
  • Palestinian territoriesnjkjn Houby became the first Arab and Palestinian woman to reach the summit of Everest on May 21[citation needed]

2012[edit]

  • Japan Tamae Watanabe breaks her own record as the oldest female summiteer, on 19 May at age 73 years and 180 days.[31] She reached the summit from the north side.[102]

2013[edit]

  • United States On April 1, Eli Reimer, 16, became the first teenager with Down syndrome to climb to Everest Base Camp. The expedition was organized to raise funds for Elisha Foundation, a non-profit that supports those living with disabilities.[103]
  • Japan Yuichiro Miura once again reclaimed his title of oldest to reach the summit on May 22, 2013 age 80.[95]
  • Nepal Phurba Tashi Sherpa equals Apa Sherpa's record of 21 summits of Mount Everest.

Timeline of regional, national, ethnic, and gender records[edit]

1975[edit]

  • Japan On May 16, Junko Tabei of Japan became the first woman on the summit. Tabei was one of seven Japanese climbers injured in an avalanche at Camp II on May 4.[33] Tabei and her climbing partner, Sherpa Ang Tshering I, were the 38th/39th unique individuals to complete the ascent.[34] In 1992, Tabei became the first woman to complete the Seven Summits.[35]
  • China On May 27, a Tibetan woman, Phantog, became the first woman to reach the summit from the Tibetan side. Tabei's team had used the North Col route.[33]

1977[edit]

  • South Korea On September 15, Ko Sang-Don (고상돈) became the first Korean to reach the summit.[104]

1978[edit]

1979[edit]

  • Socialist Federal Republic of YugoslaviaSlovenia May 13 – Andrej Štremfelj and Jernej Zaplotnik became the first Yugoslavians - and the first from the region that later (1992) is recognized as the nation of Slovenia - to reach the summit.[105]
  • Socialist Federal Republic of YugoslaviaCroatia May 15 – Stipe Božić from the Yugoslavian expedition becomes the first from the region that later (1992) is recognized as the nation of Croatia to summit.[105]

1980[edit]

  • Spain May 14 – Martín Zabaleta became the first Spaniard to reach the summit.[40]

1982[edit]

1984[edit]

  • India Bachendri Pal was the first woman from India and fifth overall to reach the summit. She was guided to the top by Ang Dorji, who climbed without oxygen. The Indian expedition of which she was a part rescued two stricken Bulgarian climbers descending from the west ridge ascent.
  • Czechoslovakia Jozef Psotka, at the time the oldest person to reach the summit without oxygen, together with Zoltán Demján (cs) and Sherpa Ang Rita reached the summit on October 15. Psotka died during this expedition.
  • Netherlands Bart Vos (nl) becomes the first Dutch to summit Everest.

1985[edit]

1986[edit]

  • Canada Sharon Wood reaches the summit on May 20 thus becoming the first woman from North America and Canada to reach the top. Starting from the Rongbuk Glacier, her route went up to the west shoulder of Everest and then followed the Hornbein Couloir to the summit.[106]

1988[edit]

  • United Kingdom Stephen Venables became the first Briton to ascend the peak without use of oxygen. He pioneered a new route over the East Kangshung Face.
  • United States September 29 – Stacy Allison becomes the first American woman atop Everest.[40]

1989[edit]

1990[edit]

1992[edit]

  • BelgiumIsrael On May 12, Ingrid Baeyens became the first Belgian woman to reach the summit. Another member of the same climbing party, Doron Erel, became the first Israeli to reach the summit.[108]
  • Chile On May 15, two Chilean expeditions reached the summit, also becoming the first South Americans to do so. One team made the second ever ascent via the Kangshung Face.
  • Luxembourg Eugene Berger becomes the first Luxembourgish to summit Mount Everest.[citation needed]
  • Peru Augusto Ortega becomes the first Peruvian to summit Everest.[citation needed]

1993[edit]

1995[edit]

1996[edit]

1997[edit]

  • Finland Veikka Gustafsson became the first Finn to reach the summit without the use of bottled oxygen.
  • Malaysia M. Magendran, 23 May 1997 (11.55 am) and N. Mohandas, 23 May 1997 (12.10 pm) became the first Malaysians to reach the summit.[110]
  • Iceland On May 21,Hallgrimur Magnusson, Bjorn Olafsson, and Einar Kristjan Stefansson become the first Icelandics to reach the roof of the world.[citation needed]

1998[edit]

  • Singapore May 25 - Edwin and Khoo Swee Chiow became the first Singaporean to reach the summit on the first Singapore Mount Everest Expedition.[111]
  • United Kingdom May 26. 7.22 am. Bear Grylls reaches summit, becoming the youngest Briton of that time to summit Mount Everest.[112]
  • Uzbekistan Rustam Radjapov becomes the first Uzbek to reach the top of the world.[citation needed]

1999[edit]

2000[edit]

  • Poland May 22 - Anna Czerwińska, known for being the oldest woman to Summit Mount Everest (at the time) at the age of 50 (born 7/10/49 climbed Everest from the Nepal side.

2001[edit]

2002[edit]

2003[edit]

2004[edit]

  • Greece 16-05-2004 In an expendition under Panayiotis Kotronaros and Paul Tsiantos leadership, George Voutyropoulos became the first Greek climber to the top, followed by Panayiotis Kotronaros, Paul Tsiantos, Michael Styllas and Antonis Antonopoulos.[116]

2005[edit]

  • Serbia On May 29, a six man Serbian expedition from the Vojvodina province reached the summit, the first expedition from Serbia to do so.[117][118][119]
  • Mongolia Gotovdirij Usukhbayar becomes the first Mongolian to summit Mount Everest on May 30, 2005.
  • Iran On June 1, Farkhondeh Sadegh and Laleh Keshavarz become both the first Iranian and Muslim women to reach the summit.[120]
  • Bhutan On May 21, Karma Gyeltshen becomes the first person from Bhutan to summit Everest.[citation needed]

2006[edit]

2007[edit]

  • United States May 16 – Samantha Larson became the youngest American (also rumored the youngest non-Nepalese) ever to summit Everest at age 18; simultaneously becoming the youngest person in the world to climb all of the Seven Summits.
  • Egypt On May 17, Omar Samra became the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to reach the summit of Everest, at 7:19 EGP.
  • On May 17, 1st women traversed on Mt.Everest, three(3) Filipinas, coming from Tibet side going down in Nepal side.
  • Azerbaijan On May 19, Israfil Ashurli became the first Azerbaijani to summit.[122]

2008[edit]

  • Thailand May 22 – Vitidnan Rojanapanich became the first Thai on Everest, held Thai flag and His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej image on top of the summit for his 60th coronation ceremony.[123]
  • Australia May 23 – Cheryl Bart and Nikki Bart became the first mother and daughter combination to summit. They became the first mother/daughter duo to complete the “Seven Summits” challenge, climbing the highest peak of every continent.[124]
  • Jordan May 25 – Mostafa Salameh became the first Jordanian on Everest, planted the Jordanian flag on the peak.[125]
  • Algeria Nadir Dendounne becomes the first Algerian to summit Everest.[citation needed]
  • Vietnam Thanh-Nhien Bhan, Bui-Van Ngoi, and Mau-Linh Nguyen became the first Vietnamese to summit Everest.[citation needed]

2009[edit]

  • Nepal On May 16, Apa Sherpa climbed Everest for the 19th time, once again breaking his own record.
  • United States Nepal May 20 – Scott Parazynski reached the summit, becoming the first astronaut to summit the world's tallest mountain.
  • United Kingdom May 20 – Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 65, became the oldest Briton to climb Everest.[126]
  • Singapore May 20 – Li Hui, Esther Tan and Jane Lee became the first Singaporean women to summit.[127] They were part of the first Singaporean all-women team, of which five members out of six made the summit.[128]
  • Korea On May 20, Korean climbers Park Young-seok, Jin Jan-chang, Kang Ki-seok and Shin Dong-min reached the summit of Everest via a new route on the Southwest face (Park's Korean Route)[96]
  • United States May 23 - Lori Schneider, 52, became the first person in the world with MS to summit Mt. Everest and complete the Seven Summits, as recognized by the World MS Federation

2010[edit]

2011[edit]

  • Thailand May 21 - Arkhom Kijwanichprasert, became the second Thai to reach the summit and the first Thai who got to the summit from North Ridge route on Tibetan side.

[137]

  • Palestinian territories May 21 - Suzanne Al Houby, became the first Palestinian and Arab woman to reach the summit

[138][139]

  • Mauritius May 26 – Jaysen Arumugum became the first Mauritian to reach the summit.[140][141]
  • Palestinian territoriesSuzanne Al Houby became the first Arab and Palestinian woman to reach the summit of Everest on 21/5/2011.

2012[edit]

  • Iran May 18 – Parvaneh Kazemi, 42, is the first climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 2012. One week later on May 25, at 7 a.m., she climbed Lhotse, becoming the first woman to climb both Everest and Lhotse in the same season (28 men have accomplished this feat).[142]
  • Costa Rica May 24 – Warner Rojas became the first man from Costa Rica to climb Mount Everest.[145]
  • United Kingdom May 25 – Paul Keleher, 28, of the United Kingdom takes the London 2012 Olympic Flag to the top of Mount Everest, becoming the first person to take an official Olympic Flag to the summit.[146]
  • Japan Tamae Watanabe breaks her own record as the oldest female summiteer, on 19 May at age 73 years and 180 days.[31] She reached the summit from the north side.[102]
  • Tanzania Wilfred Moshi becomes the first Tanzanian to summit Everest on May 25, 2012.

2013[edit]

See also[edit]

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Bibliography[edit]

  • Gillman, Peter, ed. (1993). Everest – The Best Writing and Pictures from Seventy Years of Human Endeavour. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0316904896. 
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