Everest Facts for KiDs
Updated December 2017
Mt. Everest


  • Everest is 29,035 feet or 8848 meters high
  • The summit is the border of Nepal to the south and China or Tibet on the north
  • It is over 60 million years old
  • Everest was formed by the movement of the Indian tectonic plate pushing up and against the Asian plate
  • Everest grows by about a quarter of an inch (0.25") every year
  • It consist of different types of shale, limestone and marble
  • The rocky summit is covered with deep snow all year long


  • The Jet Stream sits on top of Everest almost all year long
  • The wind can blow over 200 mph
  • The temperature can be -80F
  • In mid May each year, the jet stream moves north causing the winds the calm and temperatures to warm enough for people to try to summit. This is called the 'summit window'. There is a similar period each fall in November.
  • It can also be very hot with temperatures over 100F in the Western Cwm, an area climbers go through to reach the summit.


  • Like all mountains around the world the local indigenous people were the first to see it
  • Everest is called Chomolungma by the Tibetan people. It means mother goddess of the universe
  • Everest was named Sagarmatha by the Nepal Government. It means goddess of the sky
  • It was first identified for the western world by a British survey team lead by Sir George Everest in 1841
  • Everest was first named Peak 15 and measured at 29,002 feet in 1856
  • In 1865, it was named Mount Everest, after Sir George Everest
  • In 1955, the height was adjusted to 29,028 feet and is still used by Nepal
  • China uses 29,015 feet as the official height today
  • Using GPS technology, the summit was measured at 29,035 feet or 8850 meters in 1999
  • Nepal started to remeasure Everest in 2017 due to the 2015 earthquake and will be finished by 2020

Summits - updated December 2017

Early Attempts and Summits

  • The first attempt was in 1921 by a British expedition from the north (Tibet) side
  • The first summit was on May 29, 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa from Nepal. They climbed from the south side on a British expedition lead by Colonel John Hunt.
  • The first north side summit was on May 25, 1960 by Nawang Gombu (Tibetan) and Chinese climbers Chu Yin-Hau and Wang Fu-zhou
  • The youngest person to summit was American Jordan Romero, age 13 years 11 months, on May 23, 2010 from the north side.
  • The oldest person to summit was Japanese Miura Yiuchiro, age 80 on May 23, 2013
  • The first climbers to summit Everest without bottled oxygen were Italian Reinhold Messner with Peter Habler in 1978
  • Reinhold Messner is the only person to have truly summited Everest solo and without supplemental oxygen. He did it in 1980 from the Tibet side via the Great Couloir

Male Summits

  • The youngest male to summit was American Jordan Romero, age 13 years 10 months, on May 23, 2010 from the north side.
  • The oldest male to summit was Japanese Miura Yiuchiro, age 80 on May 23, 2013
  • Apa Sherpa (Thami Og), Phurba Tashi Sherpa (Khumjung)and Kami Rita (Topke) Sherpa (Thami) all hold the record for most summits (male or female) with 21, the most recent one in 2017 by Kami Rita.
  • American Dave Hahn has the most non-Sherpa summits with 15, the most recent in 2013

Female Summits

  • The first woman to summit Everest was Junko Tabei of Japan in 1975
  • The oldest woman to summit was Japanese Tamae Watanabe, age 73, in 2012 from the north
  • The youngest woman to summit was Indian Malavath Poorna, 13 years 11 months on May 25, 2014 from the north side
  • 536 women have summited through June 2017
  • Nepali, Lakpa Sherpani holds the women's summit record with eight (1 South, 7 north)

Summit Statistics

  • There have been 8,306 summits of Everest through June 2017 on all routes by 4,833 different people.
  • 1,106 people, mostly Sherpa, have summited multiple times
  • The Nepal side is more popular with 5,280 summits compared to 3,026 summits from the Tibet side
  • 208 climbers summited without supplemental oxygen through June 2017, about 2.5%
  • 32 climbers have traversed from one side to the other.
  • 542 climbers have summited from both Nepal and Tibet
  • 88 climbers have summited more than once in a single season

Death Statistics

  • 288 people (173 westerners and 115 Sherpas) have died on Everest from 1924 to June 2017 or 3.4% , a rate of 1.22
  • Of the deaths, 168 died attempting to summit without using supplemental oxygen.
  • Of the 288 deaths, 71 died on the descent after their summit or 25%
  • The Nepalese side has seen 5,280 summits with 181 deaths through June 2017 or 3.6%, a rate of 1.27. 121 died not using Os.
  • The Tibet side has seen 3,206 summits with 107 deaths through June 2017 or 3.7%, a rate of 1.15. 47 died not using Os.
  • Most bodies all are still on the mountain but China has removed many bodies from sight.
  • The top causes of death on both sides were from avalanche (77), fall (67), altitude sickness (32) and exposure (26).
  • About 63% of all expeditions put at least one member on the summit.
  • From 1923 to 1999: 170 people died on Everest with 1,169 summits or 14.5%. But the deaths drastically declined from 2000 to 2017 with 7,056 summits and 118 deaths or 1.7%.
  • However, two years skewed the deaths rates with 17 in 2014 and 14 in 2015.
  • The reduction in deaths is primarily due to better gear, weather forecasting and more people climbing with commercial operations.


  • There are 18 different climbing routes on Everest
  • It takes 40 days to climb Mt. Everest in order for the body to adjust to the high altitude
  • There is 66% less oxygen in each breath on the summit of Everest than at sea level
  • Thin nylon ropes are used to keep climbers from falling.
  • Climbers wear spikes on their boots called crampons
  • They also use ice axes to help stop a fall
  • Thick, puffy suits filled with goose feathers keep climbers warm
  • Most climbers eat a lot of rice and noodles for food
  • Almost all climbers use bottled oxygen because it is so high. It helps keep the climbers warm.
  • Climbers start using bottled oxygen at 26,000 feet but it only makes a 3,000 foot difference in how they feel so at 27,000 feet, they feel like they are at 24,000 feet
  • You have to be 16 or older to climb from the Nepal side and between 18 and 60 on the Chinese side.
  • The average expedition takes about 39 days.


  • Sherpa is the name of a people. They mostly live in western Nepal. They migrated from Tibet over the last several hundred years
  • Sherpa is also used as a last name
  • Usually their first name is the day of the week they were born.
    • Nyima - Sunday
    • Dawa - Monday
    • Mingma - Tuesday
    • Lhakpa - Wednesday
    • Phurba - Thursday
    • Pasang - Friday
    • Pemba - Saturday
  • Sherpas help climbers by carrying tents and cooking food to the High Camps
  • Sherpas climb Everest as a job to support their families
  • Sherpas can get sick from the altitude like anyone
  • Sherpas feel it is disrespectful to stand literally on the tippy top since that is where Miyolangsangma, the Tibetan Goddess of Mountains, lives.


  • Babu Chiri Sherpa spent the night on the summit in 1999
  • Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi both hold the record for most summits with 21, the most recent one in 2013
  • Over 33,000 feet of fixed rope is used each year to set the South Col route
  • You have to be at least 16 to climb Everest from the south side and 18 from the north
  • Climbers burn over 10,000 calories each day, double that on the summit climb
  • Climbers will lose 10 to 20 lbs during the expedition

I returned to climb Mt. Everest and stood on the summit on May 21, 2011.You can read about my climb over the internet on my Blog at www.alanarnette.com/blog.

This was to raise awareness and research funds for Alzheimer's Disease and 100% of all donations go to Alzheimer's. This was part of climbing the 7 Summits - the highest mountain on each continent.

Home Everest Facts for KiDs next
Material Copyright © 1999 - 2018 Alan Arnette
Site Home Contact Alan About