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The Formidable Mount Everest

By Amita Vadlamudi

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Mount Everest, a Nepalese - Tibetan mountain on the ridge of the Great Himalayas is known to be the highest mountain in the world, elevating to about 29,029 ft (8,848 m). By the locals, it is referred to as Chomolungma, meaning “Goddess Mother of the World’ or “Goddess of the Valley.”

In 1955 a group of Indian surveyors ventured to the Everest, and using the best equipment at hand at that time they measured the height of the mountain. The mountain was established that year as the largest in the world and eventually confirmed by a survey in China, by the year 1975.

The Everest is very challenging to reach, and even more challenging to ascend, even though many efforts have been made to make the struggles easier through advancement in equipment, transportation, weather forecasting, and communication systems.

The alp is situated in a secluded area. There are no roads on the Nepalese side of the mountain, and though now airstrips have been built in the Khumbu Valley to facilitate transport to the mountain, in the 1960s all supplies had to be carried by humans and animals. However, the airstrips are only built in the vicinity of the mountain; there is still a lot of footwork involved in reaching the mountain itself. From the Tibet side, a road has been constructed to the north side Basecamp.

Due to its size and the great challenges that it poses, Mount Everest has attracted many adventurous climbers from around the world. Though the standard route carved out into the mountain does not pose any significant challenges to the mountaineers, it still poses dangers such as weather and wind, altitude sickness, sudden avalanches, and many more. As of 2017, there have been an estimated 300 deaths on the Everest.

The peak was established to be the highest of its kind in 1952 by a Bengali surveyor and mathematician named Radhanath Sikhdar, who first called it “Peak XV”. The mountain was named Everest after Surveyor General Sir George Everest who was overseeing the original surveying of “Peal XV”.

Though the mountain is notorious for being very unforgiving to its climbers, there have been two men who set a world record for climbing the mountain successfully 21 times from the years 1990 and 2011. The men were Apa Sherba and Phurba Tashi. Sherpa has shown concern over the effects of global warming on the mountain. The melting glaciers have started to cause considerable damage to many homes of the locals including Sherba’s.

The mountain has always been held as the symbol of strength, challenge, and beauty, inviting and challenging the most experienced of all mountaineers. But as Sherba says, the global warming situation is very dire and can cause substantial damage that the world is not prepared to fight.

About the Author: Amita Vadlamudi is a former IT professional. She currently writes articles on various subjects including Science, Technology and History. Ms. Vadlamudi’s professional qualifications and her interests may be found at the following web sites.