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Everest Timeline

A chronology of the world's highest peak

by Borgna Brunner
 
1852–1920 1921–1953 1955–1978 1996–Present
1852

The Great Trigonometrical Survey of India establishes that "Peak XV" in the Himalayas is the highest mountain in the world.

1865

Called Chomolungma in Tibet and Sagarmatha in Nepal, the world's highest mountain is named after Sir George Everest, the British Surveyor General from 1830-1843.

1920

The 13th Dalai Lama opens Tibet to foreigners. British reconnaissance party leaves Darjeeling to explore a route to Mt. Everest from the Tibetan side.

1921

First attempt to climb Mt. Everest made by a British team which included George Mallory.

1922

The first recorded deaths on Everest occur when seven Sherpa porters, part of a British expedition, die in an avalanche.

1924

George Mallory, 38, and Andrew Irvine, 22, disappear on their way to the summit. They were last spotted by a member of the expedition, who reported they "were going strong for the top." Whether they reached the summit remains a mystery.

1952

Swiss climber Raymond Lambert and renowned Sherpa climber Tenzing Norgay almost make it to the South Summit before turning back.

1953

First summit of Everest accomplished by Edmund Hillary, New Zealand, for the British Commonwealth, and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa from India. Neither will ever acknowledge which of them was technically the first.

1955

The height of Mt. Everest is adjusted by 26 feet to 29,028 feet (8,848 m) from the original measurements of the 1852 Great Trigonometrical Survey of India.

1963

The first American, James Whittaker, summits Everest.

1975

Junko Tabei (Japan) becomes the first woman to summit.

1978

Reinhold Messner (Italy) and Peter Habeler (Austria) make the first ascent without supplemental oxygen.

1980

Reinhold Messner makes the first solo ascent of Everest (also without supplemental oxygen).

1996

15 climbers died on Everest — the most casualties in a single year.

1999

George Mallory's body is found by a search expedition at 27,000 feet. Searchers had hoped to find a camera that might contain photos of Mallory and Irvine on the summit or some other proof that they were the first to summit Everest, but no evidence is found. On May 5 a team of nine made satellite observations at the summit of Everest.

On Nov. 11, the revised official elevation of Everest is announced by the National Geographic Society to be 29,035 feet (8,850 meters).

2000

142 climbers make it to the summit—the most ever in a single year.

2001

American Erik Weihenmayer becomes the first blind person to reach Everest's top.

2003

At 70, Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura becomes the oldest person ever to reach Everest's summit, and a 15-year-old Sherpa girl, Ming Kipa, becomes the youngest.

2006

Appa Sherpa climbs Everest for the 16th time, breaking his own record for being the person who has climbed Everest the most. He first summited in 1989.

Takao Arayama displaces Yuichiro Miura's record and becomes the oldest Everest climber at 70 years, 7 months, and 13 days. Miura was 70 years, 7 months, and 10 days.

2007

The first cellphone call is made from the top of Everest by Rod Baber, a British climber. "It's cold, it's fantastic, and the Himalayas are everywhere," he said in the call.

Katsusuke Yanagisawa, 71, becomes the oldest person to scale Everest, beating the previous record set by Takao Arayama, 70, in 2006. He is the third Japanese in recent years to set a record as the oldest Everest climber.

Clare O'Leary becomes the first Irishwoman to summit Everest and Pat Falvey becomes the first Irishman to summit from both the Nepalese and Tibetan sides.

2008

On May 8, the Olympic torch was carried by climbers to the “roof of the world,” reaching the 29,035 foot summit of Mount Everest at 0920 local time. During the ascent, Tibetan women were the first and last to carry the torch.

On May 22, Apa, a veteran Sherpa guide, climbed to the top of Mount Everest for the 18th time at age 47, beating his own record for the most summits of the world's tallest mountain.

Nepali national Min Bahadur Sherchan, 76, became the oldest person to summit Everest on May 25.

2009

The May 2009 climbing season witnessed the 19th successful trip for Apa Sherpa as a member of the Eco Everest Expedition, while Dave Hahn of Taos, New Mexico reached a milestone when he summited for the 11th time, the most for a non-Sherpa.

2010

Apa Sherpa broke his own world record and reached the summit of Mt. Everest for the 20th time on 22 May 2010.

On May 22, Jordan Romero, a 13-year-old from California, became the youngest person to summit Everest.

2011

The mountain claimed its first climber on May 9; Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay, 81, an ex-foreign minister from Nepal died during his attempt to become the oldest summiter of the great mountain.

Apa Sherpa again broke his own world record and reached the summit of Mt. Everest for the 21st time on 11 May 2011.

On May 21, John Delaney, 41, from Kilcock, Co Kildare, became the first Irishman to die on Mt. Everest—just 50m from the summit, and only days after his wife gave birth to their third child.

2012

Japan's Tamae Watanabe, 73, became the oldest woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest on May 19, 2012. She successfully climbed Everest in 2002 at age 63.

2013

The estimated 600 summits in the spring of 2013 brought the total estimated summits to 6,800.

Phurba Tashi joined Apa Sherpa in the record books with 21 summits.

On May 23, Japanese Miura Yiuchiro became the oldest person to summit at age 80.

2014

Sixteen Sherpa guides die in an avalanche in April. They were fixing ropes for climbers at an elevation of 19,000 feet when the avalanche hit. It is the single most deadly accident on Everest. After the incident, dozens of Sherpa guides walked off the job in protest over the Nepalese government's response to the tragedy. The government pledged a relief sum of around $400 to the families of the guides who died in the avalanche. The Sherpa guides were angered by the relief sum, calling it an insult.


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