Being the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest has attracted considerable attention and climbing attempts. Whether the mountain was climbed in ancient times is unknown. It may have been climbed in 1924, although this has never been confirmed, as the two Men who made the attempt did not return from the mountain. Several climbing routes were attempted over the course of several decades by Climbing expeditions established on the mountain.
The first known ascent of Everest occurred in 1953, and climber interest increased. Despite the efforts and attention put into the expeditions, only about 200 people had been counted by 1987. Everest remained a difficult climb for decades, even for serious attempts by professional climbers and major national Expeditions, which were the norm until the commercial era began in the 1990s. As of March 2012, Everest had been climbed 5,656 times, killing 223 people. Although lower mountains have longer or steeper climbs, Everest is so high that the jet stream can hit it. Climbers can face winds in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h) when the weather changes. At certain times of the year, the jet stream shifts to the north, providing periods of relative calm on the Mountain. Other hazards include blizzards and avalanches. As of 2013, the Himalaya database recorded 6,871 summits by 4,042 different Individuals.
First successful ascent by Tenzing and Hillary 1953
In 1953, a ninth British expedition led by John Hunt returned to Nepal. Hunt selected two pairs of climbers to attempt to reach the summit. The first pair, Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, came within 100 m (330 ft) of the summit on May 26, 1953, but returned after oxygen problems. As planned, their work in route finding and breaking tracks and their oxygen supplies were of great help to the following pair. Two days later, the expedition made its second Summit assault with the second pair of climbers: The New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa climber (see photo). They reached the summit at 11:30 a.m. local time on May 29, 1953, via the South Col route. At the time, both acknowledged that it was a team effort by the entire expedition, but Tenzing revealed a few years later that Hillary had been the first to set foot on the summit. They stopped on the summit to take photos, and buried some candy and a small cross in the snow before descending.
News of the expedition's success reached London on the morning of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation on June 2. A few days later, the Queen gave orders that Hunt (a Briton) and Hillary (a New Zealander) be knighted for advancement to the Order of the British Empire. Tenzing, a Nepalese Sherpa who held Indian citizenship, was awarded the George Medal by the United Kingdom. Hunt was eventually made a life peer in the United Kingdom, while Hillary became a charter member of the Order of New Zealand. Hillary and Tenzing were also recognized in Nepal. In 2009, statues were erected in their Statues were erected in their honor, and in 2014 Hillary Peak and Tenzing Peak were named after them.