Everest Basecamp Trek and History

The Scott Fischer Memorial, 1996

Mount Everest is the world’s tallest peak. It stands a 8,848 meters or 29,035 feet. Everest is know by many names. In Tibetan it is Jomolungma or ”Holy Mother” in Mandarin: Zhūmùlǎngmǎ Fēng which is Jomolungma Peak and in Nepali - Sagarmāthā.
It has been a source of  wonder and adventure for anyone who has any sense of adventure. Most mountaineers—though they might not say it—have a  dream to summit this majestic peak. From early child-hood we learn of  Everest in school and those with any sense of adventure daydream about one day reaching its peak. It has drawn mountaineers from all over the world to it’s doorstep, but very few have actually been able to summit it and return safely.

In spite of the the inherit danger of trying to conquer Mount Everest remains an enigma and is shrouded in mystery. Expeditions travel there all year long hoping to join the elite group of mountaineers who have stepped foot on its peak. Many only make it to Everest base camp.

A number of expeditions to summit  Mount Everest have been made over the years. Below are the top five most prominent. These expeditions are considered as the benchmarks of  Everest expeditions and serve as inspiration for everyone who travels to its basecamp.


The Mallory Expedition, 1924

George Mallory was a mountain climber and avid adventurer from Britain. He set out in 1922 to summit Mount Everest. The expedition was set with disaster from the beginning. Several porters were killed in an avalanche. But this did not deter Mallory and he set out on a second expedition to Everest in 1924. This was exactly two years later when he reached the Everest base camp and set out to scale the mountain peak. Mallory’s expedition set out from base camp on June 8th, 1924, The expedition was plague by problems from the start and after numerous accidents and mishaps, Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew Irvine attempted to summit Everest alone. They were last seen on the Second Step. The Second Step is only a few hours from the summit. But Mallory and Irvine never returned so no one will ever know if  they were able to summit Mount Everest. George Mallory’s body was found in 1999, but Irvine’s body was never found.


The First Successful Ascent of Everest, Year 1953


A previous post had more history on the first successful summit of Everest. It was in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and his sherpa Tenzing Norgay.


The First Solo Ascent, 1980

In 1978 a famous Italian mountain climber Reinhold Messner with his climbing partner, Peter Habeler summited  Mount Everest without using any bottled oxygen, up to this point it was considered impossible. Two years later Messner  set another record by climbing Everest solo.

 

The Everest Disaster, 1996
In 1996 more than 30 climbers set out together from the Everest base camp to scale Everest. They managed to reach the summit however, most of them died in a blizzard due to cold exposure. This disaster was immortalized in a book and a the movie “Into Thin Air.”


The Fastest Ascent Ever, 2004

The fastest ascent of  Mount Everest was made by sherpa Pemba Dorjie in 2004. He completed it in just eight hours and ten minutes.