How Many People Have Climbed Mount Everest?

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  • Originally Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Revised By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 29 May 2020
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At 29,028 feet (8,848 meters), Mount Everest is the tallest mountain of the world. It is considered one of the most challenging mountains to climb, and is part of the Seven Summits, which have the highest peaks on each continent. Though it's impossible to say how many people have reached Everest's summit at any given time since the number changes every year, as of September 2011 over 3,100 climbers from over 20 countries had made over 5,100 recorded climbs, mostly after 2000 CE. As of 2012 there were over 220 recorded fatalities, most of which took place before 1990. Changes in climbing equipment led to a sharp drop in fatalities in the 2000s, with the death rate dropping from 37% in 1990 to about 4.4% in 2004.

Notable Ascents

The first officially recorded summit was accomplished by Sir Edmund Percival Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a sherpa from Nepal, on 29 May 1953. There were several claims that previous climbers had reached the summit before them, notably George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine. Mallory and Irving may have summited Mount Everest in 1924, but they died in the attempt and it's unclear from the placement of the bodies whether they actually reached the top or not.

The first woman to climb Mount Everest was Junko Tabei, who reached the summit in 1975. Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler were the first to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, which they did in 1978. In 1980, Messner was also the first solo climber to reach the summit. Other notable ascents include:

  • Min Bahadur Sherchan, 25 May 2008: the oldest person to summit the mountain as of 2011. He was 76 when he reached the top.

  • Jordan Romero, 25 May 2010: the youngest person to summit the mountain as of 2011. He was 13 when he reached the top.

  • Erik Weihenmayer, 25 May 2001: The first blind climber to summit Mount Everest.

  • Tamae Watanabe, 19 May 2012: The oldest woman to reach the top. She was 73 years old.

  • Apa Sherpa 10 May 1990 - 11 May 2011: the person who has made the most summits as of 2011. Sherpa climbed Everest 21 times between 1990 and 2011.
  • Mona Mulepati and Pem Dorje Sherpa, 30 May 2005: the first couple to get married on top of Mt. Everest.

Making an Ascent

There are a total of about 15 recognized routes for climbing Mount Everest, but only two main ones. One starts in Nepal, and runs up the southeast ridge of the mountain, and the other starts in Tibet, and runs up the north ridge. Each of these routes has its own base camp for people to start out from, called the South Base Camp and the North Base Camp, respectively. The South Base Camp is generally more popular, since the southeast ascent is easier and several permits are required to go to the North Base Camp. As both of the camps are high above sea level, most people stop over for a few days to get used to the altitude.

After resting in the base camp, climbers generally start their ascent very early in the morning, as its much more dangerous to try to summit after around 11 in the morning. People almost always go as part of an expedition or guided tour. Many expeditions and tours include helpers and people to carry equipment, and sometimes even cooks. Members of a local ethnic group, called Sherpas, often work as guides or helpers. Climbers make their ascent and descent in steps, moving from camp to camp over the course of several days, which gives them time to adjust to the changing altitude and to rest in between climbs.

Effects on Climbers

The combination of cold and altitude has a number of physical effects on climbers. Many people experience altitude sickness, which causes dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. There is only about a third of the oxygen at near the top of Everest as there is at sea level, which makes it difficult to breathe, and puts climbers at risk for High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain. Climbers are also at risk for High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPA), a condition in which fluid accumulates in the lungs. The cold also causes frostbite and hypothermia.

Impact on the Mountain

The increased climber and tourist traffic on Mount Everest has led to an increase in litter and waste being left behind. As of 2008 there was an estimated 120 tons of litter on the mountain, mostly oxygen tanks, tents, and other equipment. Human waste is also an issue, with almost 900 pounds (about 400 kg) of human waste having been collected off of Mount Everest between 2008 and 2011.

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Discuss this Article

Post 121

It's simple. Climb if you must but take everything you add to the mountain off. Yes, including your poo. Put money into a fund so that if you don't make it someone will take your carcass off the mountain, and your gear.

Anything less then this is selfish and you shouldn't be allowed to climb.

Post 117

Mallory was most likely among the 80 percent of climbers who perished on their way down from the summit.

Post 115

Who was the most obese person to ever reach the summit? Did he smoke as well?

Post 114

What animals live on Mount Everest and has anyone seen a picture of any animals there?

Post 112

How many people are on the mountain at one time during the season? I just watched a documentary and a guy (Geordie Stewart) from England was the youngest to climb all seven tallest summits on seven continents, Everest looked busier than my High Street! Lots of dead bodies lying around too.

Post 111

People have the right to risk their lives as they wish.

Some day I fear that nanny-state leftists will have outlawed all possible risk, and turned us into passive farm animals.

Read "1984" or "Animal Farm." Educate yourselves, people.

Post 108

I just watched the doc film, "Dying for Everest." I was shocked how many dead bodies from climbers are still up on Everest (over 219) who have died climbing it. The bodies stay up on the mountain because it is too dangerous for rescuers to take them off.

The place near the summit where there is a ladder is called "Rainbow Valley" by the climbers because of all the dead bodies below from the colors of their jackets and gear.

The risk of dying decreases when you go in groups and under the correct conditions and with expert assistance. Nevertheless, it is dangerous and that is part of the thrill the climbers seem to ache for.

Post 102

I don't need to climb Mt. Everest. I rode "Expedition Everest" at Disneyworld. It cost me almost as much and I waited in line about the same amount of time.

Post 100

I'm surprised how uneducated people are regarding Everest and how envious some of you are for those who climbed.

The Everest climb is free. All you have to pay is the permit -10,000 dollars per person but the rest you can do yourself but...

Good luck. I climbed it two times and I paid. It also provide employment to many Nepali people.

Don't be envious -- just find your own challenge.

Post 99

95 Everything I have read by serious climbers makes the crown jewel climbing K2, not Everest. The most common reason being that K2 is considered the harder of the two to summit.

Post 98

Mt. Everest was made when the indian plate and the eurasian plate collided 60 million years ago, the indian plate was moving at a very fast rate in geographical terms, and so when it collided it pushed up this great mountain range, the Himalayas, which happens to hold Mt. everest. Mt. everest is still growing (2.14 inches per year) taller today because the plates are still slowly colliding pushing the mountains higher and higher. But erosion is still taking place.

The fastest growing mountain range happens to be the Rocky Mountain Range in north america. it is said that one day the Rockies will come to conquer the himalayas because of how fast they are eroding. Who knows? Maybe America will one day be home to the tallest mt in the world.

Post 91

basic necessities for climbing mount everest cost around $40,000! (just for basics).

Post 88

71 - good luck!

Post 87

If it is impossible to state how many people have climbed Mount Everest. why do you have a statistic of a 9 percent fatality rate? You would just take that number and divide into 179 to find how many people made it or attempted.

Post 86

All you people keep asking the same questions and they have been answered in posts before yours so read above.

Post 83

What people do on climbing the mountain? why do we want to know about all the things in the mountain? what is the profit for the climber?

Post 82

it seems that Sherpa Tenzing failed six times. In his seventh attempt he was successful in reaching the peak..

is this true? if yes, what is the reason for his failure?

Post 80

how many people have climbed mt. everest without O2?

Post 79

George Mallory and Irvine both died on the mountain but who knows if they reached the summit?

Well, some believe and some don't.

Mallory told his wife that he would place a picture of her on the summit of Mount Everest, so he took it with him in his wallet.

His body has been found and whoever found the corpse took his wallet and the picture wasn't there.

Post 78

Have not the natives been climbing everest? How many and when did the natives climb it? Do You really think that white people are the only ones who count in everything? They live there and get you up the mountain. I never hear of their climbs.

Post 75

How much rubbish has been deposited on the mountain and left there forever?

Is climbing Everest now nothing more than a selfish indulgence?

Why are people reluctant to help other climbers?

Post 74

Sir Rannulf Feinnes has climbed it last year!

he rocks!

Post 72

13 year old Jordan Romero has set a new record for youngest person to scale the mountain.

Post 71

That is a lot of people. i would not want to climb mount everest or any mountain. it would take a long time for me as i have a sprained ankle, but when it's all better i might climb it. wish me luck.

Post 70

i want to know the first five names who reached at mount everest. Please can you help me.

Post 69

number 5 they had climbed because they wear heavy clothes,hoods,and goggles. and they are tied together by a 12-foot rope. then the time comes when it is hard to breathe. They used oxygen masks, then when they reach the top of the mountain they shake hands together. I wish i could see/meet them. they're my favorite mountain climbers.

Post 68

hey the sixteen men died because the air is thin

Post 63

mount everest is not the tallest mountain in the world. it is because there is different height of see level and that one is smaller than the tallest one.

Post 62

Twelve people died near the top in 1996 .

Post 51

How did those people that was climbing Mount Everest die?

Post 50

This article is great. I am going to recommend it to all of my friends doing the report on Everest!

Post 49

who was the first person who tried to climb mount everest?

Post 48


Post 45

so, how many people did summit mount everest?

Post 43

Thanks. I will use this info in my report.

Post 40

Mt. Everest isn't really the highest mountain. It is the highest as far as sea level, but the point on the earth that is farthest from earth's center is Chimborazo in Ecuador. This is caused from the earth's slightly un-spherical shape and sea level is at different elevations on the earth depending where you are located.

Post 39

Around 10,000 people have attempted to climb Mount Everest. 3,500 successfully reached the summit and more than 200 died trying.

Post 31

i love this, but can you please tell me how many people reached it and their names.

Post 29

will mount everest ever have a road to base camp so no one will die ever again there? would it ever happen? who thinks so?

Post 28

how many people have reached the mt. Everest summit a year?

Post 27

how many people have tried to climb mount everest?

Post 25

how many made it?

Post 24

What made mount everest?

Post 22

thanks. that helped.

Post 21

how many people on average climb mt. everest a year?

Post 18

how many woman have climbed, and reach the top of mt. everest, who haven't died?

Post 17

omg no help at all. thank you for nothing

Post 16

Any one who climbs a mountain - especially Mt. Everest - has to be crazy - talk about a death wish!

Post 15

first woman of the world scaled third time mount everest in may 1999

Post 12

highest not tallest

Tallest denotes overall height

highest denotes farthest from center of earth

a standard measurement

*or* from sea level another standard measurement

*tallest* is Mona Loa volcano in Hawaii

13,680 from sea level

16,400 below sea level

for a total of 30,080 feet *tall*

making it the *tallest*

this article was very useful

Thank you

Post 11

How can someone survive up on Mountain without oxygen?

Post 6

great for school!!! :)

Post 5

How many people have climbed and lived?

Post 3

this is a great article for school!

good info!

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