Everest & The Sherpas

Mt Everest as seen from the approach to Advanced Base Camp (ABC) on the mountain’s North Side in Tibet.

Mt Everest was formed approximately 60 million years ago and stands at the height of 29,035 (8850m). The mountain rises a few millimeters each year due to geological forces. The summit ridge separates Nepal and Tibet. Once the mountain was know only as peak 15. In 1865, a British surveyor named Sir George Everest, recorded Mt Everest’s height and location. The peak was then named after him.

Sagarmatha is the Nepali name, which means, “Goddess of the sky.” Chomolungma is the Tibetan name, which means, “Mother goddess of the universe.”

Mt. Everest was first climbed on May 29,1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa from Nepal. Since that time many teams of climbers have summited, most with the support and assistance of the local Sherpa people. The Sherpa people are known for their physical strength and ability to adapt to high altitude as well as their upbeat positive attitude.

A sherpa man outside of Namche Bazaar. Solukhumbu, Nepal

Sherpa means “people from the east” in Tibetan. The Sherpa people migrated from Eastern Tibet five hundred years ago and settled the mountainous areas of Nepal and most famously at the base of the highest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest.

Traditionally, Sharpas are farmers and yak herders. That began to change when expeditions came to climb the great Himalayan peaks.

These hearty local people were hired as high altitude porters and guides. The physical ability, strength and good humor of the Sherpa people lent to a new occupation, known world wide as “Sherpa”.

North Side Basecamp at Everest on the Rongbuk Glacier, Tibet