Wednesday, 13 February 2008 11:16

Mount Everest (Tibetan Chomolungma, Nepalese Sagarmatha, Chinese Qomolangma, 8848 m) is the highest mountain on our planet!


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Statistics to 31.12.2010!

Geographical facts: see General Info – 8000ers

North Face and West Ridge

Upper NE Ridge
© Gerfried Göschl


On October 16th, 1978 the first Polish person, lady climber Wanda Rutkiewicz, summited Mount Everest! Exactly on the same day, the first Polish Pope in history was elected. This very impressive synchronicity was noticed by John Paul II, who was a passionate climber himself. He asked the next Polish expedition to Everest to leave a blessed rosary on top of Everest. So during the first winter ascent of Everest on February 17th, 1980 Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy placed this rosary on the top. Then on May 14th of the same year the first Spanish Basque climber, Martin Zabaleta climbed Everest, took the rosary back home and presented it to his very religious mother. She still enjoys this "holy souvenir" today!

Exactly eight years after this "holy synchronicity", on October 16th, 1986 Reinhold Messner finished the quest for being the first person to summit all fourteen 8000ers with the summit of Lhotse.

Wanda Rutkiewicz
© Ewa Abgarowicz

Wanda Rutkiewicz
Pope John Paul II

© www.zsp2wadowice.iap.pl

Leszek Cichy
Krzysztof Wielicki
(Nov. 2007)
© Bogdan Jankowski

The altitude question:

8000ers.com states that the most trustable altitude is still 8848m!

On November 11th, 1999 the National Geographic Society and Bradford Washburn announced a new altitude of Everest, 8850 m, based on GPS-readings. On May 5, 1999, American and Nepalese climbers had placed GPS-equipment on top of Everest.

The 1998 German edition of Peter Gillman's excellent Everest book was titled "Everest 8846 m". It includes that Bradford Washburn had already announced a new altitude of Everest; a prism was placed on top in May 1992 and laser-measurings were possible. The result back then was 8846 m.

First two meters lower, then two meters higher and the old "official" altitude exactly in the middle. Additionally there is the fact that the height of the snow cumulation varies from year to year up to possibly two meters, because of the heavy monsoon winds.

Not long ago the Chinese measured the mountain also again and the result was 8844,43 m. The whole area should be surveyed to change the old figure and not only this one mountain again and again for whatever reasons.

The most recent maps of China and Nepal still show 8848 m and that's why we go with this figure until a new complete survey of the area is done.