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Mt Everest: Facts

Published: 12:30PM Friday January 11, 2008 Source: ONE News

Mount Everest, conquered for the first time by Sir Edmund Hillary with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953, is the highest mountain on Earth. Sir Edmund died on Friday aged 88. Here are some facts about the mountain he loved.

Mount Everest is 8,850 metres high. It rises a few millimetres each year due to geological forces.

Its summit ridge separates Nepal and Tibet.

Mount Everest was named after Sir George Everest, the surveyor-general of India who was the first to produce detailed maps of the Indian subcontinent including the Himalayas.

Prior to Hillary's ascent, all previous attempts on Everest had been made from Tibetan side in the north.

In 1950 when China invaded Tibet, the north approach was blocked off. At the same time Nepal opened its borders for the first time. The expedition Hillary joined made their assault from the south.

By the 50th anniversary of Hillary's ascent in May 2003 over 1,300 people had reached the summit of Everest. The latest figure is about 1,500 men and women from 64 nations.