Who was the first person to climb Mount Everest?

Mount Everest has been there for many decades but out of curiosity, you may ask yourself about who was the first person to climb Mount Everest? When you hear the word Hilary Everest, all you would think of is Mount Everest.

Actually, this Mountain was named after George Everest, the 1st surveyor general of India. Though, the survey of Mt. Everest was conducted by the successor of Everest named Andrew Scott Waugh but not Sir George Everest himself. To honor George Everest, Waugh suggested how the mountain then was to be renamed and it was named Mount Everest in 1865.

The first people reported for climbing Mount Everest in history were Edmund Hillary, the New Zealand Adventure and Tenzing Norgay, his Sherpa guide. They reached the top of Mount Everest (the summit) in 1953, May 29 at 11:30 a.m.

 Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay

Mount Everest is at 29,035-feet above sea level and it’s the highest mountain in the whole world. It sits on the Great Himalayas crest in Asia thus, it lies on the border that’s between Tibet and Nepal.

Climbing Mount Everest

There have been numerous attempts to reach the summit but none was reported until 1953 when Hillary and Tenzing who happened to be among the British-expedition made a-history.

What to expect while climbing mount Everest :

  • Oxygen level is extremely low
  • Temperatures are very or extremely cold
  • The weather is unpredictable as well as dangerous

The Pioneers who attempted Climbing Mount Everest

Who was the first person to climb Mount Everest?

These two words Hilary Everest are often associated with Mount Everest and the first people in history recorded for climbing Mount Everest.

The initial recorded attempt made for climbing Mount Everest was in 1921 by a British-expedition. He trekked for about 400 miles across the plateau of Tibetan to the great mountain foot. However, their expedition was aborted due to a raging storm. Among the team members include George Leigh Mallory.

In 1922, the 2nd British expedition including Mallory, George Finch as well as Geoffrey Bruce returned though they
didn’t reached the summit once more but reached an impressive height that was more than 27,000 feet. Mallory was too determined to reach the summit and again he made another attempt to climb the mountain that year.

However, in 1924, the 3rd Everest expedition was launched thus, by the British but this time round the climber known as Edward Norton managed to reached a height of 28,128 feet that was 900-vertical feet short to reach the summit and without the use of artificial oxygen.

After 4 days after the launched; Mallory and Andrew Irvine once gain launched a summit assault but this was the last time
they were seen alive as they were never seen again. But in 1999, Mallory body was found high on Mount Everest largely preserved but it seems that he had suffered from various broken bones as a result on a fall. Until today, it’s still a mystery whether the two climbers indeed reached the summit.

Numerous unsuccessful summit attempts by various climbers were made though  Northeast Ridge route of Tibet but after the World War II, Tibet route was closed to foreigners. This went on until 1949 when Nepal opened the route to the outside world.

In 1950 and 1951, British expeditions once again made climbs-up through the Southeast Ridge route.

In 1952, a Swiss expedition made their first summit attempt. They navigated the Khumbu Icefall and their two climbers namely
Raymond Lambert as well as Tenzing Norgay managed to reached 28,210-feet thus, just below the South-summit but they had to terminate their expedition due to lack of supplies. They almost reached the summit.

In 1953, a large British expedition then was organized by Colonel John Hunt. The expedition entailed the best British climbers and highly experienced Sherpas such as Tenzing Norgay. This expedition had talented individuals from the British Commonwealth that included the likes of New Zealanders-George Lowe and Edmund Hillary.

They were well equipped with supplies such asspecially insulated boots & clothing, portable-radio equipment as well as
open-and-closed circuit oxygen system. A series of camps were set-up and the expedition managed to reach the summit in April and May, 1953.

However, a new passage was formed via the Khumbu Icefall thus, the climbers were able to make their way-up the Western-Cwm via the Lhotse face to the South Col thus, at about 26,000-feet.

On May 26; Tom Bourdillon & Charles Evans launched the 1st assault on the summit. they come-up within 300 feet
of Everest top but theywere forced to turn-backas one of their oxygen-set had a malfunction. On May 28; Tenzing and Hillary managed to set-up high camp that was at 27,900 feet.

They reached the south summit at around 9.00 a.m. While on their expedition to reach the summit, Hillary inched himself up and
that’s what is known today as Hillary Step. At 11:30 a.m; the two climbers reached the mountain top.

Both Hillary and Hunt were acknowledge of their success and were knighted by the queen. However, since Norgay wasn’t a member of a Commonwealth nation instead, he received the lesser British-Empire Medal.

Since a successful expedition of Hillary and Norgay which was a historic climb, there have been many expeditions.

In 1960, a Chinese-expedition was the 1st to reach the top of the mountain using the Tibetan side.

In 1963, James Whittaker was acknowledged as the 1st American to ever reach the top of Mount Everest.

In 1975, Tabei Junkowas the 1st woman to manage to reach the summit

In 1978, Reinhold Messner from Italy and Peter Habeler, an Austrialian become the 1st people to ever managed to
climb the Everest Summit without the use of oxygen supply system thus, it was thought to be impossible.

There have been numerous attempts over the years to reach the summit and about 200 climbers have been reported to have died. But in 1996, a major tragedy occurred when 8-climbers coming from various nations died. They were caught-up in a blizzard high-on the slopes.

Controversy over who was the first person to climb Mount Everest

There has been a controversy over who was the first person to climb Mount Everest. Since we know that the
climbers, Andrew Irvine and Mallory never returned back alive to report whether they reached the summit or not. Irvine body hasn’t been found until today. He has been presumed dead though his remains has not been found.

This controversy is soon to be settled. The Australian adventurer, Duncan Chessell set-off in-order to find evidence that prove Andrew Irvine was indeed the first person to ever scale the peak of Mount Everest.

He is after recovering the remains of Irvine and his camera that is thought he has carried along with him. Through his camera, Duncan believe that a conclusive film evidence will be provided to prove that Irvine and Mallory were the first people to the top of mount Everest in 1924 that is about 30 years before Edmund Hillary.

Though, the body of George Mallory was found in 1999. Chessell reported that there is bare rock that is exposed now but before, it was deeply covered and he believe that, it’s the most likely areas in which the body of Irvine may be lying.

Mallory and Irvine is believed to have followed the route in North Col. at 23,130-feet and Chessell intent to search those
areas to the summit to find Irvine body and his missing camera. This will help to answer the question of who was the first person to climb Mount Everest.

Chessell is from Adelaide and he is the 1st Australian in record to reach the top of mount Everest three-times hence, since he is very familiar with mount Everest, he believe that there are good chances that they can find something.

Reasons why Mallory and Irvine are claimed to be the first people to reach Mount Everest

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay are the first people to be credited for having been the 1st people to reach the summit, on May-29, 1953. However, the theory of Mallory and Irvine being the first has caused controversy over many years but is yet to be confirmed.

What’s entailed in the theory?

  • Both Mallory and Irvine were last seen on June-8, 1924 thus, on the north-east ridge of Mount Everest which was just a few hundred-yards from the top of Mount Everest.
  • ·The body of Mallory was found at 26,760-feet and he photograph of his wife named Ruth was indeed missing from his pocket. It is said that, Mallory planned to leave that picture on the summit.
  • Mallory’s goggles were placed in one pocket which suggested that he way rather on his way descending in fading light at the time he fell down to his death.

With these evidences, Chessell believed that Mallory had reached the summit and he was on his way down when he succumbed to his death. Since, his wife’s photograph was missing on his pocket; he believed that he has left it on the summit as he had planned.

All these assumptions will be valid when Irvine camera will be found. It is said that if indeed they reached the summit then there are high chances that they tool photographs. According to experts, they say that, the film on Irvine Camera can still be printable even after all these years as it has been in deep freeze.

There have been numerous unsuccessful searchers on Irvine body over the years but recently, a claim was made that it was spotted on aerial-photographs.

Amazing Records Set on climbing mount Everest

First ascent
Edmund Hillary (New Zealand) and Sherpa Tenzing (Nelpal) were the first people to ever reach the summit and come back alive. They survived on Sardines and biscuits. The successful ascent of 1953 happened just three years thus, after Nepal government opened its border for an easier route.

First female ascent
Junko Tabei from Japan, at 22 years was the first female to ever ascent to Mount Everest; she took the same route as Sir Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing. On his expedition, she was buried unconscious in an avalanche for about six minutes during the climb. However, she as pulled-out alive thus, went ahead up-to the top. She becomes the 1st woman to ever climb the seven summit.

Most times at the Summit 
Today, many people have managed to reach the top of mount Everest which is incredible but there are majorly three men who have managed to reach the summit 21 times. They include:

  • The 1st: Apa Sherpa in 2011
  • The 2nd: Phurba Tashi Sherpa & Kami Rita Sherpa in 2013
  • However, at third position is Dave Hahn at 15th times in 2013. He is not from Nepal but an American mountain guide.

Pemba Dorje Sherpa was the first person to reach the summit from base camp within 8 hours and 10 mins duration in 2004. In 2017, Kilian Jornet reached the summit from base camp thus, with no fixed ropes or even extra oxygen within a duration of 26 hours.


  • In 2000, Slovenian Davo Karnicar was the first person to go all-the way down but skied from the summit onto the base camp within 5 hours.
  • In 2001, Marco Siffredi snowboarded from the summit to base camp. He took a fast track down at 6,400m within a time duration of 2 hours.
  • In 1988, a Frenchman Jean-Marc Boivin paraglided-off from the summit to camp 2 at 5,900meters within 11-12 minutes.

Most stayed time
In 2011, Bhakta Kumar Rai from Neplal spent 32-hours on the top of mount summit. He is famously known as “Supreme Master Godangel” – of the heavenly Path-Sect.

First tweet
In 2011, Kenton Col a British mountaineer sent the 1st tweet while on the summit. It was part of a marketing-campaign.

Spaceman summit
In 2009, Scott Parazynski from America become the 1st Astronaut to ever reached the summit on his 3rd attempt.


  • In 2013, Yuichiro Miura from Japan become the oldest person aged 80 to reach the summit. This was 4 months after he had a heart surgery.
  • In 2012, Tamae Watanabe from Japan set a record as the oldest woman to reach the top of mount Everest at age 73.


  • In 2010, Jordan Romero set the record as the youngest person to ever reach the summit at 13 years 10 months.
  • In 2014, Poorna Malavath from India set a record as the youngest female to reach the top at 13 years 11 months thus, a month older to Jordan.

How many try to climb mount Everest every year? How many succeed and How many die?

Everest is the highest mountain in the world at 29, 029 feet. It stands between Nepal and Tibet. The popularity of Mount Everest continues to increase and each year, on average; 600 people often reach the Everest summit. Basically, a half the number of those attempted the summit.

On average 2/3 of those who reach the summit often manage to from the South-side in Nepal. As the rest approach from Tiber-route which is on the north. Mostly, people like to go for Everest expeditions during its short climbing season that is normally a few-weeks in May.

According to records, on averagely, 250 people have died while in pursuit to reach the summit of Everest. The death zone starts at 8,000 m high. This is where the oxygen levels significantly drop as the conditions also become increasingly harsh.

Since, Edmund and Tenzing climbed Mount Everest in 1953, approximately, 4,000 people have climber to the summit.

What are the primary-dangers associated with climbing mount Everest?

Nepal only allowed one expedition per route to the top of Mount Everest at a time. But this changed in 1985; since then, there haven’t been such restrictions as there are a number of people trying to climb to the Everest summit. For example, in 2013 658 climbers managed to reach the summit.
To limit these numbers, Nepal has recently announced to introduce new restrictions for climbers in Everest. They are even proposing on placing ladders on the step of Hillary. The presence of many people in these expeditions brings a lot of risks thus, it is not safe.

As it results of overcrowding, there was a case where a man from South Korea suffered from snow-blindness, delirium as
well as hypothermia as he had to wait for more than four hours in-order for more than 300-climbers to pass.

Another major problem on Everest is littering. The littering is too much to an extend that new rules has to be incorporates in that; each group of climbers must return to base-camp thus, with 8 kg of rubbish and failure to do so amounts to forfeiting their deposit at a cost of over £ 2000.

Initially, the cost of climbing Mount Everest was £ 15,000 during peak seasons. But today, it’s getting cheaper as it now costs £ 6,500.

The Hillary Step

It is a 40 foot wall full of snow and rocks and its located just below Everest Mountain which is 29,029 feet from the summit and above the “death zone” at 26000 feet. It looks more of an escalator as many group of climbers often shuffle along lines with fixed rope thus, at a dangerously slow-pace to reach the summit which is the highest mountain worldwide.

The name of Sir Edmund Hillary is attached to this famous step. The funny side of it is that, though Hillary and Tenzing become the first people to ever reach summit Everest in 1953. They were all alone on the upper slopes of the mountain.

But today, more than 60 years afterwards; hundreds of people try to reach the summit in every March-October which is the peak climbing season. It’s a good adventure but on the other side, it causes overcrowding which is not good all together.

However, to avoid uncertainty associated with climbing mount Everest; there has been major improvements such as relying on weather forecasting, using climbing gear and communication equipments as well as professional guiding service make the climbing more safer.

In response to the new adjustments; this has opened way to less-experienced climbers which in-turn has created quite high-attitude traffic jams. This tendency on the mountain has proven deadly as some people have been reports to dead or suffered from severe diseases caused by the extreme condition on the mountain.

To sum it-up, the popularity of climbing Mount Everest has increased over the years and due to that as many people come for this adventure and this has open way to many inexperienced climbers as well as unqualified guides.

Overcrowding is one of the major problems in Mount Everest. This was after the Nepalese authorities started to issue multiple permits in the 1980s during the climbing season to collect more funds as a way of improving their country’s financial situation. This action attracted many people and the number of people who wanted to climb Mount Everest increased immensely.

Before, the Nepal government would only give a climbing permit to a single group per season. The number continues to increase
over the years. For example in 1990, only 72 people were able to reach the Everest summit but in 2016; 641 people managed to reach the peak. That’s a big difference.

According to Veteran climbers and various guide services; As opposed to our view, they do not see the large-number of people as the main problem. Rather, they say, the large groups as well as uncertified climbers tend to slow everyone else progress.

Whereby, people now stay on the mountain much longer and as a result of that, they are exposed to many risks such as avalanches, rapidly changing-weather conditions as well as collapsing-columns of ice that’s known as serac falls or crevasses.

Death occurrence in Everest Mountain has become a normal event  during the climbing season. Almost every year, deaths of climbers on the mountain have been reported. On instance, some years more deaths are reported while on some years, fewer deaths are reported on the mountain.

Regardless of the number of deaths as well as concern in the climbing-community. According to experts, it’s unlikely that anyone will address that matter especially issue of overcrowding. The main reason being, Nepal heavily relies on the money they get from granting the climbing permits.

On averagely, it cost $ 11,000 per climber while on the other side various poorly trained Sherpas have already started cut-rate guide services in-order to provide services to the growing market thus, of the middle class climbers who come from India and China. Now you can do the calculation to see how much money the Nepal gets from this sector.

The demand for climbing Mount Everest has skyrocketed due to its popularity and this has attracted poorly trained sherpas who now are guiding people up the mountain. Therefore, it’s essential for climbers to set their limits.

This means that, as a climber, prior to climbing mount Everest you should have proper skills required for high-altitude mountaineering as well as pick a guide service that have experience on Everest as well as similar peaks.


Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the whole world and due to it’s increasingly popularity. It’s normal to be more interested to visit the place and experience the adventure or know more about its history.

It’s so high that you would want to know who was the first person to climb Mount Everest. The person must have
endured a lot and seemed to have a greater knowledge on mountaineering.

As a climber, it’s important to first learn the required skills in high-altitude mountaineering to be well skilled and equipped before climbing Mount Everest. There are many poorly trained Sherpas offering guide services due to the high demand and it may be hard to know if they are experienced in Everest.

Therefore to be on the safer sideto avoid risks. Before climbing Mount Everest; it would be better if you learn some of these skills on your own. In that in case of emergencies, you can save yourself from the misfortunes.