Have you ever heard of Chomolungma? How about Sagarmatha? Well, what about Mount Everest? All of those are the names for the same thing.

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Have you ever heard of Chomolungma? How about Sagarmatha? Well, what about Mount Everest? All of those are the names for the same thing.

Tall and majestic
Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. It’s located between Nepal and Tibet. The people of Nepal call it Sagarmatha, which means “goddess of the sky.” The people of Tibet call it Chomolungma, which means “mother goddess of the universe.” But most places around the world call it Mount Everest, named after George Everest, a Welsh surveyor in the 19th century.

People began trying to climb the mountain about 100 years ago, but no one was successful until 1953. The journey is very difficult because the mountain is windy and cold. Also, the higher you climb, the harder it is to breathe. Most people bring extra oxygen with them.

Getting to the top
The top of the mountain is called the “summit,” which is also the word for reaching the top. There have been more than 7,600 summits by almost 5,000 different people. Several people have summited more than once, including sherpas, who are a people living near Everest and who act as guides for tourists who want to climb the mountain.

There are several different routes to take to the summit, but most people choose one of two main ones — the north and the south. Some people don’t survive the trip, but many who have are notable. The youngest people to take the trip are Jordan Romero, a 13-year-old American boy, and Malavath Purna, a 13-year-old Indian girl. The oldest were Japanese man Miura Yiuchiro, who was 80 at the time, and Japanese woman Tamae Watanabe, who was 73.

Your Everest shopping list
If you ever decide to climb Mount Everest, you’ll need more than a plane ticket and hiking boots. Climbers train for a year or more to make sure they’re in good shape to handle the trip, and even then, they need to pack a lot of gear. Here are just a few of the items you would need.
* Ice axe
* Nylon cords
* Crampons, which are spikes for the bottoms of boots that help climbers dig in and not slip
* A climbing harness
* Trekking poles
* Several pairs of boots and lots of special socks to keep feet warm and dry
* Several different kinds of jackets and pants to help climbers acclimate to the changing temperatures as they go up. Climbers also need several kinds of sleeping bags.
* Gloves, hats, face masks
* Food and water

Activity: Mount Everest Math

1. Mount Everest is 29,035 feet tall. If there are 5,280 feet in a mile, how many miles high is Mount Everest?

2. It takes about 39 days to get to the top of Mount Everest. How many days of school would you miss if you left on a Monday? (Hint: Don’t forget that you’d be climbing on weekends, too!)

Answers: 1. 5.5; 2. 29