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EverestHistory.com: Time Line


1841: Sir George Everest, Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843, records the location of Everest.

1848: Peak b is surveyed the British, which ruled India; The height is calculated at 30,200 feet from measurements taken 110 miles away. 

1852: The Great Trigonmetrical Survey of India determines the Peak XV is the highest mountain in the world.

1854: Peak b renamed Peak XV.

1856: Surveyor Andrew Waugh completes the first height measurement, declaring Everest to be 8840 meters high. (29,002 feet).

1865: Peak XV re-named Mt. Everest to honor Sir George Everest, the Surveyor General of India. Everest is known as Chomolungma in Tibet and Sagarmatha in Nepal.

1903: The Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, concerned about possible Russian influence inside Tibet, sends Sir Francis Younghusband to ostensibly negotiate "frontiers and trade". The Tibetans refuse to enter negotiations, so Younghusband leads a British Army Expedition to Lhasa. A treaty is eventually signed in September, 1904, after the Dalai Lama flees to Mongolia. 

1904: A member of Younghusband's staff, J. Claude White, photographs the Eastern side of Everest from Kampa Dzong, 94 miles away. While not the first photograph of Everest ever taken, it's the first to show any significant details of the mountain.

1907: Natha Singh, a member of the British Indian Survey, obtains permission to enter the Mount Everest region from the Nepalese side. He maps the Dudh Kosi valley - gateway to the southern route up the mountain - all the way to the end of the Khumbu Glacier.

1913: Captain John Noel, a British military officer, travels to Tibet in disguise (at the time foreigners were forbidden in Tibet) to find the best way to approach Everest. He comes to within 60 miles of Everest, only to find his way blocked by an unexpected mountain range that did not appear on his faulty maps. Noel is able to view the top 1000 feet (300 meters) of Everest when it appears out of the shifting mists, a "glittering spire of rock fluted with snow".

1920: The Dalai Lama opens Tibet to outsiders after the political situation involving China and Russia relaxes somewhat. The Royal Geographic Society and the Alpine Club hold a joint meeting to discuss how to proceed with an expedition to Mount Everest. Explorers had reached both the North and South Poles, so the next "feat" was Everest. The Mount Everest Committee is established by Younghusband, and a formal resolution is passed stating that an expedition would take place the following year with reconnaissance as the first priority, (although a summit attempt was not discouraged). A full-scale summit attempt was to be launched the following year in 1922.

1921: The First British Everest Reconnaissance Expedition to the mountain, led by Lt. Colonel Charles Howard-Bury. This is George Leigh Mallory's first trip to the mountain. After spending ten weeks exploring the northern and eastern reaches of the mountain, on September 24, 1921, Guy Bullock and George Mallory were the first climbers to reach the North Col of Everest at an altitude of around 23,000 feet (7000 meters). The northern route up the mountain had now been established.

1922: The Second British Everest Expedition to the mountain, led by Brigadier General C.G. Bruce, following the same route reconnoitered the previous year. George Mallory returns along with climbers George Finch, Geoffrey Bruce, Henry Morshead, Edward Norton, Howard Somervell, and John Noel as expedition filmmaker. On May 22nd, Mallory, Norton, Somervell and Morshead make the first assault, and climb to 26,800 feet (8170 m) on the North Ridge before retreating. On May 23rd, George Finch and Geoffrey Bruce climb up the North Ridge and Face to 27,300 (8320 meters) feet using oxygen. On June 7th, Mallory leads a third attempt on the summit that claims the lives of seven Sherpa climbers in an avalanche below the North Col, the first reported deaths on Everest.

1923: While on a lecture tour in the United States, a reporter asks Mallory why he wants to climb Everest, and Mallory immortally replies "Because it's there". 

1924: The Third British Everest Expedition to the mountain, led by Acting Leader Lt. Colonel Edward Norton after Brigadier General C.G. Bruce is indisposed due to a flare-up of malaria. As a result George Mallory is promoted to Climbing Leader. Geoffrey Bruce, Howard Somervell, and John Noel return from the previous year, along with newcomers Noel E. Odell and Andrew Comyn Irvine. 

1924: June 4th: After weeks of appalling weather, a string of camps are established on the northern side of the mountain, culminating in Camp 6 at 26,700 feet (8140 meters) on the North Ridge. Norton and Somervell attempt an oxygenless ascent, following an ascending diagonal line across the North Face of the mountain towards the Great Couloir. After Somervell is forced to give up at about 28,000 feet (8500 meters), Norton continues alone, reaching a high point of 28,126 feet (8570 meters) near the top of the Great Couloir, a height record not exceeded by anyone for the next 29 years!

1924: June 8th: George Mallory and Andrew Irvine attempt the summit using oxygen and Irvine's modified oxygen apparatus. Noel Odell, climbing in support below, catches a glimpse of the climbers at 12:50 pm ascending a "great rock step" on the NE Ridge above. According to Odell they were behind schedule but climbing "with alacrity"; the first of many climbers on Everest to go for the summit too late. Odell originally thought he spotted the two climbers ascending the Second Step, but later changed his mind to the First Step when told how difficult the Second Step looked to a later generation of Everest climbers (the 1933 British Expedition). During the 1933 expedition, Andrew Irvine's ice ax is found on the upper slopes of the mountain at about 27,690 feet (8440 meters) and approximately 250 yards (meters) east of the First Step. Eric Simonson's 1999 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition discovers an oxygen bottle that belonged to the pair near the base of the First Step, and Mallory's remains were found at 26,750 feet (8150 meters), on a line vertically below the ice ax position. No evidence of a successful summit bid has been found, nor have any signs of the two climbers been found above the Second Step, the key to the route. Despite the lack of hard evidence, the debate on whether they reached the summit of Everest continues to this day.

1931: March 19: The Mount Everest Committee is re-established with Sir William Goodenough as Chair. Concerned of the growing reputation of American and German climbers - the latter having gained much experience on Kangchenjunga - the Committee makes inquiries into the possibility of another British expedition to Everest. Eventually the Dalai Lama gives "reluctant permission" so that "friendly relations may not be ruptured".

1933: April 3: First flight over Mount Everest by two British Westland biplanes powered by turbocharged Pegasus engines. The planes take off from Purneah, India. Buffeted by downdrafts and Everest's plume, the flight fails to obtain a photo of the summit when the photographer blacks out due to a ruptured oxygen line. The flight is successfully repeated on April 19th, although the actual summit wasn't flown over this time.

1933: The Fourth British Expedition. A new generation of climbers attempts Everest under the Leadership of Hugh Ruttledge. These new climbers include Jack Longland, Frank Smythe, Eric Shipton, P. Wyn Harris, and L.R. Wager. Along with a powerful and spirited team of Sherpa "Tigers", Camp 6 is established on a ledge half-way up the Yellow Band at a height of 27,300 feet (8320 meters) - the Sherpas wanted to continue higher to a campsite at the base of the First Step, but it is wisely decided that they would not get back to the North Col before dark. Longland leads the Sherpas back down, but they are caught in a fierce and unexpected storm. Longland manages to keep his bearings and keeps the party en route down the spine of the North Arete. During the descent they discover the remains of the 1924 Camp 6, and even find a working battery-operated torch in the debris.

May 30th: The first oxygenless summit attempt by Wyn Harris and Wager. Their plan is to reconnoiter Mallory's ridge route, and if not feasible, attempt Norton's Great Couloir route instead. Early in the ascent they find Andrew Irvine's ice ax at 27,690 feet (8440 meters), some 250 yards (meters) east of the First Step. The pair continues traversing below the NE Ridge, but are unable to gain the Ridge via a shallow gully below the Second Step, having missed their only chance to gain the Ridge by ascending a 4th class gully on the north side of the First Step. They continue traversing into and across the Great Couloir, and manage to reach Norton's high point before admitting defeat.

June 1st: A second oxygenless attempt is made by Eric Shipton and Frank Smythe. In a truly superhuman effort, they make an  attempt after spending two nights in the Death Zone without oxygen waiting for good weather. They follow essentially the same ascending line taken by Wyn Harris and Wager to the base of the First Step, but continue along Norton's traversing Great Couloir route. Shipton is forced to give up a little past the First Step, and Smythe continues alone, crossing the Great Couloir somewhat lower down than his predecessors where the ledges were more favorable. Smythe too gives up at Norton's high point, so the 1933 Expedition ends up unsuccessful.

1934: The eccentric Maurice Wilson attempts to solo Everest, having no mountaineering experience but possessing an inner faith to succeed. Camped at the base of the North Col, Wilson asks his Sherpas to wait ten days for him to return, after which they would be free to leave. He doesn't return, so the Sherpas return to Darjeeling, where Tenzing Norgay reports seeing them with large amounts of money. Wilson's body is later found at approximately 21,000 feet (6400 meters) below the North Col by members of the 1935 Reconnaissance Expedition. He was found in the remains of his tent; apparently he had died while in the act of taking off his boots. How far did he get? No one knows... His body was buried in a crevasse and it periodically resurfaces over the years as the East Rongbuk Glacier continues its steady advance downhill.

1935: Fifth British Expedition (Reconnaissance). A small post-monsoon expedition led by Eric Shipton, that was Tenzing Norgay's first trip to the mountain as a young porter. Expedition members include Bill Tilman, Dr. C.B.M. Warren, E.G.H. Kempson, L.V. Bryant, and E.H.L. Wigram. The expedition concentrates on exploring, surveying, and climbing in the Everest region (where off in the distance they can see that Everest is in perfect condition to climb). The party doesn't reach Rongbuk until early July, where coated in monsoon snow, the mountain is out of condition to climb. Nevertheless, since investigating the possibility of a post-monsoon attempt is one of the charges of the reconnaissance, they establish Camp III at the base of the North Col, where they find the remains of Maurice Wilson. On July 12 they reach the North Col with enough supplies for two weeks. Continuous monsoon snows prevent any further advance up the mountain, so the expedition splits into several groups that engage in an orgy of climbing and exploring in the region before returning to Darjeeling. 

1936: Sixth British Expedition with Hugh Ruttledge returning as Leader. Also returning to Everest are Frank Smythe, Eric Shipton, P. Wyn Harris, E.G.H. Kempson, Dr. C.B.M. Warren, and E.H.L. Wigram along with two newcomers, P.R. Oliver and J.M.L. Gavin. Tenzing Norgay returns for his second expedition as a porter. For the first time, lightweight radio sets are taken to Everest. A large, strong, and experienced expedition with many hopes of reaching the top, it failed because of the early onset of the monsoon on May 25th. Interestingly enough, the only two expeditions to Everest that had a late monsoon were the '21 and '35 Reconnaissance!

1938: Seventh British Expedition. Led by Bill Tilman who advocated smaller, less expensive expeditions (although he is convinced to bring four oxygen sets along). Accompanying Tilman are Eric Shipton, Frank Smythe, C.B.M. Warren, P. Floyd, P.R. Oliver, and Noel Odell from the tragic 1924 expedition. Odell is now 47 years old, but extremely fit after climbing Nanda Devi in 1936 with Tilman. Returning yet again as a porter is the persistent Tenzing Norgay. Remembering the early onset of the monsoon suffered by the 1936 expedition, they arrive at Rongbuk early on April 6th and surprisingly find the mountain already clear of winter snow. Three weeks later Camp III is established below the North Col, but the weather is too cold and the party too ill to continue. They retreat to the Kharta Valley to recuperate at the lower altitude. When they returned to Everest a week later, the monsoon had unbelievably broken on May 5th and the mountain was covered in snow. Nevertheless a camp is placed on the North Col, and then Camp 6 is established on a scree slope below the Yellow Band at 27,200 feet (8290 meters). In back-to-back assaults, Smythe and Shipton are turned back by the deep snow, as are Tilman and Lloyd the next day. The expedition fails, but it had proved that a small expedition could place climbers in position for a serious summit bid. 

1947: A successor to the old Everest Committee is formed - the Himalayan Committee of the Alpine Club and Royal Geographical Society.

1947: Canadian-born Brit Earl Denman attempts to illegally climb Everest from the North along with Sherpas Ang Dawa and Tenzing Norgay, the latter back after nine years for his fourth attempt on the mountain. After nearly being arrested by a Tibetan patrol en route, the trio reach the Rongbuk Monastery. Using Denman's woefully inadequate equipment, and suffering terribly from the cold, they reach the foot of the North Col but in a terribly weakened condition. After a feeble attempt on the lower slopes of the Col, they admit defeat and turn back. Denman is forced to walk part of the way back to Darjeeling in bare feet after his boots wear out. Amazingly the whole 600-plus mile (1000 km) roundtrip from Darjeeling to Everest and back took only five weeks by foot.

1950: In October the Communist Chinese invade Tibet, and Tibet falls under Chinese rule. Everest expeditions from the North are prohibited.

1950: After a palace revolution in which the ruling Rana family are overthrown, Nepal opens up to the West, partially as a result of the Chinese takeover in Tibet. Foreign expeditions are allowed access to the southern side of Everest for the first time.

1950: Anglo-American Nepal Reconnaissance. Organized and led by the American Dr. Charles Houston and including Bill Tilman. The group enters the Solu Khumbu region - homeland of the Sherpas - and explores to the base of the Khumbu Icefall. Tilman concludes that the route up into the Western Cwm is not a viable one!

1951: Without official permission from Nepal, and only a few months after the 1950 Anglo-American Nepal Reconnaissance, the Dane Klavs Becker-Larsen attempts to climb the Northern pre-war Everest route but via a southern approach. With a party of Sherpa porters and guides, he attempts to enter Tibet via the Lho La, and actually climbs about halfway up before being turned back by rockfall and his lack of experience (it was the first time he had ever used an ice ax!). Undeterred, Larsen crosses the Nampa La instead and reaches the Rongbuk Monastery. Several days later Larsen and two Sherpas attempt to climb the North Col but turn back after yet more rockfall. Larsen wisely gives up the attempt and returns to Nepal.

1951: British Reconnaissance supported by the Alpine Club and the Royal Geographic Society. A post-monsoon exploration led by Eric Shipton with M.P. Ward, T. Bourdillon, W.H. Murray, and New Zealanders Edmund Hillary and H. Riddiford, the expedition was forced to contend with swollen streams, washed-out bridges, leeches, and reluctant porters. On the 22nd of September they reached Namche Bazaar, and three days later left with the objective of scaling the Khumbu Icefall and entering the Western Cwm. From a vantagepoint on the lower slopes of Pumori, they could see that the route up to the South Col looked feasible. Eventually the expedition pushed the route almost completely through to the top of the Icefall before retreating.

1952: Swiss Expeditions sponsored by the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research

Spring Attempt: led by Dr. E. Wyss-Dunant with climbers G. Chevalley, R. Lambert, R. Dittert, L. Flory, R. Aubert, A. Roch, J. Asper, E. Hofstetter, and Tenzing Norgay as Sirdar. The party ascends the Geneva Spur and places Camp VI on the South Col. Camp VII is placed at approximately 27,500 feet (8382 meters) on the SE Ridge. After a miserable night without sleeping bags or a stove, Tenzing Norgay and Raymond Lambert make an attempt using oxygen but fail below the South Summit at an altitude of 28,210 feet (8595 meters), beating Norton's height record by only 84 feet (25 meters)!

Post-Monsoon Attempt: led by G. Chevalley with climbers R. Lambert, E. Reiss, J. Buzio, A. Spohel, G. Gross, N.G. Dyhrenfurth. The indomitable Tenzing returns again as expedition Sirdar. Instead of climbing the Geneva Spur, the route is pushed up the Lhotse Face instead, now the standard route. Unfortunately the expedition is fraught with bad luck and the Sherpa Mingma Dorje is killed on the Lhotse Face by falling ice, the first Everest fatality in twenty years since Maurice Wilson. Climbing along with the same party, incredibly a second rope slips on the ice and falls 600 feet (180 meters) to the bottom of the slope. Miraculously no one else is injured. A camp is established on the South Col, but the arrival of winter's bitter cold and fierce gales puts an end to the attempt. The expedition lays the groundwork for 1953.

1952: Rumors of a post-monsoon Russian attempt from the North led by Dr. Pawel Datschnolian, possibly with the hope of beating the Swiss to the top and scoring major propaganda points in an age of Sputnik. There are reports that this expedition left Moscow on October 16th and eventually placed Camp VII at 26,800 feet (8170 meters) before six climbers (including Datschnolian) simply disappeared. The Russians deny the expedition ever took place and the Chinese have never made any mention of it. Interestingly enough, in an interview with the Tibetan Gonbu (also known as Gonpa), a member of the successful 1960 Chinese first ascent of the North Ridge, a "mystery camp" was encountered at 27,900 feet (8500 meters). Located above the Yellow Band, this camp could not have been placed there by any of the British pre-war expeditions. Was the camp placed there by this "mystery" Soviet expedition?

1953: British Expedition and FIRST SUMMIT. Led by Colonel John Hunt and consisting of climbers Dr. R.C. Evans, G. Band, T. Bourdillon, A. Gregory, Edmund Hillary, W.G. Lowe, C. Noyce, M.P. Ward, M. Westmacott, and C.G. Wylie. Returning as Sirdar from the Swiss attempts is yet again Tenzing Norgay. The route through the Icefall is completed by April 22, Camp VI is established at the foot of the Lhotse face at 23,000 feet (7000 meters), and after a lengthy delay, the South Col is reached via the Lhotse Face route pioneered by the Swiss the year before.

May 26: First Assault by Evans and Bourdillon from the South Col using closed-circuit oxygen sets. The same day Hunt leads a party of Sherpas from the South Col with the intent to establish Camp IX on the SE Ridge for the second assault party consisting of Hillary and Tenzing. Evans and Bourdillon reach the South Summit at 1 PM at an elevation of 28,750 feet (8770 meters), but are forced to descend due to the lateness of the hour, strong winds, and lack of oxygen.

May 29: Second Assault by Hillary and Tenzing using open-circuit oxygen sets. They leave Camp IX at approximately 27,900 feet (8500 meters) by 6:30 AM, and reach the S. Summit by 9 AM. After negotiating the 40 foot (12 meter) Hillary Step, they are the first to reach the summit of Everest, reaching the top at 11:30 AM. After descending to the South Col, they are met by George Lowe where Hillary states: "Well, George, we knocked the bastard off!"

1955: The height of Everest is adjusted by 26 feet to 29,028 feet (8848 meters).

1956: Swiss Everest/Lhotse Expedition led by A. Eggler with W. Diehl, H. Grimm, Dr E. Leuchtold, F. Luchsinger, J. Marmet, F. Muller, E. Reiss, A. Reist, E. Schmied, H. Von Gunten and Sirdar Pasang Dawa Lama. The South Col was reached by the middle of May, and a successful summit bid was done on Lhotse via the very difficult North ridge on May 18 by Reiss and Von Gunten. On May 23 from a high camp at 27,500 feet (8400 meters) on the SE Ridge, Schmied and Marmet reach the summit. The following day Reist and Von Gunten also reach the summit.

1958: Joint Chinese/Russian reconnaissance from the North that reaches 21,000 feet (6,400 meters) below the North Col. The plan was for the two countries to return later for a joint assault, but this expedition never materialized after relations between the two states deteriorate.

1960: Chinese and Tibetan team of 214 men and women, led by Shih Chan- chun, makes the first summit of Everest via the North Col and Northeast Ridge. Long doubted by Western mountaineers because of the lack of a summit photo and the claim of summiting at night, the photos and film the Chinese did release reveal that they at least climbed the Second Step, the key to the route (although Reinhold Messner claims he possesses documentation proving they didn't climb it, so far this evidence has not been produced). The final assault party of Wang Fu-chou, Liu Lien-man, Chu Yin-hua, and the Tibetan Gonbu (also known as Gonpa) assaulted the final 15 foot (5 meter) Second Step headwall using pitons and team tactics. After Liu Lien- man repeatedly falls off attempting to lead the pitch, Chu Yin-hua takes off his boots and socks, and using a shoulder stand climbs the
last vertical pitch in bare feet! Exhausted by his effort, Liu Lien- man is forced to halt at 28,600 feet (8,700 meters), but the remaining three climbers make it to the summit where they purportedly leave a plaster bust of Chairman Mao by a rock outcrop.

1960: First Indian Expedition led by Brigadier G. Singh. Climbers Capt. N. Kumar, Sonam Gyatso, and Sherpa Nawang Gombu reach 28,300 feet (8625 meters) just below the South Summit before retreating in a violent storm and driving snow.

1962: Illegal four-man expedition led by the American Woodrow Wilson Sayre following the pre-war British route up the North Col and NE Ridge. Possessing a permit to climb Gyanchung Kang from the Nepalese side, the party ascends the Ngozumpa Icefall with Sherpa support, but then surreptitiously crosses the Nup La into Tibet. Without porters and relying on a grueling schedule of load-shuttling that covers the same ground three times daily, the group reaches the base of the North Col in nineteen days. They climb the North Col, but a fall lands Sayre and partner Roger Hart in a crevasse where they survive the night by wrapping themselves up in a tent. Undeterred, Sayre and Norman Hansen set off the very next day up the North Ridge, but can only climb 1,200 feet (400 meters) in the next two days. Realizing that they are beaten, they turn back but Sayre slips and falls 600 feet (200 meters) down the North Ridge snowfield before stopping. Incredibly, the now emaciated and half-starved expedition is able to return back over the Nup La into Nepal without encountering Chinese patrols.

1962: Second Indian Expedition with Major John Dias as leader. Returning to the SE Ridge route, climbers Sonam Gyatso, Hari Dang, and Mohan Kohli are forced to retreat from a high point of 28,600 feet (8720 meters) because of bad weather.

1963: American Expedition with Norman Dyhrenfurth as leader and including A. Auten, Barry Bishop, Jake Breitenbach, J. Corbet, D. Dingman, D. Doody, R. Emerson, Tom Hornbein, Lute Jerstad, J. Lester, Willi Unsoeld, and Jim Whittaker. A huge expedition, costing almost $400,000 and supported by the National Geographic Society, over 900 porters carry 29 tons of food and equipment to the base of the mountain. Base Camp is established at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall on Mar 21 and the route through the icefall prepared soon after. Jake Breitenbach is killed by collapsing seracs in the Icefall but the expedition continues. The expedition splits into two parties - the West Ridgers and the South Collers.

First Assault: May 1 From Camp 6 at 27,450 feet (8370 meters) on the SE Ridge, Jim Whittaker and Sherpa Nawang Gombu reach the summit in strong winds at 1 PM. Whittaker becomes the first American to summit Everest.

Second Assault: After a tent at Camp 4W - including occupants - is nearly blown off the West Shoulder by hurricane force winds, Camp 5W is placed in the Hornbien Couloir at the foot of the Yellow Band at 27,250 feet (8300 meters). Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld squeeze their way through the couloir and ascend a 60 foot (20 meter) headwall before emerging onto the upper summit pyramid at 27,900 feet (8500 meters). The pair then traverse across to the West Ridge proper, reaching the summit at 6:15 PM. They are forced to descend the SE Ridge where they meet Jerstad and Bishop who had summited at 3:30 PM. The four men descend to around 28,000 feet (8500 meters) before having to bivouac for the night on the ridge proper. They survive a long, cold night out in the open and descend safely to the South Col the next day. Unsoeld later loses most of his toes to frostbite. The first new route and the first traverse of Everest.

1965: Third Indian Expedition, with Commander M.S Kohli as leader. On May 20, 1965 they succeed when A.S. Cheema and Sherpa Nawang Gombu ascend the SE Ridge. Gombu becomes the first person to summit Everest twice (the 11th and 17th summit). Out of the first seventeen summits of Everest, Nawang had two of them! Additional summits were achieved by Sonam Gyatso, Sonam Wangyal, C.P. Vohra, Ang Kami, H.P.S. Ahluwalia, H.C.S. Rawat, and Phu Dorje.

1966-1969: Nepal is closed to mountaineering during this politically tense period involving antagonists India and China.

1969: Japanese SW Face Reconnaissance Expeditions. In the Spring, a party including Naomi Uemura enters the Western Cwm and probes the lower slopes. The Japanese return in the autumn with Uemura and Masatsugu Konishi, and the route is pushed up the Central Gully to the base of the Rock Band before the expedition returns home, convinced that a full-scale expedition could succeed.

1970: Japanese SW Face Expedition led by the seventy-year old veteran Saburo Matsukata. A massive expedition with 39 climbers, seventy-seven Sherpas and a woman, Setsuko Watanabe. Unable to improve on the previous year's reconnaissance efforts due to poor snow conditions and rockfall, the expedition switches to the standard South Col route. Teruo Matsuura and Naomi Uemura reach the summit on May 11, followed by K. Hirabayashi and Chottare Sherpa on the next day. Watanabe sets an altitude record for women by climbing to the South Col.

1970: Japanese Ski Expedition. Climbing along with the SW Face expedition, Yuichiro Miura skis from the South Col to the bottom of the Lhotse Face on May 6. Reaching speeds of 100 mph (160 kph), Miura slows himself with a parachute but loses control after hitting some rocks. He slides unconscious about 600 feet (200 meters) down the icy slopes, and fortunately stops just short of a huge crevasse.

1971: International Expedition. Norman Dyhrenfurth leads an expedition with thirty climbers from thirteen different countries including Don Whillans, Dougal Haston, Naomi Uemura, Pierre Mazeaud, and H. Bahuguna. This optimistic expedition hopes to simultaneously climb the SW Face and the West Ridge Direct, but is fraught with one- upsmanship, personality conflicts, and organizational problems. Bahuguna is caught out in a storm at Camp 3W. A rescue party climbs up to help him and he is found clipped onto the fixed ropes, missing a glove, his bare midriff exposed to the storm, and his face coated in ice. When it proves impossible to move him horizontally, they try to lower him vertically into the shelter of a crevasse, but the rope runs out before they can reach it a la Tony Kurtz on the Eiger Nordwald. Whillans utters his famous remark, "Sorry Harsh old son, you've had it." The expedition falters after his death, but Whillans and Haston push the SW Face route to 27,400 feet (8,350 meters) before lack of equipment forces an end to the expedition.

1971: Argentine Post-Monsoon Expedition. A post-monsoon expedition where J. Peterek and U. Vitale reach 26,600 feet (8,100 meters) before being defeated by high winds and an unfavorable weather forecast.

1972: European Expedition to the SW Face led by Dr. Karl Herrligkoffer and including climbers Don Whillans, Doug Scott, Hamish MacInnes, Felix Kuen, Adolf Huber, Werner Haim, and Leo Breitenberger. The expedition is plagued by personality conflicts and the withdrawal of many of the climbers, but the route is pushed as high as 27,200 feet (8,300 meters) before the attempt is abandoned.

1972: British SW Face Expedition led by Chris Bonington including climbers Mick Burke, Nick Estcourt, Dougal Haston, K. Kent, Hamish MacInnes, Tony Tighe, and Doug Scott. A post-monsoon expedition confronted with terrible weather, an elevation of 27,200 feet (8,300 meters) is reached below the Rock Band before retreating. Tragically, Tony Tighe is killed in the Icefall during the descent.

1973: Italian Expedition. Another huge expedition with sixty-four members led by Guido Monzino. Helicopters are used to shuttle equipment past the Khumbu Icefall and one hundred Sherpas are also employed. Eight climbers succeed via the South Col Route, including 16 year old Sambhu Tamang of Nepal. It is later revealed that Sambhu was actually 18. Italian Summiters were Rinaldo Carrel, Mirko Minuzzo, Fabrizio Innamorati, Virginio Epis, and Claudio Benedetti.

1973: Japanese Expedition. Led by Michio Yuasa, this large forty- eight man expedition attempted both the SW Face and South Col route. The SW Face party reaches 27,200 feet (8,300 meters) before giving up. Success is achieved on the South Col route when Hisahi Ishiguro and Yasuo Kato reach the summit, the first post-monsoon success on the mountain.

1974: Spanish Expedition attempts the South Col route. A high camp is placed on the SE Ridge, and twice teams were in position for a summit attempt, but both times are defeated by high winds. The second summit team manages to reach 27,900 feet (8,500 meters) before retreating. 

1974: French West Ridge Expedition. Led by Gerald Devouassoux, a post- monsoon attempt to climb the West Ridge Direct starting from the Lho La. Because of political considerations, they don't climb the slopes leading up to the Lho La directly, but start from the base of the Khumbu Icefall; the expedition eventually reaches the West Shoulder by September 9. A major lapse in monitoring weather reports prevents them from learning that an unexpected return of warm monsoon weather is about to occur. The tragic result is that Gerald Devouassoux and five Sherpas are swept away in an immense avalanche, after which the expedition is called off.

1975: Japanese Ladies Expedition led by Mrs Eiko Hisana. On May 16 Junko Tabei of Japan became the first woman to reach the summit via the South-East Ridge.

1975: Chinese Expedition led by Shih Chan-chun, leader of the 1960 Chinese ascent, and organized by a "Party Committee" that included Wang Fu-chou, one of the 1960 summiters. A military-style expedition that uses soldiers to carry supplies to the North Col and siege tactics to progressively reposition camps higher and higher up the mountain. A final assault camp is established between the First and Second Steps at 28,500 feet (8,680 meters) by the Mushroom Rock, and the Second Step is prepared with an aluminum ladder to overcome the final vertical headwall pitch. A team of nine climbers - eight
Tibetan and one Chinese - reaches the summit on May 27, including the Tibetan woman, Phantog. Phantog becomes the second woman to summit Everest, losing this honor to Junko Tabei by only a few days. She is the first woman to summit from the Tibetan side.

1975: British SW Face Expedition (post-monsoon). Leader Chris Bonington and including H. MacInnes, Peter Boardman, Martin Boysen, P. Braithwaite, Micke Burke, M. Cheney, C. Clarke, Nick Estcourt, Dougal Haston, and Doug Scott. Base Camp is reached on August 22 and Advance Base is established on September 2. The expedition is blessed with good weather and smooth logistics, resulting in the steady placement of camps up the Central Gully to Camp 5 at 25,500 feet (7800 meters). The Rock Band is ascended via a gully on the left side by Estcourt and Braithwaite, who have some sporty moments when their oxygen runs out on dicey pitches at 27,000 feet (8200 meters). The upper icefield is reached via an awkward outward-sloping ramp; Haston and Scott establish Camp 6 a few days later at an elevation of 27,300 feet (8300 meters). The next day they fix 1,500 feet of rope on the upper snowfield, extending the route towards a gully leading up to the South Summit. 

First Assault: Sept 24: Haston and Scott reach the South Summit at 3 PM after 11 hours of climbing. After preparing a snow cave and drinking a brew, they continue on to the summit which they reach at 6 PM. They descend to the South Summit and bivouac in the snowcave. After a freezing, oxygenless night complete with hypoxic conversations with feet, toes, and imaginary companions, the pair descend to Camp 6 safely, passing the second assault party on their way up.

Second Assault: Sept 26: Boardman and Sirdar Pertemba reach the summit and descend in a gathering storm, where they encounter Mick Burke just below the summit. They wait for him as long as possible before descending, but Burke is never seen alive again. He probably made the top but fell off of the heavily corniced summit ridge while descending in the deteriorating conditions.

1978: First Ascent without bottled oxygen: Peter Habeler (Austria) and Reinhold Messner (Italy) 5/8/78 via the South-East Ridge

1978: The first European woman and the third woman to summit Everest, Wanda Rutkiewicz, reaches the top. Wanda goes on to become known as the greatest woman climber ever.

1979: The first woman, Hannelore Schmatz, dies on Everest descending from the Summit after becoming only the 4th woman to Summit Everest.

1979: China opens up the north side (Tibet) again to western climbers.

1979: Andrej Stremfeli and Nejc Zaplotnik Summit via the true West ridge and descend via the Hornbein Couloir on 5/13/79.

1980: First Winter ascent Krzysztof Wielicki (Poland) 2/17/80

1980: Solo: Reinhold Messner (Italy) 8/20/80 via the North Col to the North Face and the Great Couloir. He climbed for three days entirely alone from his base camp at 6500 meters without the use of artificial oxygen via the North Col/North Face route.

1982: Laurie Skreslet first Canadian to reach the Summit.

1983: Lou Reichardt, Kim Momb, and Carlos Buhler reached the Summit via the East or Kangshung face on 10/8/83.

1984: Tim Macartney-Snape and Greg Mortimer reached the Summit via the North Couloir.

1984: April 20, 1984, Hristo Prodanov (Bulgaria) - Made the first ever ascent of the West Ridge Direct without oxygen (he also did it solo, which makes it the first and only solo ascent of the ridge). Also, first Bulgarian to summit Everest.

1988: Marc Batard, a Frenchman, sets the speed record on Everest on the South East ridge route from EBC to the Summit in 22.5 hours.

1988: The First American Woman, Stacey Allison reaches the Summit of Everest.

1990: First Married Couple to summit together: Andrej & Marija Stremfelj (Slovenia), 10/7/90.

1990: First Son of a summiter to Summit Everest: Peter Hillary (New Zealand) 5/10/90

1990: First father and son to summit together: Jean Noel Roche and his son Roche Bertrand aka Zebulon. They flew together on a tandem paraglider from the south Col. They landed at base camp on the 7th of October 1990. Roche Bertrand was 17 at the time and became the youngest person to ever climb Everest at the time.

1992: First case of two brothers to reach the Summit together: Alberto and Felix Inurrategui September 25, 1992.

1993: The first Nepalese woman, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, summits Everest but dies descending from the Summit on 4/23/93.

1993: Dicky Dolma becomes the youngest woman to Summit Everest at 19 years old.

1995: The first ascent of the Northeast Ridge, completed by Kiyoshi Furuno (Japan), Shigeki Imoto (Japan), Dawa Tshering Sherpa, Pasang Sherpa, and Nima Sherpa.

1995: George Mallory, grandson of George Leigh Mallory, reaches the Summit of Everest.

1996: 15 die on Everest, the most in a single year, including the most successful guide of his time, the great climber Rob Hall. 

1996: Ang Rita Sherpa (born 1947), Summits Everest for the 10th time. (1983,1984,1985,1987,1988,1990,1992,1993,1995,and 1996 all ascents without bottled oxygen.)

1996: The first ascent of the North-Northeast couloir by Peter Kuznetzov, Valeri Kohanov and Grigori Semikolenkov on 5/20/96.

1996: North Side: Fastest Ascent via the standard North Col-north ridge-north face Route: Hans Kammerlander (Italian) 5/24/96, 16 hours 45 minutes from base camp. He left BC at 6400 meters at 5pm on May 23, 1996 and was on the Summit 16 hours 45 minutes later at 9:45am the next day. He descended most of the route on skis.

1999: On May 12, 1999: Lev Sarkisov (2/12/38) became the oldest man to summit Everest. His record was later broken, but Lev is a special person. Lev, from Georgia, was 60years, 161 days young when he reached the Summit.

1999: May 6, 1999: Babu Chiri Sherpa spent 21 hours and 30 minutes on the Summit of Everest.

1999: George Mallory's body is found by and expedition lead by Eric Simonson. The mystery remains unanswered. 

1999: The National Geographic Society revised the elevation of Everest to 29,035 feet (8850 meters). Nepal does not accept the revised elevation. 

1999: Joby Ogwyn becomes the youngest American to Summit Everest

2000: New Speed Record Nepal Side: Babu Chiri Sherpa; from Everest base camp to the Summit via the South East ridge in 16 hours and 56 minutes on May 21st, 2000. 

2000: Apa Sherpa Summits for the 11th time.

2000: Oldest woman: Anna Czerwinska (born 7/10/49) climbed Everest from Nepal side on 5/22/2000.

2000: First true Ski descent: Davo Karnicar

2000: Anna Czerwinska becomes the oldest woman to summit Everest at 50years old

2001: Roche Bertrand and his wife Claire Bernier Roche flew together on a tandem paraglider from the North side Summit of Everest. The paraglider arrived at ABC 8 minutes later...This first husband and wife to fly from the Summit together !

2001: Stefan Gatt the first to Snowboard from the Summit of Everest.

2001: Marco Siffredi on his Snowboard completed the first-ever descent of Everest on a snowboard from the Summit to ABC.

2001: At 16 Temba Tsheri Sherpa  become the youngest person to Summit Everest.

2001: American Sherman Bull, at age 64, is the oldest person to summit Mount Everest.

2001: American Erik Weihenmayer becomes the first ever blind person to Summit Everest. 

2001: Sherman Bull becomes the oldest man to summit Everest at 64 years old

2002: Phil and Susan Ershler reached the summit of Mt. Everest becoming the first couple to climb the Seven Summits together. Additionally, they became the First American couple to climb Mt. Everest.

2002: Tamae Watanabe (born 11/21/1938) becomes the oldest woman to Summit everest at 63 years old.

2002: Tomiyasu Ishikawa becomes the oldest man to summit everest at 65 years old

2003: Yuichiro Miura Summited Everest at 70 to become the oldest man to reach the Summit. He summited with his son. Gota Miura.

2003: American Gary Guller become the first person with only one arm to Summit Everest.

2003: George Dijmarescu Summits Everest five times from the North in FIVE YEARS!

2003: Apa Sherpa Summits Everest for a record 13th time.

2003: The Chinese Broadcast LIVE from the Summit of Everest again.

2003: Yuichiro Miura becomes the oldest man to summit Everest at 70 years old…

2003: Jess Roskelley Become the youngest American to Summit Everest

2003: Babu's Sherpa Speed ascent record is broken

2003: Three Brothers Summit Everest on the same day

2003: Ming Kipa Sherpa become the youngest woman to summit Everest at 15 years old…

2003: Jess Roskelley Become the youngest American to Summit Everest

...and more to come!

 




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