Mount Everest

La Trinidad, 19 de Junio de 2000.

U. E. Liceo Los Arcos I° M. D. “B”.

English Work.

The Everest

Jorge Luis Canelón.

Carlos Eduardo Castorani.


We decided to do this work on Everest not only because of its highs but for what it has meant to humanity itself. This mountain has taken the lives of more than 156 climbers, and even with this in mind, each year people from all around the world spend thousands of dollars (more than 60) in going to the mountain and on many occasions dying on it. The Everest has became a myth trough the years, a place of amazing and terrifying tales and in this paper work we want you to get to know a little better this monster of nature...


60 million years ago, Indian's plaque advanced north and crashed with the euroasiatic plaque, and since then it has kept pushing with mighty strength.

As India keeps its advance of five centimeters per year, all of east Asia gets more and more deformed. The two plaques mount on top of each other and as a result the Himalayan mountains are created, and we say “are” because its still growing today.

To the English men, this mountain didn't seem too impressive so they name it Peak XV, but three years later the altitude was calculated, and the insignificant peak turned out to be the biggest monster in the face of the earth. Its definitive name was determined in 1865 by the English; they named it Everest, in honor of Sir George Everest, leader of the Indian colony of topography services.

The Everest, with 8.848m. of altitude, is located on the frontier between Tibet and Nepal, on the Himalayan mountains.

Although ice covers its sides, the top looks free of ice on winter because of the strong winds of the northeast. Among the many glacial that fill the slopes are the Kangshung, the Rongbuk, the Pumori and the Khumbu. The most important rivers of this mountain are the Dudh Kosi and the Rong Chu, witch valleys are used as routes to climb the high tops.

Since the 1920's the Everest has been the goal, if not obsession of many climbers around the world. The English started the first attempts (as they had done on the Alps). Other countries could've climb the mountain but the border of Nepal was closed to outsiders and the only ones who could climb it from Tibet were the English, because the Dalai Lama himself had granted them permission. George Mallory, who perished on his third attempt among with Andrew Irvine, promoted the first three expeditions.

The top of the world stopped being for British access only in the 1950, when China invaded Tibet and closed its borders and Nepal opened theirs. The amount of people who wanted to climb The Everest was so big that a waiting list had to be established. Many attempts were made to reach summit; but it wasn't until May 29th of 1953 when the top was reached for the first time, by a neozeland named Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa Tensing Norgay.

Climbers of many generations have wasted their efforts, and many times their life, on the desire of reaching the top of the world, at 8.848 meters high, almost at the beginning of the atmosphere. The first challenge was to reach the top, but later on, the challenge became to reach it from different sides and routes, without any extra oxygen and in the less time possible.

A Climb To Hell Itself

In the year of 1996, Jon Krakauer, a northamerican climber and journalist received an stimulant task from the Outside magazine: to join an expedition to the top of the Everest and relate the experience on an article.

But he didn't knew that journey was going to turn into a nightmare in witch eight people lost their life's.

Such colored people as Doug Hansen, a mail employee had saved for years to make this trip. Beck Weathers, a medic from Dallas celebrating his 50th birthday; and Sandy Pittman, the wife of an MTV founder. All of them had paid 65.000 $ on the obsession to spend some minutes on the top of the world. Their guide was the neozeland Robert Hall, who throughout five years had taken 39 persons safe and sound to their destiny. In this case, Hall wasn't immune to the pressure brought upon him by the journalist fellowship.

On may 7 Th 1996 was the “D day” to that expedition. There were almost 50 climbers settled on the south summit, antechamber to the top. There was nice weather and 33 climbers (the group of the northamerican Scott Fisher, friend and rival of Hall, between them) began the last step of the adventure. Soon the troubles started: Weathers, the medic, almost lost his sight by the lack of atmospheric pressure, because of an old surgery. The neozeland guide, incited by Fisher's advance decides to leave him and pick him up on his way back down. To avoid complications, the return to the camp should begin between the 13 Th and 14Th hours. But the advance of the less experienced climbers delays the ascension: at the 14 hours 75% of the expeditionaries have not reached the top yet.

Scott Fisher, who takes a long time to arrive, finally establish some contact with the base camp: “We did it!, God I'm very tired!!!”. There's Hall also, waiting for Doug Hansen's arrival, who he had encouraged to arrive, besides his evident fatigue. Doug reaches the top of his resistance, and he runs out of oxygen. From the south summit, the 2nd guide of the group makes a terrible mistake: tells Hall that the bottles of oxygen on the place previous to the top are empty, when they actually were full. Hall was trying to take down his client, but both of them stay trapped on a rocky wall. Things are not better to Fisher, whose strength disappears. Besides no one knows about the incoming storm of wind and snow. Temerity? Decrease of the mental faculties because of the altitude?; Krakauer still doesn't understands the reasons of the lacking of prevention on those pro climbers.

Eleven climbers reach the south summit, but by that time the wind had turned into a hurricane and the temperature had descended to 75° under zero, the visibility is minimal and the fatigue extreme. Sally Pittman screams “ I don't want to die!” (But at the end she was going to). Finally, hours later, only five persons get to the camp. Pittman will be rescued later. The rescue of the rest of the climbers in danger is a failure: Hall dies after talking via satellite with his pregnant wife; Doug Hansen and Andy Harris, who had gone to look for Hall, disappeared, and Fisher is beaten by the storm. Only the Texan pathologist Beck Weathers is successfully rescued under a deep covering of snow and with many parts of his body frozen.


After knowing the horrible experience of this people and many others climbing the mount Everest, our conclusion is that at this altitude the errors are paid too high, and even thou we all feel somehow an attraction to this kind of adventure, this persons death makes us think twice before attempting to climb this mountain, and realize this challenge is not up to any kind of people.

None of us knows how does it feels to reach the top of this great mountain, but we do know it isn't worth to risk one's neck for it, there are many other better and safer ways to enjoy life.


  • GEO Magazine #141, October 1998.

  • Encyclopedia “Hispánica”, book # 3.

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Enviado por:Carlos Castorani
Idioma: inglés
País: Venezuela

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