Mount Everest: Facts About the Highest Mountain in the World

Here are some facts about Mount Everest.

  • Mount Everest is located in the Himalayan mountain range on the border between Nepal and China. It is the world’s highest mountain at 29,029 feet (8848 metres).

  • Mount Everest is higher than 21 Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other. It is actually increasing in height by a 1/3 of an inch every year.
  • Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first men to climb Mount Everest, in May 1953. At the summit, they took photographs, and buried a cross and some candy in the snow.
  • Since 1953, over 5,000 people have climbed Mount Everest, although over 200 have died in the attempt. Over 100 dead bodies remain buried on the mountain, frozen stiff.
  • Reinhold Messner made both the first solo ascent, as well as the first ascent without oxygen, in 1979. One person, Aba Sherpa, has climbed to the top over 20 times.
  • To climb Everest typically takes years of mountaineering experience and training. However, the cost is relatively inexpensive at around $36,000 including food, a guide, travel to Nepal, accommodation and climbing gear.
  • The youngest person to reach the summit of Everest was only 13 years old, while the oldest person to climb Everest was 76. At least one blind person has made it to the summit.
  • The temperature at the summit never gets above freezing and can be as cold as -76 degrees F during the winter months. However, the leading cause of death on Mount Everest is avalanches.
Mount Everest
Mount Everest (Source)
  • Because so many people climb the mountain, a lot of waste is left behind, including tents, clothing and oxygen tanks. About 900 pounds of rubbish was collected from the mountain between 2008 and 2011.
  • In each breath taken on Mount Everest, there is about 66 percent less oxygen than there would be at sea level. For a person to fully adjust to the difference in altitude when climbing, it would take 2 months.

What next? Discover facts about some more of the world’s most famous mountains by visiting our mountains resources page.

Mont Blanc Facts

Here are some interesting facts about Mont Blanc.

  • Mont Blanc (French for White Mountain) is the highest mountain in the European Union, at 15,781 feet. It is located in the French Alps, very close to the border with Italy.

  • The first recorded ascent was in August, 1786 by Jacque Balmat and Michel Paccard, and the first ascent by a woman was in 1808. A Swiss mountaineer climbed Mont Blanc and came back down in just over 5 hours.
  • Over 20,000 climbers reach the summit of the mountain every year. There are several different established routes to the summit, one of which means spending the night in a hut.
  • The exact height of Mont Blanc can actually vary from year to year, depending on the amount of snow cover. There are actually two summits, about 100 feet apart.
Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc (Source)
  • The Mont Blanc tunnel, which links France and Italy, travels directly underneath the mountain. The tunnel is 7 miles long and took 8 years to build.
  • A jacuzzi party was held on the summit of the mountain, in 2007. It took 20 people to carry a portable hot tub to the summit, along with equipment able to withstand the cold.
  • Like other popular mountains, human waste has long been a problem on Mont Blanc. In 2007, two portable toilets were carried by helicopter and placed on the mountain at a height of 14,000 feet.
  • Two passenger aircraft have crashed on the mountain, in 1950 and 1966, killing over 160 people. In 1960, Henri Giraud landed a small aircraft successfully on the summit.
  • The first Winter Olympic Games were held in 1924 in Chamonix, a town at the foot of the mountain. Mont Blanc is also regarded by many as the birthplace of modern mountaineering.
  • Although the entire area is well known for its winter sports and mountaineering, summer is also a popular time to visit. The surrounding area offers great opportunities for hiking and cycling.

What next? Learn about some of the world’s other famous mountains.

Mont Ventoux Facts

Here are some facts about Mont Ventoux.

  • Mont Ventoux is located in the Provence region of France.
  • It is about 1900 metres high and is easily the highest point in the region.

  • The mountain is known as the Beast of Provence, and some people refer to it as the Bald Mountain.
  • Mont Ventoux is associated with very strong winds and, at the summit, wind speeds of more than 200 mph have been recorded. The roads high up on the slopes are often closed as a result of the strong gusts.
  • The peak of Mont Ventoux is bare limestone. It looks like the summit of Mont Ventoux is covered with snow all year, but this is not the case. It is only snow-capped in the winter months.
Mont Ventoux
The summit of Mont Ventoux (Source)
  • A chapel was built at the summit of Mont Ventoux in the 15th century.
  • Several species of spiders and butterflies can only be found on the slopes of Mont Ventoux.
  • Mont Ventoux is famous for its links to the Tour de France bicycle race. An ascent of Mont Ventoux has been part of the Tour de France more than ten times and it has often been the the site of the Tour de France finish line.
  • In 1967, Tom Simpson, a British cyclist competing in the Tour de France, died on Mont Ventoux. He was suffering from heat exhaustion. A memorial to him has been erected on the mountain close to the spot where he died.
  • The cycle ride from Bedoin to Mont Ventoux is thought to be one of the most physically challenging climbs in the world.

What next? Discover more mountain facts by visiting our mountain resources page.

Mount Carmel: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Mount Carmel.

  • The name Mount Carmel has caused confusion because it doesn’t refer to one peak, but rather to an entire mountain range.
  • The mountain range is located in the northern part of Israel and it extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the settlement of Jenin.

  • The Mount Carmel range is 39 km in length and about 8 km wide.
  • The highest point in Mount Carmel is the steep ridge on its northeastern side. This is more than 500 metres tall.
  • The mountain range is made up of flint and limestone.
  • It contains several caves and it is covered with oak trees, pines trees and olive trees.
  • Several towns are located on The Mt Carmel range, including: Yokneam, Zikhron and Nesher.
  • The remains of several Neanderthals and early humans have been recovered from the caves in Mount Carmel. One of the most important finds was named Tabun I, a female Neanderthal.
Mount Carmel
The slopes of Mount Carmel (Source)
  • Mount Carmel was an important strategic location in World War I. The Battle of Megiddo (WW1) took place near to the Carmel Ridge.
  • Elijah, a famous prophet, is associated with Mount Carmel in Christian, Islamic and Jewish religious texts. He is thought to have lived in a grotto (cave) in the mountain.
  • The Carmelites were a Catholic religious order founded in the 12th century. They built a monastery in Mount Carmel and became one of the world’s most powerful religious groups.
  • In 2010 a forest fire started on the slopes of Mount Carmel. It destroyed a large proportion of the Mediterranean forest and took the lives of more than 40 people.

What next? Learn about other famous mountains by visiting our mountains resources page.

Snow Leopard: Facts and Information

Snow Leopard Fact File

Latin Name: Panthera uncia

Colour: White and yellow, with black stripes and spots.

Length: 2.3m (about 7′ 6″)

Habitat: The slopes of mountains (up to heights of about 3000 metres)

Range: Mountainous regions of Asia (including, Russia, Tibet and China)

Facts About Snow Leopards

  • Snow leaopards are also known as ounces.
  • They are quite similar to true leopards in terms of their colour, size and markings. Snow leaopards have longer tails, are more slender and they have a much thicker fur.
  • In winter months, the snow leopard’s coat can be up to 10 cm thick and covers all of its body. This helps to protect it from the extremely low night-time temperatures.
  • Snow leopards eat mainly small birds and animals. They will eat something as small as a mouse, but are also able to hunt mountain goats.
  • Mountian leopards mate in the summer and give birth to their young in the spring. Two or three mountain leopard kittens are usually born in each litter.
  • They hardly come into contact with humans – their mountain habitats are often remote and uninhabited – although they have been known to prey on flocks of sheep and goats.
  • Although it is difficult to say with certainty how many snow leopards live in the mountains today, it has been estimated that their numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years due to the facts that they have been hunted for their coats.

Have look at this fantastic clip of a snow leopard pursuing a mountain goat. It demonstrates just how well adapted the animals are to the harsh and unforgiving mountain environment.

What next? Find out more facts about mountains, or have a look at some of our other animal fact files.

Mount Kilimanjaro Facts: Information About the Highest Mountain in Africa

Kilimanjaro Fact File

Country: Tanzania, Africa

Height: 5895 m

Location: Kilimanjaro National Park

First recorded ascent of Kilimanjaro: In October 6, 1889 a group including Hans Meyer (a German geologist) and Ludwig Purtscheller (an Austrian mountaineer) reached the summit of Kibo, one of three volcanic cones of Kilimanjaro.

Other Facts About Kilimanjaro

  • Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano with three volcanic cones, called Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira.
  • It’s the highest mountain in Africa.
  • One of the volcanic cones, Kibo, could erupt again.
  • Many people go trekking to the summit of Kilimanjaro each year. There are 6 official routes: Shira, Machame, Marangu, Umbwe, Lemosho and Rongai. The climb to the summit of Kilmanjaro is not technically challenging, but climbers have to deal with high altitudes (and the possibility of getting altitude sickness), low temperatures and high winds.
  • Several people die each year on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • The ice field at the summit of Kilmanjaro, which has been there for about 12000 years, is getting smaller every year. By 2030, it is thought that it will gone completely.
  • In 2001, Bruno Brunod completed an ascent in the time of 5 hours, 38 minutes. He was running most of the way.
  • You are not allowed to climb Mount Kilimanjaro on your own. You must have a team of local porters and a guide. This not only makes the climb safer for tourists, but it also provides employment for local people.

Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon): Facts About the Highest Mountain in Wales

Snowdon Fact File

Country: Wales

Height: 1085 m (3560 ft)

Location: Snowdonia National Park

First person to reach the summit: Thomas Johnson in 1639.

Other Facts About Mount Snowdon

  • Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and the highest peak in the British Isles if you exclude the Scottish Highlands.
  • The mountain was used by Edmund Hillary when he was training for his Mount Everest expedition.
  • The name Snowdon means ‘snow hill’ and snow can often be seen covering parts of the mountain.
  • The summit can be reached by a number of well-established paths and this is why Snowdon is the busiest mountain in Britain. The summit can also be reached by the Snowdon Railway Line which opened in 1896.
  • Snowdon is famed for its beautiful wildflowers. The rare Snowdon Lily grows on its slopes.
  • The views from the summit of Snowdon are spectacular. When the weather conditions are right, it is possible to see England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man from Snowdon.
  • According to Welsh folklore, the giant, Rhitta Gawr, is buried on the summit of Snowdon. Rhitta Gawr was killed by King Arthur.
  • Snowdon, along with Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, makes up the National Three Peaks Challenge.
  • In 2022, the Snowdonia National Park Authority voted that Snowdon would be known by its Welsh name Yr Wyddfa, and Snowdonia would be named Eryri.
  • More than 400,000 walkers climb the mountain each year.

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Scafell Pike: Facts About the Highest Mountain in England

Scafell Pike Fact File

Country: England

Height: 978m (3209 ft)

Location: Lake District, Cumbria

Other Facts About Scafell Pike

  • Scafell Pike is made of igneous rock. The summit is covered with shattered rocks (a boulder field), probably caused by the effects of weathering and frost action.
  • Confusingly, right next to Scafell Pike is a peak called Sca Fell. This is nearly as high as Scafell Pike (and from some angles looks to bigger).
  • Originally, the name ‘The Pikes of Sca Fell’ was given to the three peaks today called Scafell Pike, Ill Crag and Broad Crag. An error in an Ordnance Survey map called the highest peak Scafell Pike, and the name stuck.
  • Lord Leconfield donated Scafell Pike to the National Trust 1n 1919 to honour the men from the Lake District who had lost their lives in World War 1.
  • Scafell Pike is part of the National Three Peaks Challenge (along with Ben Nevis and Snowdon).
  • Nobody knows who was the first person to reach the summit of Scafell Pike. Many thousands of people have made the ascent over the years – including Samuel Coleridge in 1802.
  • There are four main routes up Scafell Pike. They follow these valleys:  Wasdale Head, Borrowdale, Great Langdale and Eskdale.
  • Westwater Lake at the foot of Scafell Pike is the deepest lake in England.

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Ben Nevis: Facts About the Highest Mountain in Scotland

Ben Nevis Fact File

Country: Scotland

Height: 1344 m (4409 ft)

Range: Grampion Mountains

First to reach the summit: James Robertson on 17th August 1771.

Other Facts About Ben Nevis

  • Ben Nevis is the highest peak in Scotland and it’s also the tallest mountain in the British Isles.
  • Ben Nevis is all that’s left of an ancient volcano. It’s peak is the collapsed dome of the volcano that imploded millions of years ago.
  • Snow can be found on the mountain nearly all throughout the year.
  • James Roberston, a botanist from Edinburgh, was the first person to climb to the top of Ben Nevis. He did this on 17th August 1771.
  • In 1818 the poet John Keats climbed the mountain,
  • An observatory was built at the summit in 1883 to monitor the weather at high altitudes. This was open for 20 years and was then left unmanned due to lack of funding. It’s ruins can still be seen at the summit today.
  • There is an emergency shelter at the summit for those who get stuck there in bad conditions, and there is also a World War 2 memorial located near the observatory ruins.
  • Over 100,000 people climb Ben Nevis every year making it an important tourist attraction. Most of these people take the Pony Path, a track constructed to allow ponies to bring supplies to the observatory.
  • The Ben Nevis Race, held annually in September, is a hill running race up and down the mountain. The best competitors can do this in less than 1 hour 30 minu.tes.
  • Along with Scafell Pike (in England) and Snowdon (in Wales), Ben Nevis makes up the National Three Peaks Challenge – climbing all three mountains in 24 hours.

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