The highest mountain on earth is known as Qomolangma in Tibetan, Sagarmatha in Nepali, or Mt Everest in English. Mt Everest can be seen from hundreds of kilometers away and appears as a shining silver pyramid in the distance. The mountain is snow-covered all year round and has inspired artists and drawn Buddhist pilgrims for centuries. Known as a sacred mountain in Tibet, it is revered by all Tibetans. No Sherpa will lead a mountaineering group up Mt Everest without first stopping to burn incense and leave offerings to the gods to ensure that they will have a successful climb.
The Tibetan name means"mother goddess of the universe", the Nepali name means"goddess of the sky", and in English, it was named after Sir Everest, the 19th-century British surveyor-general of India. The mountain which is part of the high Asian Himalayas is located on the border between China's Tibet and Nepal. The summit of Mt Everest is 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level. Mt Everest's location is latitude 27 59' N longitude 86 56' E. Ever since Edmund Hillery and Tenzing Norgay, the first climbers to reach Mt Everest's summit in 1953, Mt Everest has been attracting climbers of all levels. Climbers of all skill levels have ascended the mountain. The mountain does not pose a high level of technical difficulty. It is the lack of oxygen, high winds and freezing cold that pose the biggest threat. Mt Everest has two main climbing routes as well as numerous less frequently climbed routes. The two main routes are Southeast Ridge Route from Nepal and the Northeast Ridge Route from China. The Southeast Ridge Route is the easier of the two, and therefore the more commonly used. In 2007, there were 3,679 successful climbs to the summit of Mt Everest. Very few significant climbs up Mt Everest have ever been accomplished without the help of Sherpas.
They are an ethnic group who are typically employed as guides for climbing Mt Everest. They are elite mountaineers who have grown up on the low-oxygen Tibetan Plateau making them immune to altitude sickness. They have amazing physical endurance, seem to be the happiest people on earth, and are quick with a smile.
The Rongbuk Monastery located at the foot of Mt Everest, at an elevation of 5,000meters (16,404 feet), is the highest temple in the world. The monastery is the best place from which to view Mt Everest and the nearby Rongbuk Glacier which is the largest of the hundreds of glaciers located around Mt Everest.
Although few people will ever be able to, or feel the desire to climb Mt Everest, it is still an awe-inspiring place. Viewing it from the Rongbuk Monastery has never failed to overwhelm visitors.
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