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How Many People Have Climbed Mount Everest?

Diana Bocco
Updated May 23, 2024
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At 29,028 feet (8,848 meters), Mount Everest is the tallest mountain of the world. It is considered one of the most challenging mountains to climb, and is part of the Seven Summits, which have the highest peaks on each continent. Though it's impossible to say how many people have reached Everest's summit at any given time since the number changes every year, as of September 2011 over 3,100 climbers from over 20 countries had made over 5,100 recorded climbs, mostly after 2000 CE. As of 2012 there were over 220 recorded fatalities, most of which took place before 1990. Changes in climbing equipment led to a sharp drop in fatalities in the 2000s, with the death rate dropping from 37% in 1990 to about 4.4% in 2004.

Notable Ascents

The first officially recorded summit was accomplished by Sir Edmund Percival Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a sherpa from Nepal, on 29 May 1953. There were several claims that previous climbers had reached the summit before them, notably George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine. Mallory and Irving may have summited Mount Everest in 1924, but they died in the attempt and it's unclear from the placement of the bodies whether they actually reached the top or not.

The first woman to climb Mount Everest was Junko Tabei, who reached the summit in 1975. Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler were the first to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, which they did in 1978. In 1980, Messner was also the first solo climber to reach the summit. Other notable ascents include:

  • Min Bahadur Sherchan, 25 May 2008: the oldest person to summit the mountain as of 2011. He was 76 when he reached the top.
  • Jordan Romero, 25 May 2010: the youngest person to summit the mountain as of 2011. He was 13 when he reached the top.
  • Erik Weihenmayer, 25 May 2001: The first blind climber to summit Mount Everest.
  • Tamae Watanabe, 19 May 2012: The oldest woman to reach the top. She was 73 years old.
  • Apa Sherpa 10 May 1990 - 11 May 2011: the person who has made the most summits as of 2011. Sherpa climbed Everest 21 times between 1990 and 2011.
  • Mona Mulepati and Pem Dorje Sherpa, 30 May 2005: the first couple to get married on top of Mt. Everest.

Making an Ascent

There are a total of about 15 recognized routes for climbing Mount Everest, but only two main ones. One starts in Nepal, and runs up the southeast ridge of the mountain, and the other starts in Tibet, and runs up the north ridge. Each of these routes has its own base camp for people to start out from, called the South Base Camp and the North Base Camp, respectively. The South Base Camp is generally more popular, since the southeast ascent is easier and several permits are required to go to the North Base Camp. As both of the camps are high above sea level, most people stop over for a few days to get used to the altitude.

After resting in the base camp, climbers generally start their ascent very early in the morning, as its much more dangerous to try to summit after around 11 in the morning. People almost always go as part of an expedition or guided tour. Many expeditions and tours include helpers and people to carry equipment, and sometimes even cooks. Members of a local ethnic group, called Sherpas, often work as guides or helpers. Climbers make their ascent and descent in steps, moving from camp to camp over the course of several days, which gives them time to adjust to the changing altitude and to rest in between climbs.

Effects on Climbers

The combination of cold and altitude has a number of physical effects on climbers. Many people experience altitude sickness, which causes dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. There is only about a third of the oxygen at near the top of Everest as there is at sea level, which makes it difficult to breathe, and puts climbers at risk for High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain. Climbers are also at risk for High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPA), a condition in which fluid accumulates in the lungs. The cold also causes frostbite and hypothermia.

Impact on the Mountain

The increased climber and tourist traffic on Mount Everest has led to an increase in litter and waste being left behind. As of 2008 there was an estimated 120 tons of litter on the mountain, mostly oxygen tanks, tents, and other equipment. Human waste is also an issue, with almost 900 pounds (about 400 kg) of human waste having been collected off of Mount Everest between 2008 and 2011.

Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Diana Bocco
By Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various businesses. With a data-focused approach and a talent for sharing engaging stories, Diana’s written work gets noticed and drives results.
Discussion Comments
By anon329440 — On Apr 09, 2013

It's simple. Climb if you must but take everything you add to the mountain off. Yes, including your poo. Put money into a fund so that if you don't make it someone will take your carcass off the mountain, and your gear.

Anything less then this is selfish and you shouldn't be allowed to climb.

By anon309173 — On Dec 15, 2012

Mallory was most likely among the 80 percent of climbers who perished on their way down from the summit.

By anon291549 — On Sep 15, 2012

Who was the most obese person to ever reach the summit? Did he smoke as well?

By anon275742 — On Jun 19, 2012

What animals live on Mount Everest and has anyone seen a picture of any animals there?

By anon270454 — On May 22, 2012

How many people are on the mountain at one time during the season? I just watched a documentary and a guy (Geordie Stewart) from England was the youngest to climb all seven tallest summits on seven continents, Everest looked busier than my High Street! Lots of dead bodies lying around too.

By anon270288 — On May 22, 2012

People have the right to risk their lives as they wish.

Some day I fear that nanny-state leftists will have outlawed all possible risk, and turned us into passive farm animals.

Read "1984" or "Animal Farm." Educate yourselves, people.

By anon260248 — On Apr 10, 2012

I just watched the doc film, "Dying for Everest." I was shocked how many dead bodies from climbers are still up on Everest (over 219) who have died climbing it. The bodies stay up on the mountain because it is too dangerous for rescuers to take them off.

The place near the summit where there is a ladder is called "Rainbow Valley" by the climbers because of all the dead bodies below from the colors of their jackets and gear.

The risk of dying decreases when you go in groups and under the correct conditions and with expert assistance. Nevertheless, it is dangerous and that is part of the thrill the climbers seem to ache for.

By anon199004 — On Jul 21, 2011

I don't need to climb Mt. Everest. I rode "Expedition Everest" at Disneyworld. It cost me almost as much and I waited in line about the same amount of time.

By anon187846 — On Jun 19, 2011

I'm surprised how uneducated people are regarding Everest and how envious some of you are for those who climbed.

The Everest climb is free. All you have to pay is the permit -10,000 dollars per person but the rest you can do yourself but...

Good luck. I climbed it two times and I paid. It also provide employment to many Nepali people.

Don't be envious -- just find your own challenge.

By anon175063 — On May 11, 2011

95 Everything I have read by serious climbers makes the crown jewel climbing K2, not Everest. The most common reason being that K2 is considered the harder of the two to summit.

By anon172099 — On May 02, 2011

Mt. Everest was made when the indian plate and the eurasian plate collided 60 million years ago, the indian plate was moving at a very fast rate in geographical terms, and so when it collided it pushed up this great mountain range, the Himalayas, which happens to hold Mt. everest. Mt. everest is still growing (2.14 inches per year) taller today because the plates are still slowly colliding pushing the mountains higher and higher. But erosion is still taking place.

The fastest growing mountain range happens to be the Rocky Mountain Range in north america. it is said that one day the Rockies will come to conquer the himalayas because of how fast they are eroding. Who knows? Maybe America will one day be home to the tallest mt in the world.

By anon149468 — On Feb 04, 2011

basic necessities for climbing mount everest cost around $40,000! (just for basics).

By anon136679 — On Dec 23, 2010

71 - good luck!

By anon135174 — On Dec 17, 2010

If it is impossible to state how many people have climbed Mount Everest. why do you have a statistic of a 9 percent fatality rate? You would just take that number and divide into 179 to find how many people made it or attempted.

By anon132401 — On Dec 06, 2010

All you people keep asking the same questions and they have been answered in posts before yours so read above.

By anon120491 — On Oct 21, 2010

What people do on climbing the mountain? why do we want to know about all the things in the mountain? what is the profit for the climber?

By anon116255 — On Oct 06, 2010

it seems that Sherpa Tenzing failed six times. In his seventh attempt he was successful in reaching the peak..

is this true? if yes, what is the reason for his failure?

By anon105176 — On Aug 19, 2010

how many people have climbed mt. everest without O2?

By anon101865 — On Aug 05, 2010

George Mallory and Irvine both died on the mountain but who knows if they reached the summit?

Well, some believe and some don't.

Mallory told his wife that he would place a picture of her on the summit of Mount Everest, so he took it with him in his wallet.

His body has been found and whoever found the corpse took his wallet and the picture wasn't there.

By anon101665 — On Aug 04, 2010

Have not the natives been climbing everest? How many and when did the natives climb it? Do You really think that white people are the only ones who count in everything? They live there and get you up the mountain. I never hear of their climbs.

By anon88912 — On Jun 07, 2010

How much rubbish has been deposited on the mountain and left there forever?

Is climbing Everest now nothing more than a selfish indulgence?

Why are people reluctant to help other climbers?

By anon88774 — On Jun 07, 2010

Sir Rannulf Feinnes has climbed it last year!

he rocks!

By anon85873 — On May 22, 2010

13 year old Jordan Romero has set a new record for youngest person to scale the mountain.

By anon83066 — On May 09, 2010

That is a lot of people. i would not want to climb mount everest or any mountain. it would take a long time for me as i have a sprained ankle, but when it's all better i might climb it. wish me luck.

By anon82881 — On May 07, 2010

i want to know the first five names who reached at mount everest. Please can you help me.

By anon80105 — On Apr 26, 2010

number 5 they had climbed because they wear heavy clothes,hoods,and goggles. and they are tied together by a 12-foot rope. then the time comes when it is hard to breathe. They used oxygen masks, then when they reach the top of the mountain they shake hands together. I wish i could see/meet them. they're my favorite mountain climbers.

By anon80103 — On Apr 26, 2010

hey the sixteen men died because the air is thin

By anon77184 — On Apr 13, 2010

mount everest is not the tallest mountain in the world. it is because there is different height of see level and that one is smaller than the tallest one.

By anon72889 — On Mar 24, 2010

Twelve people died near the top in 1996 .

By anon61498 — On Jan 20, 2010

How did those people that was climbing Mount Everest die?

By anon61335 — On Jan 19, 2010

This article is great. I am going to recommend it to all of my friends doing the report on Everest!

By anon61326 — On Jan 19, 2010

who was the first person who tried to climb mount everest?

By anon60230 — On Jan 12, 2010


By anon59482 — On Jan 08, 2010

so, how many people did summit mount everest?

By anon59182 — On Jan 06, 2010

Thanks. I will use this info in my report.

By anon58164 — On Dec 30, 2009

Mt. Everest isn't really the highest mountain. It is the highest as far as sea level, but the point on the earth that is farthest from earth's center is Chimborazo in Ecuador. This is caused from the earth's slightly un-spherical shape and sea level is at different elevations on the earth depending where you are located.

By anon57803 — On Dec 27, 2009

Around 10,000 people have attempted to climb Mount Everest. 3,500 successfully reached the summit and more than 200 died trying.

By anon52543 — On Nov 15, 2009

i love this, but can you please tell me how many people reached it and their names.

By anon49435 — On Oct 20, 2009

will mount everest ever have a road to base camp so no one will die ever again there? would it ever happen? who thinks so?

By anon48751 — On Oct 14, 2009

how many people have reached the mt. Everest summit a year?

By anon48269 — On Oct 11, 2009

how many people have tried to climb mount everest?

By anon47830 — On Oct 07, 2009

how many made it?

By anon47652 — On Oct 06, 2009

What made mount everest?

By anon47168 — On Oct 02, 2009

thanks. that helped.

By anon46266 — On Sep 23, 2009

how many people on average climb mt. everest a year?

By anon39210 — On Jul 30, 2009

how many woman have climbed, and reach the top of mt. everest, who haven't died?

By anon38756 — On Jul 28, 2009

omg no help at all. thank you for nothing

By anon37480 — On Jul 20, 2009

Any one who climbs a mountain - especially Mt. Everest - has to be crazy - talk about a death wish!

By anon35568 — On Jul 06, 2009

first woman of the world scaled third time mount everest in may 1999

By anon28790 — On Mar 22, 2009

highest not tallest

Tallest denotes overall height

highest denotes farthest from center of earth

a standard measurement

*or* from sea level another standard measurement

*tallest* is Mona Loa volcano in Hawaii

13,680 from sea level

16,400 below sea level

for a total of 30,080 feet *tall*

making it the *tallest*

this article was very useful

Thank you

By anon27578 — On Mar 02, 2009

How can someone survive up on Mountain without oxygen?

By anon19578 — On Oct 15, 2008

great for school!!! :)

By anon18447 — On Sep 23, 2008

How many people have climbed and lived?

By anon13770 — On Jun 04, 2008

this is a great article for school!

good info!

Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various...
Learn more
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