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July 2016

What is the tallest mountain in the world?

At 8,850 meters (29,035 ft), Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. In Nepali, Everest is called Sagarmatha or “Forehead of the Sky” and in Tibetan it is known as Qomolangma or “Mother of the Universe”. In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest and return to tell about it. However, 29 years earlier, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, two British climbers, had set out to accomplish the same feat. Although they died at some point on their journey, Noel Odell, the expedition’s geologist, witnessed the duo climbing not far from the summit at 12:50 pm on June 8, 1924. In 1999, Mallory’s body was discovered just below the Second Step. The general consensus among climbers has been that the pair never reached the summit, and there is no evidence of either man above the Second Step, but if Mallory made it that far he likely summited as there are no technically difficult climbs beyond that point.

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