The Bluffer's Briefing: Everest

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The Independent Online
Name in Tibetan: Chomolunga - Goddess Mother of the Earth.

Official British designation until 1865: Peak XV.

Renamed in 1865: After Sir George Everest (1790-1866), surveyor- general of India.

First recognised as highest peak in the world: 1852.

Satellite and laser estimate of height: 29,002ft 7in (8,846.1m).

First ascent: 11.30am, 29 May 1953, by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary.

Number of successful ascents since 1953: 360 (latest estimate).

First woman to climb Everest: Junko Takei of Japan in 1975.

Fastest ascent: 221 2 hours.

First descent by guided parachute: 1988.

Most busy day on summit: 10 May 1993, when an estimated 37 climbers reached the top.

Weight of refuse around the South Col 3,000ft below summit: 20 tons.

Number of dead bodies in same area: 23.

Total number of deaths on Everest since 1953: over 100.

First live TV broadcast from the summit: Japanese TV, 5 May 1988.

Why French TV didn't get there first: A mountaineer trod on the wire.

Useful fact: If all the household garbage produced in Tokyo in one day was piled into a square column with a base one metre wide, it would be taller than Mount Everest.