Summits Summits


This is a photo of Ama Dablam. I think she is the most beautiful of all the mountains I have seen. Can you see her arms outstretched to her people and her nose?

I’ll be walking past Ama Dablam on my way to Everest Base Camp again this year. I’ll take another photo then and we can see if she’s changed at all.

Now lets have a look at Mt Everest’s -

Climbing History:

  • 1920’s: Nepal was closed
  • 1921 and 1922: exploratory climbs
  • 1924: Mallory and Irvine disappeared
  • Post WWII: “Everest Fever” began with exploratory expeditions
  • late 1940’s: Tibet closed its borders to all foreigners
  • 1950: China invaded Tibet and Nepal opened it borders; some believe that by allowing foreigners in they wouldn’t suffer the same fate as Tibet
  • 1951: The British found a way through the Khumbu icefall
  • 1952: The Swiss gained the only permits issued and the British held their breath. The Swiss got to within 248m of the summit. Tensing was on this team.
  • 1953: The British, led by Colonel John Hunt, had another go….and the rest as they say is history. A beekeeper from New Zealand became the first person to stand on the roof of the world.


  • First ascent: 11:30am 29th May 1953 – (Sir) Edmund Hillary (NZ) and Tenzing Norgay (Nepal). They spent 15mins on the summit.
  • First Australian: 3rd October 1984 – Tim Macartney-Snape
  • The First South Australian: 23rd May 2001 – Duncan Chessell. Can you find out who was the first person from your state?
  • On 11 May 1990 Tim was the first to go from Sea Level to the Summit
  • Most Summits: Apa Sherpa - 21 as at May 2011
  • Youngest person: Jordan Romero – 13yo American (May 2010)

Mt Everest is the tallest mountain in the world but there are 13 other mountains over 8,000m.
Australian Andrew Lock topped the true summit of Shishapangma at 5.05pm on 2 October 2009, making him the first Australian and only the 18th in the world to summit all 14 of the 8,000m peaks! Wow! Isn’t that amazing? On 6 of those peaks he was the first Australian!

The fourteen 8,000m peaks:

Everest 8,850m
Nepal/Tibet 1953 Edmund Hillary
Tenzing Norgay
K2 8,611m
Pakistan 1954 Achille Compagnoni
Lino Lacedelli
Kangchenjunga 8,586m
Nepal/India 1955 George Band
Joe Brown
Lhotse 8,516m
Nepal/Tibet 1956 Fritz Luchsinger
Ernst Reiss
Makalu 8,463m
Nepal 1955 Jean Couzy
Lionel Terray
Cho-Oyu 8,201m
Nepal/Tibet 1954 Joseph Joechler
Pasang Dawa Lama
Herbert Tichy
Dhaulagiri 8,167m
Nepal 1960 Kurt Diemberger
Peter Diener
Nawang Dorje
Nima Dorje
Ernst Forrer
Albin Schelbert
Manaslu 8,156m
Nepal 1956 Toshio Imanishi
Gyalzen Norbu
Nanga Parbat 8,125m
Pakistan 1953 Hermann Buhl
Annapurna 8,091m
Nepal 1950 Maurice Herzog
Louis Lachenal
Gasherbrum I 8,068m
Pakistan/China 1958 Andrew Kauffman
Pete Schoening
Broad Peak 8,047m
Pakistan/China 1957 Fritz Wintersteller
Marcus Schmuck
Kurt Diemberger
Hermann Buhl
Gasherbrum II 8,035m
Pakistan/China 1956 Fritz Moravec
Josef Larch
Hans Willenpart
Shishapangma 8,013m
China/Tibet 1964 Hsu Ching (+ 9 other members)

Mt Everest is the highest peak in Asia. Some people like the challenge of climbing the highest peak on each of the 7 continents. Can you name the 7 continents (without peaking below)?

The Seven summits are:

Asia Mt Everest 8,850m
South America Aconcagua 6,962 m
North America Mt McKinley (Denali) 6,194m
Africa Kilimanjaro 5,895m
Europe Mt Elbrus 5,642m
Antarctica Mt Vinson 4,897m
Australia Mt Kosciusko 2,228m

Can you find them all on a map?

I can think of 2 songs that have the names of two of these mountains in the title or the lyrics. Can you?  Answer