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The peak of Mount Everest is famous for being the highest point on the surface of the Earth (over 29,000 feet). It is this fact that has inspired so many people to try to climb it. The first successful climb to the summit was achieved jointly by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on May 29th 1953. The actual height of the mountain peak is quoted variously as 29,002ft, 29028ft, 29035ft, and it is getting higher, as the geology that put the Himalayas there is continuously active.
Climbing Mount Everest isn't easy, partly because it's a very high mountain, but also because at that altitude the air is very thin. Also, the weather is not always good!
There are political problems, because Everest is near the border between Nepal and Tibet, and some people would rather wait until the problem with China is solved.
The name "Mount Everest" was coined by Andrew Waugh, who named it after Sir George Everest, a notable surveyor, although he pronounced his name differently. Mount Everest is also known as Sagarmatha , Chomolungma , and other spiritually significant names.
There are other mountains on earth that are more difficult to climb, and there are some that are higher when measured from the base to the peak, but Everest has the highest peak relative to sea level.
Here are a few helpful references which can tell you a lot more about Mount Everest:
If you're thinking about climbing Everest, you could try adventurous travel companies such as STA Travel and Kuoni, but a lot of consideration should go into the planning. Also there are other mountains in the world, and some of them are less busy. In fact, there are some mountains that have never been climbed.
* Photo of Mount Everest obtained from Wikipedia Creative Commons and available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Everest