It’s Mount Everest – the tallest mountain in the world. Its peak of 29,035 feet reaches two thirds of the way through the earth’s atmosphere. It’s at about the same altitude that jet liners cruise. There’s very little oxygen at the peak. It’s very cold and the weather can change in an instant.

People for centuries had dreamed of climbing the mountain to the top. But it was at 11:30 am on this date in 1953 when Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Colonel John Hunt of Great Britain led a team of climbers to the top of Mount Everest – the first ever to do it.

George Mallory of Great Britain was one of the first to try in 1921, but had to turn back.  He tried again two years later and failed again.  Mallory gave it another try in 1924 and never made it back down.   It wasn't until 75 years later that his frozen body was found in 1999 – he apparently had fallen in his final attempt.

3,142 people have been able to make it all the way to the top, most of them since the year 2000.  One person has done it is 21 times.  The oldest to do it was 76.  The youngest was 13.   There have been 219 fatalities.

Stats Source: wikipedia