Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world at 29,028 feet and 9 inches. One of the first people to lead an expedition to the summit was Englishman George Mallory. He died not far from its peak in 1924, but his body wasn't discovered until 1999. Nearly 300 people have died trying to reach Everest's summit, but that hasn't deterred climbers from attempting their own expeditions to become king of the mountain.
Over the years, some amazing people have reached the summit and broken some incredible records. One person was blind. Another had no legs. A third broke a speed record. Still, more were elderly, battling major health conditions, or opting to climb without oxygen. One climber wasn't even old enough to legally drive a car. It's difficult to decide which climber over the past 60-plus years accomplished the most impressive climbing feat. Just arriving at the summit alone is impressive!
Edmund Percival Hillary from New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first two people to reach the summit of Everest on May 29, 1953.
After reaching the summit in 1978 without supplemental oxygen, Italian Reinhold Messner broke another record by becoming the first to climb Mt. Everest solo on August 20, 1980.
On May 15, 2006, Mark Inglis from New Zealand became the first-ever double amputee to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
In 2003, Japanese alpinist Yuichiro Miura became the oldest person to reach the summit at age 70. His record was later broken, but Miura, who had two heart surgeries in 2006 and 2007, reached the summit again in 2008 at the age of 75 and again in 2013 at age 80, once again breaking the record. Unfortunately, he couldn't make the descent and had to be airlifted back down to base camp.
U.S. climber Erik Weihenmayer went blind from juvenile retinoschisis at age 13. On May 25, 2001, he became the first blind man to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. He was the only blind man to accomplish the feat until Austrian Andy Holzer reached the summit on May 21, 2017.
On May 11, 2011, Apa Sherpa from Nepal reached the summit for the 21st time. His record was matched by Phurba Tashi Sherpa on May 19, 2013, and Kami Rita Sherpa in 2017.
On May 20, 2013, Sudarshan Gautam reached the top of Mt. Everest. He has no arms and did not use a prosthetic to make the ascent.
On May 22, 2010, 13-year-old American Jordan Romero became the youngest person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. He was accompanied by his father, step-mother, and three Sherpas.
On May 8, 1978, Italian Reinhold Messner and Austrian Peter Habeler made the first successful ascent of the mountain without using supplemental oxygen. Some consider this the first "true" ascent of Mt. Everest.
On May 21, 2004, it took Pemba Dorje Sherpa from Nepal just eight hours and 10 minutes to climb from South Base Camp to the summit of Mt. Everest.
In May 2002, 63-year-old Tamae Watanabe became the then-oldest woman to climb Mount Everest. She broke her own record 10 years later in May 2012 by scaling Mount Everest at the age of 73.
On May 23, 2009, Lori Schneider became the first person with Multiple Sclerosis to reach the summit.
On May 16, 1975, Japanese citizen Junko Tabei became the first female to reach the summit.
In May of 1999, Babu Chhiri Sherpa of Nepal stayed 21 hours at the summit of Mt. Everest without using bottled oxygen.
On September 26, 1988, Jean-Marc Boivin became the first person to paraglide from the summit of Mt. Everest.
In 2001, Marco Siffredi from France became the first person to descend from Mount Everest on a snowboard. He disappeared in 2002 after successfully reaching the summit for a second time. He had been attempting to snowboard the Hornbein Couloir, a famous narrow and steep corridor on the north face of the mountain.
On May 30, 2005, Pem Dorjee and Moni Mulepati of Nepal became the first couple to get married on top of Mt. Everest.
On May 19, 2012, 234 climbers reached the summit of Mount Everest. It was the most climbers to ascend in a single day.
Twins Tashi and Nungshi Malik from India reached the top of Mt. Everest together on May 19, 2013.