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Mountains or Molehills?

In the 1960s the Nepalese government coined the name Sagarmatha – which translates to ‘brow of the sky’ – as its official name for Mount Everest. The highest mountain in the world has a number of ‘official’ names depending on whether you are based in China, Tibet or Nepal, but the name given to it by the Royal Geographical Society in 1865 is the one by which it is generally known. Since this time, the peak has attracted thousands of mountaineers and adventure seekers driven by the universal recognition a successful ascent is afforded to those who achieve the feat. Years of climbing experience, excellent physical conditioning and a detailed knowledge of the mountain are key attributes required of people to meet the challenges faced. Despite the high calibre of mountaineers who make each attempt and the meticulous planning associated with every expedition, there have been 219 recorded fatalities since 1922; a ratio of 4.3 deaths for every 100 summits.

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