The highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, stands out among the jagged landscape of the Himalayan Mountain range. In this south-looking view, the seemingly pyramidal shape of the 8848-meter mountain dominates the center of the scene. The northeast side of this majestic mountain rises steeply without break for 3600 meters. The great height of the entire Himalayan Mountain range is due to the tectonic collision between the Indian subcontinent and Asia, which continues to push up the Himalayan Mountains. Like the other peaks at this high altitude, Mount Everest has been carved by glaciers that move under the stress of their own weight. The resulting sharp peaks, steep walls, and U-shaped valleys characterize the almost surreal landscape. Glaciers at the base of these peaks seem to snake down every possible valley.
The international boundary separating Tibet (in the north) from Nepal (in the south) passes through Mount Everest. The snow-capped peaks and glacially covered terrain in the photograph begin to convey a sense of the challenge presented to those who attempt to reach the summit. While numerous attempts to ascend to the top of Mount Everest were made between 1921 and 1952, it was not until May 29, 1953, that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norkay finally succeeded. While many have since reached the summit of Mount Everest, numerous others have sacrificed their lives in pursuit of this goal.
November 1994, image STS-66-208-25.