Colonel Sir George Everest (July 4, 1790 — December 1, 1866) was a Welsh surveyor and geographer, and the Surveyor General of India from 1830 through 1843. Everest was largely responsible for completing the section of the Great Trigonometric Survey of India along the meridian arc from southern India extending north to Nepal, a distance of about 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi). This survey was started by William Lambtonin 1806 and it lasted for several decades. In 1865, Mount Everest was named in his honour despite his objections by the Royal Geographical Society. This enormous peak was surveyed by Everest’s successor, Andrew Scott Waugh, in his role as the Surveyor-General of India.
Everest was born in Gwernvale Manor, just west of Crickhowell in Powys, Wales, in 1790, and he was baptised in Greenwich. Commissioned into the Royal Artillery, in 1818, Lt. Everest was appointed as assistant to Colonel William Lambton, who had started the Great Trigonometrical Survey of the subcontinent in 1806. On Lambton’s death in 1823, Everest succeeded to the post of superintendent of the survey, and in 1830 he was appointed as the Surveyor-General of India.
Everest retired in 1843 and he returned to live in the United Kingdom, where he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was dubbed a knight in 1861, and in 1862 he was elected as the vice-president of the Royal Geographical Society. Everest died in London in 1866 and is buried in St Andrew’s Church, Hove, near Brighton. His niece, Mary Everest, married mathematician George Boole.
He owned a house in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India, for some years. Although almost derelict, it still has its roof, and there are plans to make it into a museum at some point in time. Sir George Everest’s House and Laboratory, also known as the Park Estate, is situated about 6 kilometres (4 mi) from Gandhi Chowk / Library Bazaar, (West end of the Mall Road, in Mussoorie). Built in 1832 it was the home and laboratory of Sir George Everest. The house is situated in a place from where one can catch the panoramic view of Doon Valley on one side and a panoramic view of the Aglar Rivervalley and the snowbound Himalayan ranges on the other.
Mount Everest (also known in Nepal as Sagarmatha and in Tibet as Qomolangma) is the Earth‘s highest mountain. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. Its peak is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level and is the 5th furthest point from the center of the Earth. The international border between China and Nepal runs across the precise summit point. Its massif includes neighboring peaks Lhotse, 8,516 m (27,940 ft); Nuptse, 7,855 m (25,771 ft) and Changtse, 7,580 m (24,870 ft).
In 1856, the Great Trigonometric Survey of India established the first published height of Everest, then known as Peak XV, at 29,002 ft (8,840 m). The current official height of 8,848 m (29,029 ft) as recognized by Nepal and China was established by a 1955 Indian survey and subsequently confirmed by a Chinese survey in 1975. In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon a recommendation by Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India. Waugh named the mountain after his predecessor in the post, Sir George Everest. Although Tibetans had called Everest “Chomolungma” for centuries, Waugh was unaware of this because Tibet and Nepal were closed to foreigners at the time thus preventing any attempts to obtain local names.
The first recorded efforts to reach Everest’s summit were made by British mountaineers. With Nepal not allowing foreigners into the country at the time, the British made several attempts on the north ridge route from the Tibetan side. After the first reconnaissance expedition by the British in 1921 reached 7,000 m (22,970 ft) on the North Col, the 1922 expedition pushed the North ridge route up to 8,320 m (27,300 ft) marking the first time a human had climbed above 8,000 m (26,247 ft). Tragedy struck on the descent from the North col when seven porters were killed in an avalanche.
The 1924 expedition resulted in the greatest mystery on Everest to this day: George Mallory and Andrew Irvine made a final summit attempt on June 8 but never returned, sparking debate as to whether they were the first to reach the top. They had been spotted high on the mountain that day but disappeared in the clouds, never to be seen again until Mallory’s body was found in 1999 at 8,155 m (26,755 ft) on the North face. Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary made the first official ascent of Everest in 1953 using the southeast ridge route. Tenzing had reached 8,595 m (28,199 ft) the previous year as a member of the 1952 Swiss expedition.