Qomolangma: Snow Mountain Goddess
Mount Qomolangma, known in the West as Mount Everest, lies on the border between China and Nepal. Rising 8844.43 meters above sea level, it is not only the highest peak in the Himalayan Range but also the highest peak in the world. People have referred to it variously as "the mountain of mountains,""the top of the world," and "the third pole of planet Earth."
In Tibetan, Qomo means "goddess" and langma means "third." The name Qomolangma thus describes the mountain as being a goddess living in the clouds with grace and serenity. The perennial snow drifting in strong winds on the peak looks like the veil of the goddess, creating a sense of beauty, solemnity and holiness.
Shaped like a pyramid, sublime and magnificent, the mountain pierces the sky. Its topography is treacherously precipitous, varied and complex. Within twenty kilometers around it is a forest of mountains, one next to another, of which more than forty are over 7,000 meters high. Among the more renowned ones are Kanchenjunga (the world's third highest mountain peak), Lhotse (the forth highest) and Makalu (the fifth highest). These mountains throng together and roll like sea waves towards Qomolangma as if paying homage. The view is simply spectacular.
Since the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, international explorers and mountaineers have attempted to unveil the mystery of Qomolangma. During the twenties and thirties of the twentieth century, foreign mountaineering expeditions made seven assaults on Qomolangma via the north-ridge route but all ended in failure. It wasn't until 1960 that a historical breakthrough was made by a team of Chinese mountaineers, who reached the summit from the north ridge. Up to this very day, reaching the summit of Mount Qomolangma is still regarded as the lifelong goal of numerous mountain-climbing enthusiasts.
In 1975 an expedition team consisting of members from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Bureau of Surveying and Mapping of China and the National Physical Culture and Sports Commission of China reached the summit of Qomolangma. The team measured its height as 8844.13 meters, which was considered the Qomolangma's official height in China until 2005. A new height of 8844.43 meters for Mount Qomolangma was determined and released by the National Bureau of Surveying and Mapping of China on October ninth, 2005.
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