Mount Everest -- also called Mount Chomolungma or Qomolangma in Tibetan and Sagarmāthā (Nepali: सगरमाथा) -- is the world's highest mountain at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level . Everest is in the Mahalangur section of the Himalaya on the Nepal-China (Tibet) border. Its massif includes neighboring peaks Lhotse (8516m), Nuptse (7855m), and Changtse (7580m).
In 1856, the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India established the first published height of Everest, then known as Peak XV, at 29,002 ft (8,840 m). In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon recommendation of Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India at the time, who named it after his predecessor in the post, and former chief, Sir George Everest. Chomolungma had been in common use by Tibetans for centuries, but Waugh was unable to propose an established local name because Nepal and Tibet were closed to foreigners.
The highest mountain in the world attracts many well-experienced mountaineers as well as novice climbers who are willing to pay substantial sums to professional mountain guides to complete a successful climb. The mountain, while not posing substantial technical climbing difficulty on the standard route (other eight-thousanders such as K2 or Nanga Parbat are much more difficult), still has many inherent dangers such as altitude sickness, weather, and wind.
By the end of the 2008 climbing season, there had been 4,102 ascents to the summit by about 2,700 individuals. Climbers are a significant source of tourist revenue for Nepal, whose government also requires all prospective climbers to obtain an expensive permit, costing up to US$25,000 per person. By the end of 2009 Everest had claimed 216 lives, including eight who perished during a 1996 storm high on the mountain. Conditions are so difficult in the death zone (altitudes higher than 8,000 m/26,246 ft) that most corpses have been left where they fell. Some of them are visible from standard climbing routes.