Annapurna was first scaled in 1950 by French climber Maurice Herzog, leading the way to the opening of Nepal to tourists.
His team's horrific storm-plagued struggle turned an extremely
difficult climb into an epic of human endurance. Height of Annapurna:
26,240 ft. Read his book, Annapurna, which remains a classic to this day.
New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hillary,
was the first to reach the top of Everest, the world's tallest
mountain. in 1953. Height of Everest: 29, 028 ft.
In 1975, Junko Tabei of Japan
was the first woman to ascend Everest.
In 1978, Reinhold Messner and
Peter Habler conquered Everest without oxygen. Two years later,
Messner set a new record as the first solo climber to the summit.
In 1996, 12 climbers perished on Everest.
Read about this heartrending account in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air.
Since 1953 when Hillary and Norgay set
foot on top of the world there have been 147 deaths on the mountain.
For every five climbers who reach the summit, one dies trying.