Mount Everest isn’t really the tallest mountain in the world

Mount Everest gained its popularity as ‘highest peak in the world’, but in reality, it isn’t according to According to one report. The world’s highest mountain is actually Chimborazo – a stratovolcano in Ecuador that’s part of the Andes mountain range – because it’s the furthest point from Earth’s centre and, therefore, the highest in terms of distance. 

Mount Everest – 500px.com

According to the report, Chimborazo in Ecuador is 2,168 m (7,113 ft) farther from Earth’s centre (6,384.4 km (3,967.1 mi)) than that of Everest (6,382.3 km (3,965.8 mi)), because Earth bulges at the Equator. This is despite Chimborazo having a peak 6,268 m (20,564.3 ft) above sea level versus Mount Everest’s 8,848 m (29,028.9 ft).

El Taita Chimborazo – David Torres Costales/WikiCommons

Since Earth isn’t flat, it bulges outward at the equator and flattens near the poles. This means that mountains near the equator are technically higher than those in other areas. Chimborazo is almost smack-dab on our planet’s waistline while Everest is 28 degrees north.

This isn’t exactly news, though – NPR ran a report about Chimborazo back in 2007. So why does Everest continue to get all the love, while Chimborazo goes relatively unnoticed? Well, it all comes down to how hard the climb is.

Scaling Mount Everest typically requires a 10-day trek to base camp, six weeks of acclimatising, and a seven- to a nine-day trip to the top. Climbing Chimborazo can be done in about two weeks, with a one- or two-day hike after acclimatisation, according to Todd Burleson, president of Alpine Ascents International, a mountaineering company based in Seattle.

Source – New York Times

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