In 1856, the mountain was "discovered" by the British, who named it after the person who had "gained a reputation as the most ill-tempered sahib in India". Of course, the Tibetans and Sherpas had known it was there all along, and called it Chomolungma. Later, the Nepalese invented the name Sagarmatha (brow of the sky) to remind everyone that they owned half the mountain. I'll follow the Tibetans.

The meaning of "Chomolungma" seems to be lost in time (it doesn't mean Goddess Mother of the Universe/Earth/World/Snows/whatever). Tenzing Norgay's mother (a Tibetan) once translated it as "the mountain so high that no bird can fly over it". When asked what it means, a Tibetan nomad answered:
"Yeah, but a big hen, with all its feathers puffed out. So it looks fat."
"Big fat hen?"
"Yes, big fat hen."

Source: Everest, Summit of Achievement.

Everest. A very large pile or heap (The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary).

Travel in Tibet is severely restricted by the Chinese. All climbing expeditions have to be arranged through the (Chinese-) Tibetan Mountaineering Association, which organizes road transport, hotels, and yaks. While some of the TMA representatives are fairly congenial, this has all the disadvantages to be expected of a monopoly. In particular, their prices are ridiculously high.

For the same reason, Hillary and Tenzing began using oxygen at 6400m/21000ft on their ascent, although they surely didn't need to. The oxygen system currently in use, probably not very different from that used by Mallory and Irvine except for the lighter stronger bottles, is very inefficient. The oxygen is fed at a constant rate into a mask covering your nose and mouth. Thus, the air you breath is a mixture of the air breathed out, air sucked into the mask, and the oxygen. With it, 7500m felt like about 7100m and 8500m felt like 7500m.

People have been experimenting with a new system like that used in hospitals in which the oxygen is provided on demand through tubes in the nostrils. It is several times more efficient and probably more effective than the current system, and so, if it works reliably, it will revolutionize high altitude mountaineering.

stretchers From Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome:
I knew a young man once, he was a most conscientious fellow and, when he took to fly-fishing, he determined never to exaggerate his hauls by more than twenty-five per cent.

"When I have caught forty fish," said he, "then I will tell people that I have caught fifty, and so on. But I will not lie any more, because it is sinful to lie."

But the twenty-five per cent plan did not work well at all. He never was able to use it. The greatest number of fish he caught in one day was three, and you can't add twenty-five per cent to three --- at least, not in fish.

So he increased his percentage to thirty-three and a third [...]

So, eventually he made one final arrangement with himself, which he has religiously held to ever since, and that was to count each fish that he caught as ten, and to assume ten to begin with [...]

The alert reader will have noticed that 8300m+(almost 300m)=almost 8600m. The figure of 8500m was arrived at by studying the map, which marks the point at which the two ridges join as 8383m and marks another point on the ridge as 8568m. We were probably a bit closer to the second point than the first. The photo of Makalu 8475m suggests that had been a little higher than it. Although most people give the height of Camp 3 as 8300m, it is probably closer to 8200m.

I did have a GPS with me, but like all lighweight GPS's I've seen, it had the fatal flaw of tending to turn itself on in your pack. By the time I got to Camp 1, its batteries were flat, and I wasn't carrying spares.

It was not until 2000 that Chomolungma had been climbed by someone older than me. More recently the age record was set by someone climbing from the south who used oxygen continuously from base camp, more than usual number of camps, and a small army of Sherpas --- 12 or 25 depending on who is telling the story.

Stretchers (continued)

Recently Novartis sponsored a climber on the north side of Chomolungma, and then ran a full-page add in The New Yorker (July 11 & 16, 2005),
"Novartis took on my high blood pressure. I took on Mt. Everest" When mountain climber Ryan Bendixen was diagnosed with high blood pressure, he was devastated. To him a less active life was no life at all. Fortunately, a Novartis medicine helped Ryan lower his blood pressure and lift his outlook sky-high etc. etc..
which somehow failed to mention that he barely made it above Camp 1, i.e., almost nowhere. Perhaps he should have tried gingko.

When the English explorer Ralph Fiennes abandoned his Everest attempt one hour above the last camp (because of exhaustion), the press releases gave the height of the camp as "8400m (27,560ft)". This is about 200m (656ft) too high.