Everest on the Kangshung side, Tibet, with the South Col on the left.

  Since Hillary and Norgay’s feat via the South Col of Everest and the South-East Ridge in May 1953, 17 other routes have been opened on the Roof of the World. Some openings were particularly epic and the routes very rarely, if at all, repeated. Always full of mystery and very often aesthetically pleasing, they have retained the aura of myth in the collective imagination of mountaineers. “Mythical” routes, which remind us that mountaineering on Everest is not limited to normal routes. Here’s an inventory.

“Mytical” routes: routes whose first ascents marked the history of alpinism or himalayism, and elevated their authors for eternity to the rank of figures in the discipline.

This definition is subjective, but nevertheless based on objective criteria: the height and length of the routes, the technical difficulties and dangers overcome, the price paid in human lives, the means adopted, whether excessive or, on the contrary, drastically reduced. The aesthetics or logic of a line also sometimes contribute to describing a route as “mythical”.

All these criteria could be found in each of the openings made on the flanks of Everest. “Mythical” also because Everest is the highest mountain in the world and its routes, before they were opened, were full of unknowns, objects of fantasies: a myth is the stuff of the imagination… With a lack of oxygen at the highest altitudes, vertical drops of over 3000 metres to climb from the base camps, avalanches, falling seracs, violent winds and extreme temperatures, yes, Everest and