to the EverestNews.com Lesson plans developed by
Kevin Cherilla (base camp manager of the NFB
2001 Everest Expedition and 7th and 8th grade
physical education teacher from Phoenix, Arizona)
and the staff at EverestNews.com, the largest
mountaineering publication in the world.
you would like to hire Kevin as an Everest speaker e-mail us at
GEOLOGY OF EVEREST
is composed of three distinct layers of rock:
The bottom layer, extending upwards to 24500 feet,
consists of a light-colored gneiss, most of which is
permanently covered with snow and ice.
The middle layer is metamorphosed shale containing
granite intrusions and bands of material like
quartzite which formed from sandstone through heating
and recrystallization. Easily eroded, this layer
contains rugged cliffs and fantastic pinnacles.
Layer three begins at 27,500 feet, the first 500 feet
of which consists of yellow limestone known as the
Yellow Band. This feature actually slices through
Everest at an angle and is most pronounced on the
North Face. (On the south side, it's visible around
24000 feet.) Above the Yellow Band is more limestone but
here the color is dark grey; it can be seen most
prominently in the First and Second Steps of the
1. Explain what the term plate tectonics means.
2. How did the Himalaya Mountains form?
3. According to the Theory of Plate tectonics, what
will happen to the Himalaya Mountains and why?
4. Define: continental drift, crust, mantle, and core.
Draw a picture of the earth showing the crust, mantle,
5. Describe the three distinct layers of rock
that Everest if composed of.
1. Lisa A. Rossbacher, Recent Revolutions in Geology,
Franklin Watts, New York, 1986, chapter 1.
2. Lisa Choegyal, Insight Guides Nepal, Langenscheidt
Publishers Inc., New York, 11378, p. 31-33.
Geology facts excerpted from "Everest, The
Mountaineering History" by Walt Unsworth