Mount Everest Foundation
Supporting the exploratory

About The Foundation

The objectives of the Mount Everest Foundation are to encourage and support expeditions for exploration and research in the mountain areas of the world. It pursues these objectives mainly by making grants to appropriate expeditions. An independent Screening Committee considers all applications in the first instance, taking expert advice where appropriate. The Screening Committee's recommendations are then considered by the Management Committee of Trustees.

The Foundation's History

In May 1953 a large British-led expedition placed Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on the summit of the highest peak in the world. Over the course of April and May the team had climbed steadily higher from the Khumbu Glacier, setting a series of camps as they ascended the Western Cwm. Camp VIII was placed on the South Col at 7,890m. After a failed attempt on the summit by two members, Hillary and Norgay left the South Col on the 28th May, climbed the final ridge to 8,424m where they spent the night (Camp IX), and reached the summit the following morning.


Upon their return, a surge of public interest saw the publication of John Hunt’s ‘The Ascent of Everest’, a national lecture series, and film ‘The Conquest of Everest’ gain significant acclaim and raise £100,000 in capital. From this, on the 3rd February 1955, Sir John Hunt announced the establishment of the Mount Everest Foundation, its aim to encourage the ‘exploration of the mountain regions of the Earth’.

Since then the MEF has been at the forefront of cutting-edge mountaineering and scientific expeditions, supporting ever more ambitious objectives that have pushed the very limits of high-end mountaineering and exploratory research. First ascents and new routes on the highest summits, such as Everest, Kangchenjunga, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Xixabangma, Nanga Parbat, Nuptse and Kongur, as well as lower technical peaks such as Baintha Brakk (the Ogre), Changabang, Spantik, Taweche, Siguniang and Nyanchen Tanglha Southeast, have all seen financial backing from the MEF.


Complimentary to this has been a diverse program of research that has introduced new understanding in the fields of biology, ethnology, geography, geology, high-altitude physiology and allied subjects. Today, after more than six decades and over £1,500,000 given in support of British and New Zealand exploration, the MEF is devoted to developing and widening the participation in remote research and mountaineering. It will do this by supporting the next generation of climbers pursuing high-end exploratory mountaineering objectives, and Post-Graduate and Early Career Researchers (ECR), and established researchers wishing to pilot larger programmes of innovative field research in remote mountain regions.

From 2024, MEF grants will also be open to qualifying applications from Nepali expeditions.

The Mount Everest Foundation is a Company Limited by Guarantee (No 543 894) and a Registered Charity (No 208206)

Registered address: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR

Former Patron: H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T.