The Slopes of Mount Everest


Climbing Mt. Everest

Calculating Slope

This past weekend, my aunt came to visit me for a few days on her way back from Tibet. She had spent the last two weeks hiking up the north face of Mount Everest, one of the tallest mountains in the world. I couldn’t help but ask her questions about her amazing adventure and the challenges that she had faced climbing up Everest’s steep slopes. The first day of her visit, we stayed up late into the night just so she could answer all of my questions.

On the second day, my aunt asked if we could visit the Gamestar arcades. She had heard about them and wanted to find out what exactly I did there. After showing her around the different schools and introducing her to some of my mechanic friends, I walked her through the process of designing a game. My aunt seemed to enjoy this experience so much that we went back on the following day to design a few more!

One of the games we designed together was based on her experience of climbing up Mount Everest. When we started designing the game, we wanted to focus on the idea that Everest becomes increasingly difficult to climb because it gets steeper the higher up you go. I did some research and I found out that steepness is measured by slope, which is often defined as the ratio of rise (upward motion) over run (forward motion). A slope with a higher value means that the incline is steeper.

After a few experiments in the arcades, my aunt and I decided to use slopes of 4:8 (0.5), 4:4 (1) and 8:4 (1.6) for a game with three levels. Overall, I think that my aunt was pretty happy with the game that we built. In fact, she said that she wanted to extend her trip a few additional days, so that we could work on a few more games together before she went back home.