On 29 May 1953, mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzig Norgay summited the highest peak on Earth: Mount Everest. In addition to inspiring explorers the world over, they paved the way for scientists to study new areas and aspects of the globe. 

Geologist and author of Colliding Continents: A geological exploration of the Himalaya, Karakoram, and Tibet, Mike Searle took the selection of photos above while gathering information on geological history in these mountains. Check the captions to learn about the mountains and ranges pictured. 

We’ve posted a few video interviews with Mike about how one small rock reveals the history of the Earth and the dangers scientists face while climbing to gather data. 

Image credit: All images copyright Mike Searle. Used with permission. All rights reserved.