Mount Everest is a magnet that draws every mountaineer. But climbing it is no roses especially when the distance from the base camp to Everest summit is 20.5 km. No routes are well-marked from the base camp, walking through glaciers and icefalls.
Despite that, the trails of Mt. Everest remains busiest during the typical trekking season in Nepal. Most trekkers’ journey to Everest starts from Lukla, ascending the steep hills and walking dramatic trails.
But the real challenge starts after Everest Base Camp with the trail gradually picking the height. Mountaineers have to follow a winding route that runs through four different camps alongside Khumbu Glacier.
Starting from Everest Base Camp, climbers make their first stop at Camp I which lies at an elevation of 19,390 ft. There’s a total distance of 6 km to be covered during the trek while withstand all odds including open crevasse and severe weather.
As the temperature falls rapidly after Camp I, mountaineers spend the next day acclimatizing and taking short hikes. They need to suit themselves with the best crampons from here as the route to Camp II gains an elevation of about 795 meters.
It takes about 2 to 4 hours of strenuous hike through ladders and western Cwm to reach Camp II. Climbers will spend an extra 10 days over here for acclimatization and to resist altitude sickness.
Trekkers will ascend to Camp III and retrace the step back to Camp 2 to recuperate and adapt with the climate at high altitude. After the decisive acclimatization period, they will slowly climb to Camp III via steep snowy terrain which is about 2.5 km. Finally after 4-5 hours of trek, climbers will reach Camp III, a narrow ledge on Lhotse rock face.
After 8000 meter from Camp IV, it’s a death zone where the presence of oxygen is extremely low. Due to the atmospheric pressure and thin air, trekkers are compelled to use bottled oxygen cylinders. Climbing the trails past sheer ice sheets and cliffs are equally challenging to summit Mt. Everest.
Other Similar FAQs
1. How high is Mount Everest?
The tallest peak in the world Everest rises above 8848m overlooking widespread valleys and forest. It rests on the both sides of Nepal and Tibet. An electrifying but extreme race to the summit technically starts from Everest Base Camp.
2. How much is the distance from base camp to Everest Summit?
Base camp which is just below the peak is about 130 km away from Lukla. Trail walking from Lukla is a mixture of rugged hills, green pastures and cliffs. The rolling steep walks are unusually relaxing ensuing the splendid view of snow peaks.
The distance from base camp to Everest summit is approx. 20.5 km excluding the short hikes that trekkers do for acclimatization. Regardless of that, it takes more than a month and a half to ascend Mt. Everest.
The little secret behind the trek taking so much time is the acclimatization. Almost every trekker ascending Mt. Everest takes slow steps and spends days and weeks on acclimatization.
After conquering every camp, they decamp again to get used to the climate. They do so to prevent the altitude sickness and its after-effects which include High altitude Pulmonary Edema.
3. How difficult is the trek route from base camp to Everest?
Trekking from the base camp to Everest is a real challenge. After the campsite, trails on EBC are rough, covered in snow and hard ice sheets. Trekkers have to go through medical tests before ascending to the summit.
It’s done to examine the level of blood oxygen in the body and whether trekkers can sustain the high altitude. Khumbu Icefall is the toughest of all to overcome with open crevasse and blocks of ice falling constantly.
4. Which is the best time for Climbing Everest?
Spring and autumn is a typical trekking season in Nepal. So climbing Everest is possible anytime during the season. Even in-between, the most preferable time for mountaineers scaling Everest is in October and May. These months witness mild weather and temperature which mitigates the likelihood of avalanche.
5. Exactly who are the Sherpa’s?
Sherpa’s are the guides who associate climbers in the Himalayas. They represent an ethnic group mostly residing in the Everest region. Many of these Sherpa’s are youth who earn their living as a guide and array of works. They assist mountain climbers by fixing ladders, ropes and setting up tents.
A pro guide leading the trekkers to the summit earns a fortune worth US$10,000 or even more after each excursion. Meanwhile, the regular guides make less by almost US$4000 than the lead guides and camp cooks earn near to US$2500 and so.
6. What are the effects of extreme altitude?
Area above 8000 meters from camp 4 to the summit is known as the death zone. Every climb from here is challenging as air gets thinner and there’s less oxygen to draw. Climbers use bottled supplement oxygen. Despite that chances are high for trekkers to suffer from extreme altitude sickness like pulmonary edema and cerebral edema.
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