Adventure-seekers in every corner of the world aim to climb Mt. Everest. If you are one, you should know that climbing Mt. Everest is probably one of the biggest adventures in the world.
Despite the fact that climbing Everest is close to the deadliest experience, there are daredevils who are climbing inspirations to the climbing enthusiasts. There are some unbelievable records set by the amazing climbers from around the world. There are some who hold records of climbing Everest with or without supplements oxygen. Then there is Jordan Romero who climbed Everest when he was 13, the youngest one. Yuichiro Miura dared to climb Mt. Everest at the age of 80.
Now, what do you think, how long does it take to climb Everest? The duration varies. If you trace the climbing duration of the record holdest, you might not believe them. But in general, it takes nearly two months (60-65 days) to climb Mount Everest.
Climbing Mount Everest: Nepal or China?
Climbing is possible from both sides. However, the southern side: from Nepalese side is the most popular one. The southern side is less challenging compared to the northern side.
Climbing Mount Everest Itinerary: Summit Attempt South
After arriving at the Everest Base Camp in Nepal, you will have several acclimatization days. Staying at the base camp for a while, climbing to camp one, again getting back, and so on…
Well, now talking about the summit attempt, climbers will start from camp 3. From camp 3, they move towards the South Col. At the south col, they will take a long break for some hours. Climbers want to reduce their time climbing over 8000 meters. From South Col, it will take around nine to eighteen hours to the summit.
There are crews that decide to spend a night at the South Col. But if you decide to do so, you should manage for the extra oxygen supplement for three days. Staying at the altitude without supplemental is like racing towards death. The altitude is a threat: you cannot eat or sleep there, your body will function properly only if there is a supplemental oxygen.
South Col to Balcony: The climb will take nearly four hours. At the balcony, you can take a half-an-hour break. After the break, start climbing towards the south summit. Climbing from balcony to south summit will take you around two and a half hours. A half-an-hour break at the south summit will be relishing.
From the summit, climb for an hour to reach the top of the Hilary step. From there, begin to descend down. It will take you nearly half-an-hour to descend down to the summit. From there, you will descend to balcony in approximately two hours time. South Col from Balcony is only an hour’s time.
Most of the climbers spend a night at South Col after summiting Mt. Everest. However, there are teams that descend down to camp 2 and stay there overnight. You will not need supplemental oxygen if you stay at camp 2. This reduces your cost of climbing (to some extent).
Outline Itinerary for Everest Expedition
Day 01: Arrival Kathmandu.
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing.
Day 03: Shopping and trip preparation.
Day 04: Officially briefing in Ministry of Tourism.
Day 05: Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding (2640m).
Day 06: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3446m).
Day 07: Namche Bazaar rest.
Day 08: Namche Bazaar to Tyanboche (3800m).
Day 09: Tyanboche to Pheriche (4243m).
Day 10: Pheriche to Lobuche (4930m).
Day 11: Everest Base Camp (5360m) – Camping accommodation
Day 12-60: Climbing Period Mt. Everest (8848m).
Day 61: Everest Base Camp to Pheriche.
Day 62: Pheriche to Namche Bazaar.
Day 63: Namche Bazaar to Lukla.
Day 64: Lukla to Kathmandu.
Day 65: Kathmandu rest.
Day 66: Final Departure.
For detail Itinerary visit: Mt. Everest Expedition
The Base Camp In China
Though Tibetan side is less popular for climbing Mt. Everst, there are trekkers who choose to trek from the northern side. The climbers who attempt to climb Everest on the Tibetan side should know one thing. The Chinese border are sometimes closed with no notice of closing. This is also a reason why Nepalese side is more popular for Everest climbing.
On the Tibetan side, climbers can drive to the base camp of Everest. There is a mountaineering association called as CMA that takes them to the base camp. You can reach the base camp from Lhasa in nearly 5 to 6 days.
Why does it take so long to climb Mount Everest?
Climbing Mt. Everest isn’t as easy as trekking the Everest base camp and getting to the top. It is much tougher than that. The weather, temperature and climbing conditions at Everest are demanding. You ought to acclimatize ( a long acclimatization schedule) before you could reach the summit successfully and get back down.
So, it is basically in the late March that the summit days begin. They begin from the base camp. Southern base camp of Everest, Nepalese side (5,300 meters) is the most popular side for climbing Everest. Climbers face hurdles because of the ice and it’s shifting maze.
Climbers begin summiting at midnight and will acclimatize at the camps in the mornings and days. They acclimatize at the base camp for 4 to 5 days at the base camp. Then, they climb halfway above the Khumbu glacier. And there is again a few days acclimatizing before they climb up to camp 1.
They stay at the first camp for two nights and again get back to the base camp. They again climb to camp 1, will stay a night there and then will start ascending to camp 2. Camp 2 is the base of Mt. Lhotse.
The process of ascending up and acclimatizing to that altitude making their way goes on for long. The journey up to the summit is deadliest. The altitude above 7925 meters while ascending Everest is the “Death Zone”. The risk factor is very high whole summiting Everest. This is why a long duration is necessary for the process.
The Mt Everest Climbing Season
The climbing season in Everest occurs between April and May. Climbers start Mt. Everest expedition in late March. It takes around two months (64 days) to climb Everest. This is the time when the weather is favorable for climbing. Climbers will be comfortable climbing Everest because of the good weather. They will have enough of time climbing Everest and returning back.
The other months are not so favorable for Mt. Everest climbing. Climbing Everest is challenging during these months because of the bad fog, snowfall, strong winds, and several other factors.
The peak of Everest is always cold, and making it up to the summit is quite tough in anytime of the year. Even in the climbing season (March through May to April).
How hard is it to climb Mt. Everest?
It’s a universal fact that there is barely something that is as challenging as climbing Mt. Everest. So, don’t take it for granted. A climber who makes a mind to climb Everest should have a very strong and positive mindset and body.
Remember, you are going to a very high altitude where the oxygen is so sparse that you cannot breathe without supplemental oxygen. And on the top, Everest is freezing! You will have a hippy body covered with layers of clothes.
Besides all the discomforts, Everest is a joy, it is a dream. Facing the deadly obstacles, encountering death so close, it takes guts.
Challenges You May Face While Climbing Everest
Now, what are the challenges a climber might face while climbing Everest?
Most of the climbers fall sick because of several reasons in Everest. It sounds unreal but there are more than 90 among 100 who fall sick while reaching the base camp of Everest. The sickness is due to many factors like cold, changing altitude, and others.
Food in Everest isn’t unhygienic, but adapting to food in Everest is a real challenge. Most of trekkers and climbers have upset stomach on their way to the base camp, if they are trekking to Everest base camp.
Climate, Weather, and wind. These are the basic factors that gives rise to challenges while you attempt a climb in Everest. The weather in Everest is extreme: very unpredictable. There are records of Death in Everest due to bad weather, strong winds, devastating avalanches, and so on.
Khumbu icefall is the foremost obstacle that has killed hundreds of climbers. Climbing isn’t easy. Fighting the ice and frost, climbing the deadliest difficulties up to the summit. Trust me, you will lose the hope of returning back home unless you get back to the base camp after completing the ascend.
It is equally challenging: physically and mentally. Not just the climbing is tough, there are hundreds of climbers who got killed on their way down.
Trekking the Khumbu and Getting to Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp trekking is a popular adventurous activity among the thrill seekers from around the world. Of the same story, climbing Everest and trekking to the base camp are a different plots.
Walking through Khumbu to the base camp of Mt. Everest is an opportunity. Standing at the base camp watching your dream right ahead of you. What could be more amazing? Trekking the Khumbu through Sagarmatha National Park to the base camp takes around a week or 10 days. This depends on how many acclimatization days you have in between.
Some of the trekkers go to Everest Base Camp via Gokyo route. There are some who fly in a helicopter to Everest Base Camp. So, you can go by different ways.
Do you want to trek and stay at the teahouses, experience the lifestyle of the local people in Khumbu? Or you want to make it easy and simple, fly to Everest base camp. Well, EBC trekking is a limelight of Everest climbing. Also, you can help uplift the local economy as well.
Climbing Everest, the roof of the world, sounds ambitious!
There is no kick where there is no dread and adventure. Climbing Everest is a deadly game. Besides knowing this, there are many who aim to touch the zenith.
There are challenges in every phase of life. If you dare to face them, you will definitely feel braver. No matter how long it takes to climb Everest and how difficult it is, if you dare, you can touch the summit.
So, why not attempt a journey to the top of Mt. Everest?