How Hard is it to Climb Everest?
Is Hard to Climb Everest? it is hard and one of the toughest climbs for humankind.
No brainer, Mt Everest(8848.86m), the highest mountain in the world, would never be an easy climb. We are talking about reaching the highest place on the Earth here.
Hence, if your question is “how hard is it to climb Everest?”. We hope you got the answer; it is hard. Now let us explain how it is so hard through this blog. Read it until the last.
As you already know, Mt Everest is a peak in the Himalayas of Nepal in South Asia. It lies on the border of Nepal and Tibet. The climber can approach the mountain from two sides, the Southern side(Nepal) and the Northern side(Tibet). The southern side is more popular and accessible than the northern side. Therefore, you will find good numbers of climber tents during peak seasons around Everest Base Camp(17,598ft/5,364m).
Everest Base Camp Trek is the first step of the Mt Everest Expedition. You must reach the base camp after trekking for some days through Khumbu Region. Passing via various famous Sherpa hamlets, climbers arrive at the base camp to set a camp. Then they prepare for the big climb. Once they prepare themselves, it is time to leap Mt Everest via Khumbu Icefall.
You have to use what you have as skills, experience, and preparation. That is how you’ll climb through all the ladders to reach the top. The whole process of getting to Mt Everest will be exciting and demanding at the same time. You will spend enough time and process to complete the expedition. The time at the death zone, the narrow alley, snowy crevasses, falls, and ridges will be memorable.
And your minutes at the top of Mt Everest will be ecstatic and legendary. Your feet are touching the highest place on the Earth that only a few feet have touched. What a historical moment it is for any breathing soul.
Note: Nepal Guide Treks and Expedition team is providing Everest Expedition service each year with professional sherpas as guides. With professional guides, you can conquer the many difficulties during the climb. You can contact us or do direct mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more about the climb.
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Table of Contents
- 1 What makes Mt Everest a hard climb?
- 2 Mt Everest Climbing Route
- 3 Outlined Itinerary of Mt Everest Expedition
- 4 At Last
What makes Mt Everest a hard climb?
Now, let’s get to the point of this blog: how hard is it to climb Everest. As said earlier, Mt Everest is a challenging mountain to climb. But what factors make the expedition arduous. Here are the factors below:
First, the high altitude of Mt Everest is a worrying part. You are talking about climbing the tallest peak on the mountain. If everything goes alright, you will be at an 8,848.86m. That is the highest you can get on the Earth. However, it takes so much to gain that elevation. You will be over 4500m meters on this expedition for two months. Every day you will earn around 600 to 800m. Hence, there will be so much elevation gain. And accomplishing that is not an easy job at all.
When in high areas, altitude sickness is a common catch. If not acclimatized, anyone can get hit by this illness. The sickness is something that every climber wants to avoid during the Mt Everest expedition. Usually, it is a shortage of oxygen in the body due to ascent to high elevation. When you are in the grip of this illness, it is better to descend and cancel the climb. Otherwise, you are inviting the worse consequences.
Mt Everest expedition is a lengthened journey of around two months. You will be around and in the mountains for that long. Every dawn will have newer challenges. The expedition begins with a flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. You have to follow the route of Everest Base Camp Trek from Lukla. There will be some acclimatization days in between.
Upon reaching the base camp, you will have more days to condition yourself. Then you will march towards Camp 1 via Khumbu ice fall. Chronologically, you will cross camp1, camp 2, and the death zone to finish at 8,848.86m. Following that, you will take a walk back to Lukla and Kathmandu. This whole journey of Mt Everest will take at least two months. That means you must overcome the journey’s challenges for so many days. Hence, the prolonged duration of the expedition is another challenge.
Temperature and Weather
Mt Everest expedition is difficult for temperature and weather reasons. Throughout the journey, you will experience drastic changes in weather and temperature. Significantly, the weather is entirely unforeseen in the higher parts. Snowfall, snow storms, and strong winds can occur anytime. Similarly, the region’s temperature is extremely cold, more extreme in the mountains. The day hours are complex, and nights are colder. Also, the wind can be around 5-6 mph at the top. Thus, all these various weather conditions make Mt Everest a daring journey.
Crevasses are deep open cracks in the glaciers. The genuine parts can be hazardous if climbers fall into them. On the Everest expedition, you have to cross several crevasses. However, the most notable one is the Khumbu Ice Fall. You cannot cross these crevasses without ropes and ladders installed by guides. The crevasse has taken the lives of around 44 people between 1953 to 2016. That is why the Khumbu Ice Fall is one of the most strenuous parts of the southern route to Mt Everest.
Lack of Experience & Training
Mt Everest is the ultimate climb for any aspiring mountaineer. Every climber has a wish to climb Mt Everest. Hence, climbers take years to gain climbing training and experience before Everest. If you do not have enough climbing experience, especially of eight-thousands, you are not ready for the climb.
Similarly, the Mt Everest expedition requires training of around 6-7 months. Those six months are for strength, cardio training, and conditioning training. Jogging, cycling, swimming, hiking, etc., are cardio exercises to improve lung function. Likewise, various gym workouts are for strengthening your physical endurance. And the real climbing training is for conditioning. While performing all of these, be regular and disciplined.
Otherwise, the lack of experience and training can make the Everest quest arduous.
Avalanches are the dark side of mountains. And Mt Everest is infamous for the deadly avalanches of 2014 and 2015. The climb has several areas where the chances of avalanches are more. The Khumbu Icefalls, aka Suicide Passage, is one of the areas. Another avalanche-prone area is just underneath the Lhotse face. You need to be careful around these areas while crossing. The right time to pass above these areas is the morning time. It is riskier when the sun melts the snow around those severe sites.
Mt Everest is one of the deadliest mountains for its falls. There are many parts where you might fall into gorges of snow. During the climb, you have to climb and cross high ridges and the higher regions. Plus, stepping out during dark hours makes the whole rise scarier. You must be very careful by double-checking knots, watching carabiners, and maintaining good footwork. If not, you are never too far from the falls, straight into snow canyons. For that reason, fall is one of the facts that make Mt Everest a tough climb.
You get summit agitation like everyone when you are near the summit. However, the same rush can be dangerous sometimes. Climbers like to climb the summit at any cost and thus make poor decisions. What they think about is the time and energy already borne. Hence, they get this summit fever near Mt Everest and make bad decisions.
And they have to face any consequences of such decision-making. It is not necessary to risk your whole life just for the sake of reaching the summit. You can always come back and climb the peak. But if you make a terrible decision, you might not get a second chance. This whole psychological fact makes the climb a bit riskier.
An inappropriate diet is another hassle of the Everest expedition that is very testing for the climbers. Due to the consumption of improper diet, some climbers also get food poisoning. The climbers get to eat new and irregular food to consume.
For example, the most common food item during the Mt Everest expedition is Dal Bhat. You will eat this meal throughout the journey. It is a meal that includes vegetables, pickles, lentils, and steamed rice. The feed may be new for you. Likewise, there is no suitable refrigeration for meat storage. All the meat comes from lower areas of the Everest Region. The people in higher parts do not slaughter animals for religious beliefs. Thus, the flesh you will consume during the expedition is not fresh. And you might get food poison.
You must be more careful on this expedition if you are a meat lover. An improper diet can make your whole journey a bad one.
Mt Everest Climbing Route
Mt Everest expedition’s difficulty level also depends on the climbing routes you take. Here, we are talking about the more popular southern way. The course starts from Lukla. Once you land at the Lukla airstrip, you will follow the Everest Base Camp trail. Then the route progresses through various camps and ultimately to the top of Mt Everest. Let’s talk in detail.
The route after Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp Trek brings you to Everest Base Camp(5,364m), the camping station for every Everest climber. If it’s peak season, the base camp will look colorful with too many camps. Climbers settle in tented camps and spend several days acclimatizing and preparing for the road ahead.
Once the climbers are ready to go, they leave for Mt Everest from the southern side via Khumbu Icefall. A large crevasse is a big test of Khumbu Icefall. You will cross the crevasses with installed ladders and ropes. In this way, you will reach Camp 1(6000m).
Camp 1 is the resting point and camping site before Camp 2(6,400m). Around the Camp 1 area, some large crevasses are only crossable with ladders.
After Camp 1, the climb moves towards Camp 2, located at the west ridge’s foothill. You can catch great pictures of Lhotse from this viewpoint.
The next station is Camp 3(7,200m). With proper acclimatization in the earlier areas, You will reach Camp 3. Camp 3 lies on the tiny ledge on the Lhotse Wall. The climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3 involves a 40 degrees glacial rise of 600m. You will use the installed ropes to reach Camp 3. Following Camp 3, you must get to Camp 4(7,950m), or South Col. Camp 4 is comparatively easily accessible without additional oxygen.
The route after Camp 4
South Col is an acute col between Lhotse and Mt Everest. It is the last camping site before Mt Everest summit. The area is prone to strong winds. This place is not an ideal place to stay for long.
After Camp 4 or South Col, climbers must push themselves towards the summit via the Balcony. It is around four hours climb to reach Balcony from Camp 4. Upon reaching Balcony, it is necessary to take an hour-long break. The upgrade of the south summit will be done after the break. It takes around 2-3 hours to reach the south summit.
There will be a need for supplemental oxygen around this height. Without supplement oxygen, it is hard to remain fine at such a height. The summit push from South col is around eighteen hours long. Before leaving the south col, climbers will have proper acclimatization. Otherwise, the worse consequences are apparent. Icy conditions and less air pressure are some of the extreme conditions of the climb.
After reaching the top of Mt Everest, you will enjoy the accomplishment and view. Next, you will descend to the Balcony via Hillary’s step. The slow descent will take around two hours. Next, you will drop to South col or go straight to Camp 2 as per the situation. Once at Camp 2, you do not have to use supplemental oxygen. From camp 2, you will retrace back to Everest Base Camp via camp 1.
Hence, the whole route of Mt Everest and back make the climb difficult.
Outlined Itinerary of Mt Everest Expedition
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu & Stay in Hotel.
Day 02: Tour Preparations and Sightseeing around Kathmandu.
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla and Trek to Phakding
Day 04: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar(3,440m/11283ft)
Day 05: Rest and Acclimatization day at Namche Bazaar
Day 06: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche(3,867m/12,683ft)
Day 07: Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche(4,260m/12972ft)
Day 08: Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche(4,930m/16170ft)
Day 09: Trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep(5,180m/16990ft)
Day 10: Hike to Kala Patthar(5,545m/18187ft) and back to Gorakshep and trek to Everest Base Camp(5,380m/17646ft)
Day 10-13: Acclimatization and Preparation at EBC
Day 14-60: Ascend Mt Everest and back to Everest Base Camp.
Day 61: Trek from EBC to Pheriche
Day 62: Trek from Pheriche to Tengboche
Day 63: Trek from Tengboche to Namche Bazaar.
Day 64: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Lukla
Day 65: Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu
Day 66: Free day in Kathmandu
Day 67: Departure.
It is clear now that Mt Everest is a rugged mountain to climb. To do this expedition, you require years of climbing experience and months of training. Yes, the journey is arduous. However, the challenging journey is entirely rewarding. To be at the Mt Everest summit is one of the most outstanding achievements for a human. You need to put in some great effort to achieve that. There is no easier way.