Know your mountain, Mt. Everest
Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain standing at 8,848 m above sea level. The name Everest was suggested by Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India. It was initially named peak XV until he suggested the name Everest after Welsh surveyor Sir George Everest. Despite Everest's objection, the name was used. In Nepali, Everest is known as Sagarmatha and in Tibetan, it is called Chomolungma meaning Goddess mother of mountains.
Everest was first submitted by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary via the southeast ridge in 1953. However, before that George Mallory and Andrew Irvine attempted to summit Everest in 1924, but never to return, sparking debates whether they were the first to summit Everest. In 1999, Mallory's body was found at 8,155m on the north face. The standard route to summit Everest is via southeast ridge route, however, some use the north route from Tibet.
Who can climb Everest?
Climbing any mountain is a tough task. You need to be physically fit but also determined and ready to adjust in changing conditions. When in high altitudes even the slightest mistake can prove to be a fatal one. So, maintaining discipline and following a strict routine can be helpful.So, who can climb Everest? Any mountaineer who is fit and some experience of climbing mountains can do it ease. It is also a matter of luck and choosing the right season to the summit.
The route to the top of the world's highest mountain is not as technical as that of Ama Dablam. But it doesn't mean it is easy. You still have to overcome the Khumbu Icefall, the most challenging part of Everest summit and you also need to pass through the death zone. Once you overcome these parts, the climb to the summit will be easy.
Climb Mt. Everest Autumn/Spring 2018 with Adventure Club Trek
Adventure Club Trek has successfully organized many expeditions over the past 10 years. We work with guides and mountaineers who have over 15 years of experience in the industry, use advanced climbing gears and train our team with attention to detail before the climb. Climb Mt. Everest Autumn/Spring 2018 with Adventure Club Trek for an experience of a lifetime. Our 67 days Everest expedition starts at Kathmandu with a sightseeing program. We spend a few days in the capital city fulfilling all the paper works before we head on to our adventure. We fly to Lukla from Kathmandu and it is where our trek begins.
We follow the classic Everest Base Camp trail stopping for acclimatization at Namche Bazaar. We then trek through Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche and finally to Gorak Shep to hike up to Kala Patthar from where we enjoy the close view of Everest. We trek to Everest Base Camp, our home for a few days. Here we train and acclimatize preparing our body to climb up to higher camps. The main expedition starts from day 18. We first conquer the Khumbu Icefall then make our way to Western Cwm, the Lhotse Face and finally the summit. There a total of four camps and we go back and forth to acclimatize until we are ready for the summit. After the summit, we head down to Camp IV. The next day we descend to Camp II and finally to the Base Camp the day after. We follow the same path to Namche and then to Lukla from where to take a flight back to Kathmandu.
Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), you will be welcomed by a representative from Adventure Club Trek. After sorting out your custom formalities (visa and so on), you will be then transferred to your respective hotel in Adventure Club Trek’s private vehicle and give you some time to freshen up. After this, you will attend an orientation about your trek led by the trekking leader over a welcome dinner. Overnight at hotel.
Today, we go on a sightseeing tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city. We start the program after breakfast, first visiting the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath. Though non-Hindus are not allowed inside the main premises of the temple we are allowed to visit the cremation site and surrounding areas. We then head to Boudhanath, considered one of the largest stupas in Asia due to the massive mandala that surrounds the main dome. The smell of Himalayan incense and locals doing kora(making clockwise rounds of the stupa) gives you a little insight on Buddhist culture. Our next stop is Swayambhunath also known as the Monkey Temple, located on top of a hill. The stupa is similar to Boudhanath, but here the stupa is surrounded by many temples and shrines. Some of the temples date back to the medieval Lichchhavi period. Our final stop is Kathmandu Durbar square which is a fine example of Newari architecture. The premises of the Durbar square house many temples and royal palaces, however, most of the temples and building were destroyed by the 2015 earthquake and are being renovated. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Today we take care of all the formalities to be fulfilled before the expedition. We visit the Tourism of Ministry where you are formally briefed. Our leader will also check our equipment for any flaws and ensure everything is well. Overnight in a hotel at Kathmandu.
If you need any equipment or need to make any last minute purchases today is the last day to do so.
Overnight in a hotel at Kathmandu.
We board an early morning flight from Kathmandu to Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla. It is considered one of the most scenic flights as we get to see the fantastic views of Everest and other surrounding mountains. After we arrive in Lukla, we will be assigned one porter for two trekkers. We have some time on our hands to explore the village as our crew loads our equipment. Our trek starts with a descend towards Dudh Kosi River until we arrive at a point which connects with the main trail to Namche Bazaar. The path continues above Chaurikharka and then passes through Ghat. From this small village, it is a short walk to Phakding. Overnight in a teahouse at Phakding.
As we leave Phakding, the trail continues alongside Dudh Kosi River. Along the way, we cross the river many a time via suspension bridges. We enter Sagarmatha National Park after which the trail climbs steeply to arrive at Namche Bazaar, the biggest town in the Khumbu region. It is also known as the Gateway to Everest and houses many restaurants, hotels, internet cafes, and bakeries. Overnight in a guesthouse at Namche Bazaar.
Namche Bazaar is a good place for acclimatization as it is over 3,00m. We start the day with a short hike to the Everest View Hotel to enjoy a close-up view of the mighty Everest. On our way back, we explore Syangboche Airport and the Sherpa Museum. If time permits we trek to Khumjung village. Here we visit the Edmund Hillary School and infamous monastery which ‘’houses a Yeti’s head.’’ Overnight in a guesthouse at Namche Bazaar.
Today, we head to the beautiful settlement of Tengboche. We walk along the glacial river of Dudh Kosi to reach Phunki and then ascend towards Tengboche. At Tengboche, mountains like Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Thamserku and Ama Dablam give us a snow-clad welcome. The village of Tengboche houses the largest monastery in the Khumbu Region. Inside the monastery, we find a huge 20-foot sculpture of Buddha. Overnight in a teahouse at Tengboche.
Our destination for the day is Dingboche at an altitude of 4,350m. So in order to avoid AMS, we maintain a steady pace and often take rest. The trail to Dingboche starts with a downhill drop to Debuche then we cross a bridge over the Imja Khola. The trail continues uphill to Pangboche and we climb further up to finally arrive at Dingboche. The views of Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and Island Peak welcome us at this traditional Sherpa village. Overnight in a teahouse at Dingboche.
This is the second day aside for acclimatization. TO adjust better to high altitude we take on a short trek to Chhukung valley. We walk past the Imja valley to our destination to enjoy fantastic views of the mountains among which the south wall of Lhotse stands out. We then return to Dingboche for a good night’s sleep.
Our trail to Lobuche starts with a gradual uphill climb to Duglha. Here onwards the trail climbs steeper towards Chupki Lhara where we can see prayer flags as a tribute to Scott Fischer and Babu Chiri Sherpa, lost their lives on an expedition to summit Everest. The trail continues through the moraine of Khumbu Glacier with spectacular mountain views of Pumori, Mahalangur Himal, Lingtren, and Khumbutse. The path to Lobuche eases from here. Overnight in a teahouse at Lobuche.
We climb up Kala Patthar, a rocky peak, one of the best viewpoints to catch a glimpse of the mighty Everest. The climb is challenging but once at the top, the mountain views make the climb worthwhile.
Soak in the close-up views of Everest and other giants peaks like Lhotse, Nuptse, Chagatse, and Pumori among others. We then descend to Gorak Shep for a good night’s sleep. Overnight in a teahouse at Gorak Shep.
We walk on the Khumbu Glacier moraine for nearly 4 hours. Due to the rubbles, the trail cannot be distinguished so follow the guide extensively. The Everest Base Camp is located near the foot of Khumbu Icefall, our campsite for the next few weeks. Overnight in a tented camp at Everest Base Camp.
We spend a few weeks in the Base Camp acclimatizing and training for the summit. We practice using oxygen bottles, radios and other climbing equipment like fixed ropes, crampons and ladders. We take this time to sort out clothing needed for mountain climbing. As we adjust in the Base Camp, the Sherpas will stock the upper camps with food for us when we get there. We prepare our body for higher altitudes by training and resting equally. Our guides will make sure that we don’t overwork ourselves. At base camp, we are provided with a heated triple-skin mess tent for each climber, satellite telephones, and broadband internet connection to ensure comfortably. We practice climbing the Khumbu Icefall but before we do that we learn the use of ladders and fixed ropes to securely move on an ice terrain. First, we train at the Base Camp and after we get better we practice on ice column at the lower edge Khumbu Icefall. After we perfect the trail route we then head towards the upper part of the icefall. Our target at first will be climb halfway of the icefall and again down to the Base Camp by mid-morning. Gradually we climb higher up the icefall and back to Camp. We’ll go further only after we can do this in a reasonable time. Overnight in a tented camp at the Base Camp.
The climbing period cannot be broken down into day to day itinerary as the expedition leader and other members will decide what to according to the situation/condition. The experience and physical condition of the climber will also determine the day’s activity.
Camp 1: 6400m (20,996ft) Mountain wall shelters Camp 1. Located on an area of deep snow it is warm during the day due to sun’s reflection. The sound of cracking crevasses can be heard at night.
Camp 2: 6750m (22,145ft).Located at the base of the icy Lhotse wall, the weather at Camp 2 is pleasant but cloudy.
Camp 3: 7100m (23,292ft).Located next to the wall of Lhotse, we have to use a fixed rope to get here. We cross a short snowfield and continue on the path up to Geneva Spur. We climb further to arrive at South Col.
Camp 4: 8400m (27,560ft). Camp 4 is the final camp before the summit and also a challenging one to reach. This camp is just 450m from the summit. To reach the top of Everest we take on a narrow trail over the southeast ridge to conquer the south summit. After that, it is an easy route to the summit of Everest.
The path to the top of Everest can be divided into four parts
The Khumbu Icefall
The Western Cwm
The Lhotse Face
The Summit (southeast ridge)
The Khumbu Icefall
Located at the head of Khumbu Glacier and the foot of Western Cwm, it is one of the hardest parts to overcome. It is considered one of the most dangerous parts of the expedition as the icefalls move rapidly opening up crevasses with no warnings. Another risk factor while passing through the Khumbu Icefall is the large ridge of ice collapsing and blocks of ice tumbling from the glacier(size of the blocks can be as big as a house). All the ice breaking down and blocks of ice from the glacier, the structure changes constantly making the Khumbu Icefall more difficult to cross. One has to be very careful while crossing the Icefall. The exposed crevasses can be avoided however we have to be extra careful about the ones that are covered with snow forming a risky snow bridge.
The Western Cwm
George Mallory named it in 1921 after he saw it for the first time as part of British Reconnaissance Expedition. Cwn is a Welsh word which means valley. After conquering the Khumbu Icefall, we enter the Western Cwn, a flat glacial valley surrounded by snow-clad slopes. On the right, we see the north face of Nuptse and west ridge of Everest to our left. We move forward from here towards the upper Western Cwm. To get there we pass through the narrowest part of the trail crossing some big crevasses. As bigger crevasses are located in the center we take the path near the base of Nuptse leading to a narrow passage known as the Nuptse corner. We then have to overcome at least one ice wall which can rise up to 30m from the ground. It is an easy climb from here to Camp 2 just below the west ridge at the foot of the southwest face. Due to the topography of the Western Cwm, the strong winds blowing in the high altitude are cut off, the reason why it is called the Valley of Silence. Hence, it is hot around here despite being in high altitude.
The Lhotse Face
It is the second most famous section of the Everest summit after Khumbu Icefall. There are high chances of avalanche and also the falling rocks also can be a nuisance making it a dangerous venture. As we head out of Camp II, we still got to cover an uphill climb, the last bit of the Western Cwm. We climb around 250m to reach the bottom of Lhotse Face. Camp III, located on a small ledge at 7,470m, is visible from Camp II. It is at a short distance but getting there is tough. We use fixed rope to climb up to the Lhotse face towards Camp III. This basically set up for rest as we cannot climb directly from Camp II to South Col. At the lower camps one person got one tent but at Camp III two or three people have to share a tent. We are tented in an avalanche-prone area and as we are camped on a steep slope it makes it more dangerous. From Camp III we can see the entire Western Cwm. We also enjoy the magnificent views of Pumori and Lingtren down the valley while Nuptse Wall and Everest west shoulder surround us in either sides.
From Camp III, the climb continues steeply towards Lhotse Face. Ascenders are used on a fixed line as we inch closer to the Lhotse Face. We have to overcome two challenges before reaching Camp IV. First, we come across the Yellow Band which consists of interlayered marble, phyllite, and semichist. We use 100m of ropes to transverse this part. Geneva Spur is the second section, a large black rock shaped like an anvil. The 1952 Swiss expedition named it and to climb it we use a fixed rope. From the top of the Geneva Spur, the South Col can be seen with Everest and Lhotse on the backdrop on the right and left respectively.
Camp IV, the last camp before the summit is located in South Col. It is a flat land located between Everest and Lhotse. It is at an altitude of 7,906m increasing the chances of AMS due to which it is also called the death zone. At max, a climber can last only two to three days at this altitude. After reaching the South Col we head towards Camp IV located at an altitude of 8,400m and prepare for the summit.
South Col to Summit
We spend a day resting and preparing our body for the summit. Drink a lot of fluids and move around. Our expedition to conquer the world’s highest mountain begins at around 10 pm to midnight. The strong wind dies down as the midnight approaches. We make a short stop at a small platform of snow called the Balcony. We catch our breath, change our oxygen bottle, and let the base camp know our status.We then climb up the southeast ridge making our way to the south summit. Like before we walk slowly with frequent rest. Upon reaching the south summit we might change the oxygen can here before our final stretch to the summit. We climb the Hillary Step using the fixed lines and from here we have to climb a vertical platform of around 100m. With the Kangshung Face drop down on one side and southwest face on the other makes it an extremely difficult section both physically and emotionally. After conquering this part we get the closest to space from earth, standing at 8,848m. Our target is to reach the top at early morning sparing us plenty of time to descent to South Col. After the summit we climb down to Camp IV where we spend the night with oxygen. The next day we descend to Camp II. From there we then head down to the Base Camp the day after.
Our destination today is Pangboche. We leave the base camp after breakfast we begin our descent. In Pangboche we visit Pangboche Monastery, the oldest in the Khumbu region. The monastery houses what is considered the scalp and bones of a Yeti. Overnight in a teahouse at Pangboche.
We retrace our steps back to Namche Bazaar through Tengboche. You can treat your taste buds a treat at Namche Bazaar. You can even celebrate a successful expedition with a drink or any beverages of your choice. Overnight in a guesthouse at Namche Bazaar.
From Namche, we directly head down to Lukla. We follow the same path we came earlier. Overnight in a teahouse at Lukla.
We board an early morning flight from Tenzing Hillary Airport which will take us to Kathmandu. Refresh your memory of the summit while you enjoy the view of Everest from your plane. In Kathmandu, there are no planned activities for the day so you can enjoy the time roaming around the city or shopping for souvenirs. If any assistance is needed our staff from Adventure Club Trek will be more than happy to help. Overnight in hotel at Kathmandu.
An extra day is set aside in case of the flight delay in Lukla. If everything goes according to the schedule this day will be used us leisure day. Also in the evening, a small gathering will be held to celebrate the success of the expedition.Overnight in a hotel at Kathmandu.
Bid farewell to your guides and other team members as today marks the end of Everest Expedition vis Southside-67 days. A representative from Adventure Club Trek will drop you off at the airport according to your flight’s schedule.
Flight Delay in Kathmandu and Lukla
The unpredictability of the weather in mountain areas directly affects the flights to and from Lukla. The Twin Otter planes that are used for transport from and to Lukla are reasonably reliable in good weather conditions. But, the flights may be delayed or canceled due to technical problems and extreme weather conditions.To ensure you stay on your schedule in case the Twin Otter flight cancels or delays too far, we can charter you a helicopter. While the helicopter can fly at the visibility of 15,000m, the Twin Otters require 5,000m visibility, according to Nepal Civil Aviation rules.
You can pay for the helicopter in US cash, credit cards or traveler’ cheques directly to our Kathmandu office. We provide a receipt for the payment which you can present to claim the amount back from your travel insurance company. Helicopter charges range from a minimum of US$500 to a maximum of US$2500. Also, we recommend you land in Kathmandu a day before we start the trek. You have enough time to buy trekking gears and beat off the jet lag. Having a few days extra left after your trek is also an excellent way to ensure you don’t miss your international flight in case of difficulties during the trek which might lengthen your trip. It also gives you a way to beat the flight cancellation to or from Lukla in case of severe weather.
Note: Your safety is of the utmost concern whilst you are traveling with Adventure Club Trek. We will make every effort possible to follow the original itinerary but we reserve the right to change that itinerary if a segment of it becomes a safety issue. Certain mountain regions are remote, natural disasters can happen, weather conditions can decline and there can be illness or an injury. To avoid dangerous situations we may occasionally have to make changes to the itinerary to ensure everyone’s safety. That having been said, Adventure Club Trek will strive to provide you with the best possible trekking experience and to keep your safety our number one priority. In case, the flight delay/cancellation happens at the start of the trip and it goes so long that it disturbs your onward travel schedule, you are free to choose an alternative trip: such a trek in the Annapurna, Langtang, or any other regions.
Prior to all the treks and expeditions, Adventure Club Trek hosts a pre-trip meeting in Kathmandu. The primary purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions about the forthcoming trek and to introduce other team members. The meeting covers topics as diverse as personal equipment and acclimatization and usually involves a hike and some skills training. Pre-trip meeting is very important in order to have a better preparation of the trekking.