Visit Mount Everest On Vacation
It’s inevitable that at some point in our lives, we will all have ‘mountains’ that we will want to scale. While some of these mountains may be insignificant and could be classed as a casual stroll, others may be relatively big and complex but regardless of the size, one thing is certain, it will not prepare you for the sheer scale and challenge of reaching the top of the worlds highest mountain
It is probably without question these days that Mount Everest (Sagarmatha) is the earth’s highest peak above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas, and like other high peaks in the region, Mount Everest has long been revered by the locals.
I didn’t know that
- It was back in 1953, nearly 70 years ago that Edmund Hilary and his sherpa Tenzing Norgay scaled the mountain.
- The mountain’s exact height is 8848 meters high, which is the height that some commercial airliners fly at
- To put the height into perspective, that is equivalent to 643 London Double Decker buses stacked one on top of the other.
- Around 3000 people have reached the summit since the first accent in 1953
- It has now become such a popular vacation location that 240 climbers reached the summit in 2012
- The oldest and youngest people to climb the mountain were 80 years old and 13 years old respectively
Its most common Tibetan name, Chomolungma means ‘Goddess Mother of the World’ or ‘Goddess of the Valley.’ Shaped like a three sided pyramid, the three generally flat planes constituting the sides are called faces, and the line by which two faces join is known as the ridge. The climate of the mountain is almost always hostile to it’s inhabitants, whether that’s a human or one of the species that reside there . The warmest average daytime temperature in July is only about -19 °C on the summit.
Preparation for Mount Everest
Although climbing Mt Everest is far safer than it once was, the sheer number of climbers scaling the peak each year is posing a significant safety risk due to overcrowding and rushed safety protocols, as well as a shortage of reliable equipment such as oxygen tanks.
According to the New York Times, an average of 600 people now make it to the summit each year – but about the same number fail in their bid. Are you ready for the challenge?
In their attempts many are forced to turn back, while in some cases some become stranded and even die. A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) analysed the deaths on Everest between 1921 and 2006. This study found the overall fatality rate among climbers who ascend above Base Camp, at about 17,600ft (5400m), was around 1.3%. Since 2008, when that report was published, more than 80 people are believed to have died on the peak. So when you are considering this Mount Everest holiday, please be aware of the risks, it should only be considered by experienced and capable climbers.
The high altitude of Mount Everest (greater than 8000m) is called the Death Zone. Lack of oxygen, exhaustion, extreme cold and climbing hazards all contribute to the high death toll in this zone. Since rescuing or carrying an injured climber back to basecamp is impractical, they are typically left behind to die. About 200 bodies have never been recovered and it is not uncommon to find corpses near the standard climbing routes. Even experienced climbers have perished in this zone, because retrieving them is such a risk, it has been said that the corpses serve as markers for other hikers.
In preparation to climb Mount Everest, one needs to scale tall peaks and undergo intense physical training for approximately three years and ensure that you obtain certificates of good health and insurance that would cover rescue costs should the need arise. The month of May has been identified as one of the best for climbing the Himalayan Mountain. The link below gives a great insight into the type of equipment you will need and the preparations you will need to make.
Climbing Mount Everest
Looking up, Mount Everest resembles an untouched pinnacle of rock and ice, but the illusion breaks down as you draw close. When you focus on its exquisiteness you will draw strength from this as you climb. The route at times can be very busy and crowded, with some people reporting hours of waiting to get to the summit. But when you do, you will be able to observe the mountain views, whilst taking in the natural pristine biodiversity of the land. You really will be at the top of the world.
Though you may be physically and mentally prepared to climb Mt Everest before venturing on this escapade, nothing can prepare you for the death zone. It is referred to as the death zone because you cannot survive long up there. If you cut your finger, it doesn’t heal and you are forced to technically move in slow motion. You take a step and you have to stop to breathe in and out before taking another step. This quest demands strength, agility, patience and most importantly discipline.
At some point in the journey, it gets cold, and we mean really cold. The wind can also become swirling, fat and dangerous. . Each step gets more difficult and most people struggle to catch their breath at this altitude even though you’re using some supplemental oxygen. You will stop occasionally to eat nuts, chocolates and drink water or hot chocolate. Try to keep positive at all times, which helps a lot because throughout the journey you could be a step away from death. Still want to embark on your journey? Keep reading.
Managing your heart rate and pace is critical. A positive mind-set is also important especially as you may come across corpses which is a constant reminder of how many people have lost their lives on this mountain.
As soon as you reach the top, take a moment to reflect, only a small amount of the earths population have stood where you have, so savour it and ensure your photographs have been taken properly. You have earned the right to have a great picture for your wall back home. . On the way down, keep reminding yourself that focus is needed. Keep in mind that 80% of accidents happen on the way down.
Our advice to people looking to experience this journey, is that preparation is the most important thing to remember,because even the most seasoned climbers’ battle to complete this mission; you must be willing to put in the time and undergo special training under the watch of serious professionals. Climbing Everest will definitely change you forever. Don’t forget you will spend a lot of money on your Mount Everest holiday, don’t waste it by a lack of preparation.
The Climbing Timetable
Alpine Ascents offer a full package including flights for all people who want to scale Everest. The rough itinerary looks like this, but may be subject to change due to weather etc.
DAY 1-5 arrival in Kathmandu, where you will check into your hotel and make sure that your gear is all in working order.
DAY 5-14 Begin your journey to base camp. This includes a flight to Lukla where you will meet your sherpa team
DAY 15-16 Arrive at base camp and set up your tents and equipment
DAY 17-58 Begin your climbing schedule via camps 2-4, this will then culminate by you reaching the summit. The time and date of this may vary
DAY 59-62 Make the journey back to Lukla
DAY 63-66 Travel from Kathmandu to your home location
How to get there and where to stay:
From Kathmandu, Nepal’s bustling capital, mountaineers take a short flight to Lukla, then trek about 10 days to Everest Base Camp (17,500 feet). Most will spend weeks there in the spring, acclimating to the altitude with rest and day hikes, waiting for the route to Everest’s summit to open in May.
You can’t visit and stay in Nepal without visiting the world famous Yak and Yeti Hotel. This is often a base hotel for all intrepid Mount Everest climbers. You get the opportunity to get some last minute luxury before reaching the cold and desolate landscape of the mountain
How much does it cost?
The price range varies greatly, it ranges from $30,000 to $100,000 or more. Foreigners must buy an $11,000 permit from the Nepalese government, plus pay other fees, but the variance has to do with the sherpars and guides hired. Some offer Western guides for Western clients, which can be more expensive than local ones, or some hybrid in the ratio between climbers and guides. (For example, 1 local guide per climber, plus one Western guide for every four climbers.) Other substantial costs include travel, gear, oxygen and weeks of food and camping while acclimatizing at Base Camp (17,600 feet).
We hope you enjoyed our review. If you have visited Mount Everest before then let us know in the comments.