Mount Everest: The World's Highest Peak

Accommodation | Cultural & Historical Significance| Cost & Expences | Requirements | Permits & Regulations

6, May 2024 | nepaltraveller.com

Rising majestically to 8,848.86 meters (29,031.69 feet), it holds the esteemed title of the world's tallest peak, captivating climbers from around the globe.

Mount Everest stands as the ultimate dream for many adventure seekers, its towering summit drawing those with a spirit of exploration. Rising majestically to 8,848.86 meters (29,031.69 feet), it holds the esteemed title of the world's tallest peak, captivating climbers from around the globe. Situated on the border between Nepal and China, an Everest expedition presents the pinnacle of challenge and excitement.

The Everest region attracts thousands of trekkers each year who undertake the journey to Everest Base Camp. The trek offers breathtaking scenery, cultural experiences, and encounters with the Sherpa community. Sustainable tourism practices and responsible trekking initiatives are being promoted to preserve the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the region.

 

ATTRACTION

Mount Everest offers a captivating array of experiences to behold. As you climb through the local valleys, you'll encounter a rich ethnic and cultural diversity, each group with its own unique customs and traditions. The towering Himalayan backdrop provides a stunning panorama, featuring majestic peaks like Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Makalu, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, and Changtobse. Along the journey, you'll immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of rhododendron forests, adorned with pine and bamboo trees, and home to countless endangered wildlife species such as the Red Panda, Blue Deer, Wild Yak, Wild Dog, Spotted Deer, and Musk Deer. Delving deeper into the journey, you'll have the opportunity to witness the rich cultures and traditions of the Sherpa people, deeply influenced by Tibetan heritage. With its abundance of natural wonders and ancient Buddhist monasteries, the Everest climb promises an unforgettable journey of exploration and discovery.

RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE

Mount Everest holds deep religious significance, particularly in Tibetan Buddhism. The southern part of the mountain is considered one of the "hidden valleys" of refuge by Padmasambhava, a respected Buddhist saint from the ninth century. Rongbuk Monastery, situated near the base of Everest's north side, is renowned as the "sacred threshold" to the mountain, offering breathtaking views of the world. For Sherpas living in the Khumbu region of Nepal, Rongbuk Monastery holds great importance as a pilgrimage site, accessible through a journey across the Himalayas via Nangpa La pass.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

Mount Everest holds a rich history of exploration and achievement, linked with various names and records. Originally named after Sir George Everest, a British surveyor, in 1865, the mountain gained international recognition as the highest peak on Earth. 

In 1956, Nepalese historian Baburam Acharya gave the name "Sagarmatha" upon Everest, meaning 'Forehead in the Sky' in the local language. This name reflects the reverence that the mountain inspires among the Nepalese people. Similarly, in Tibetan Sherpa culture, Everest is known as "Chomolungma," meaning 'Mother Goddess of the World,' while in Chinese, it is referred to as "Qomolangma Feng."

 

HISTORICAL ACHIEVEMENT

The venture to conquer Everest began in the early 20th century, with numerous expeditions attempting to reach its summit. Despite several efforts, it wasn't until May 29, 1953, that history was made. Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa, achieved the  impossible feat of reaching Everest's summit for the first time. Their successful ascent marked a monumental achievement in human history and captured the world's imagination.

Since then, there have been numerous records set on Everest, including Kami Rita Sherpa's 29 summits, the fastest climbs, and unique feats like marriages on the summit, fastest climber, youngest climber, oldest climber,  a Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel helicopter Lander on the summit (Didier Delsalle on May 14, 2005),climbed without oxygen etc.

Despite these accomplishments, Everest also  witnessed the dangers and risks inherent in mountaineering, as evidenced by the discovery of the remains of George Mallory, one of the first attempted climbers from the Tibetan side, decades after his ill-fated expedition.

TOTAL CLIMBERS

From 1953 up to January 2024, there have been a total of 11,996 ascents of Mount Everest across all routes, accomplished by 6,664 individuals. Climbing from the Nepal side is the most favored, yet it also has the highest number of fatalities, with 217 deaths out of 8,350 summits, resulting in a death rate of 2.6% or 1.14 deaths per ascent.

BEST SEASON TO CLIMB

Many experienced climbers believe that any time of the year is suitable for climbing Mount Everest, but the most comfortable period is typically from April to June when the climbing window opens. This timeframe offers the best conditions for attempting the climb, with nature in full bloom and an exciting variety of plant life along the way. However, May, considered the warmest month in the region, may occasionally bring clouds that obscure the scenic views along the route. Despite this, predicting the weather accurately is challenging. So, if you prefer milder temperatures, May could be the perfect month for your expedition..

REQUIREMENT TO CLIMB

To be considered an advanced climber for Mount Everest, certain criteria must be met:

Altitude Experience: Climbers should have scaled peaks with altitudes exceeding 7000m, such as Aconcagua.

Technical Proficiency: Proficiency in technical skills like cramponing, glacier navigation, and fixed-line climbing is necessary.

Comfort with Terrain: Climbers must be comfortable with exposure to steep rock and ice terrain.

Climbing Resume: A comprehensive climbing background is required, and climbers are encouraged to reach out to assess suitability.

Training Commitment: Starting specific Everest training 9-12 months prior to departure and dedicating 5-6 days a week to training is essential.

Physical Conditioning: Climbers should be capable of hiking at a rate of 1,500 vertical feet per hour with a 20lb pack.

Training Approach: Emphasizing high volume but low-intensity training is recommended.

Mindset and Mental Preparedness: Mental fortitude is crucial for enduring the sustained stress of a two-month Everest expedition.

Comfort with Discomfort: Training should push individuals to become accustomed to discomfort and push through mental barriers.

Adaptability and Patience: Being prepared for an 8-10 week absence from home or work, adapting to rugged adventure travel, and remaining patient during downtime at Base Camp are necessary.

Openness to Guidance: Being receptive to guidance from guides and expedition leaders, even for experienced climbers, is important.

Stress Management: Effectively managing stress levels is crucial for success in the demanding Everest environment.

Teamwork and Communication: Being able to work collaboratively within a team, communicate openly with guides, and support fellow climbers is vital.

Humility and Respect: Demonstrating humility, respect, and consideration, particularly under pressure, is essential for fostering a positive team dynamic.

Travel Documents: PP size photos, valid passport, insurance paper, family members contact address etc.

Climbing Equipment: Climbing helmet, Down suit, Crampons, Hardware, Ice axe, Harness, Tape slings, Snow goggle etc.

Other equipments: Foot wear, gloves, sleeping bags, Backpacks, Sun stuff, Basic Medical first aid box, Eating and Drinking stuffs, Toiletries, Fleece hat, Lower body stuff (down pants, waterproof pants etc.), upper body items (Thermo coat, Fleece Jacket, Cotton Tee etc.) and so on.

 

TOTAL TIME DURATION

Climbing Mount Everest is a lengthy journey that starts in Kathmandu, Nepal. After organizing permits and gear, climbers fly to Lukla and trek to Base Camp. They spend weeks acclimatizing, going up and down the mountain to adjust to altitude. The final ascent to the summit happens after establishing camps and waiting for good weather. This whole process, from Kathmandu to the peak, takes around 60 to 65 days.

OVERALL COST EXPECTATION

Climbers can expect spending between $40,000 and $200,000 USD for a Mount Everest expedition, which varies based on factors such as the expedition type, inclusions, and desired level of comfort. However, if we include private trips and luxury expeditions, which tend to be more costly, the average cost increases to $53,448, with a median cost of $50,500. In contrast, the average cost for climbing Everest in 2023 was $55,972, with a median cost of $47,995.

PERMIT AND REGULATIONS

Any individual or mountaineering team intending to climb a peak listed in Appendix 1 must obtain permission from the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). Applications for climbing permits must be submitted as outlined in Appendix 2. Permits are typically granted for a one-month period, with the possibility of extension for an additional two weeks if necessary. The permission duration covers the time spent climbing above the base camp, excluding the trek to and from the base camp. Applications for climbing permits are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and the NMA reserves the right to grant permission to other parties to climb the same peak during the same period. 

The NMA will also recommend to the Immigration Office of the Government of Nepal to issue trekking permits for the area for team members. All personnel ascending above the base camp must be insured with the value of Rs. 200,000.00 for personal accidents up to the value specified. Each climbing party granted a permit must nominate a representative in Kathmandu to serve as a liaison between the NMA and the climbing party, responsible for arranging necessary assistance in case of accidents or unforeseen circumstances.

 Upon completion of the climb and return to Kathmandu, the party must submit a report to the NMA as specified. The NMA retains the authority to cancel or withdraw climbing permits at its discretion, and non-compliance with regulations may result in recommendations for necessary actions by the Government of Nepal. The climbing party is responsible for leaving base camp and other camps clean and free of foreign materials, ensuring proper disposal of all waste and rubbish.

RESTRICTIONS

In Nepal, climbing Mount Everest is subject to specific age and health restrictions:

Age: Individuals must be a minimum of 16 years old, with no upper age limit currently imposed.

Health: Climbers should possess a robust physique, a mindset conducive to risk-taking, and be free from sudden-onset illnesses.

As mountaineering continues to evolve, it's essential to prioritize safety, sustainability, and respect for the natural environment and local communities. The allure of Everest will endure, but responsible stewardship is essential for its preservation and enjoyment by future generations.

Reference:Nepal Mountaineering Association, Wikipedia, Expedreview


Also Read: 

Mountain Expedition in Nepal

Mount Dhaulagiri Expedition

Mount Annapurna Expedition

Mount Lhotse Expedition

Mount Manaslu Expedition

Mount Kanchenjunga expedition

Mount Cho Oyu Expedition

Mount Makalu Expedition

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