How long does it take to climb up and down Mount Everest?
Known to be the highest peak of the world, Mt. Everest straddles between the border of Nepal and Tibet in the Mahalangur Himal, which extends between the Nangpa La Pass in the west and Arun in the east. Trekkers who seek thrill in their trekking expedition must be interested to know how long it takes to climb the Mount Everest.
Climbing the high mountains such as Everest actually is not a matter of a day. It requires acclimatizing your body to get used to the thin air, the type of climate at the Everest base camp before you start your journey to Mount Everest. This is why the entire climbing period needs a long time to reach the top.
It will take you at least 40 days to reach the summit. You will need a couple of days more to push the summit and about a week to reach Kathmandu. However, the day's estimation for climbing up the Mt Everest also depends upon some external factors like weather conditions. The different risk involved and trekker’s health factors sometimes may not permit to move further and one may need to spend some additional days resting.
Altitude is the most concerning factor and all the other things come second to it. Higher the altitude, the harder the trek is very well justified by this trek. Trekkers are prone to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and thus the symptoms if seen should not be taken lightly. After arriving at the Lukla airport, the journey is embarked from 3000 meters altitude.
This altitude is already high enough for altitude sickness to incur. Acclimatization at the proper time is a must. Leaving the Lukla village, the trek climbs up steadily up to the base camp. You can’t rush while trekking at higher altitudes.
The requirement of super level fitness for the trek is a hoax. You will see a lot of people from old to young and overweight to underweight complete the trek on the way. A good level of fitness certainly helps but it’s not that others can not complete the journey.
As the trails are hilly, the trek to Base Camp shall not exhaust to a much higher level. However, basic training should certainly help any novice-trekker to complete the journey. While walking, the walking could be easier one day and the opposite the next day.
One must be prepared for the tough days rather than the easy ones. For someone with minimal fitness, walking 6 hours a day should be apt to tackle the trek although it might increase the trekking days to some extent. A proper plan a month before the trek is suggested for building your strength. Stamina should determine the duration of the trek as well so anything that exponentially drains your stamina is not suggested for a month before the trek.
When you have thought of climbing Mount Everest, only thought of climbing Everest won't suffice. Climbing the highest peak in the world takes a lot of courage and months of practice before conquering the summit. It’s hard to do it on your own and near to impossible without proper gears.
It is a pretty easy trek till the base camp as every age group can be seen reaching the Everest Base Camp. But the trail gets strenuous as we move further up and requires specialized gears from clothing to tools and supplies.
It shall be easy to pick the gears if you are going on a guided expedition but if you plan to do the climb on your own, you should have the proper information about the climate up there and equipment required to climb the Everest.
And even after the purchase of all the gears, you should double-check them to ensure they won’t deceive during the climb. One’s physical fitness would sure help to climb Everest but not with improper gears. Following gears should be strictly carried with oneself during the Everest climb.
There are two different routes you can trace to climb Everest; the north ridge and the south ridge. The North ridge is situated in Tibet and is technically more difficult. The south ridge is located in Nepal and is the most frequently take one. It has its difficulty but is considered easier than North ridges that include challenging rocks to be climbed.
We will be discussing the south route. The Everest climbing expedition is initiated from Lukla and you will be taking the following route.
Base camp (5400m)
Located at 17,500 feet, the Mount Everest base camp is where climbers begin their true trip up the mountain. This is where support staff often remain to monitor the expedition and provide medical assistance as necessary.
Some easier hiking trips just go up to the base camp. The trek to EBC is not as challenging as the Mount Everest climbing expedition but one must be fit to acclimatize oneself to this extreme weather condition.
From the Base camp, the climbers typically train their body to adjust the decreasing oxygen level as we move up. The training and restoration continue through the climb, with the final summit push often being the only time for the climbers do not go back and forth between camps to train and bring supplies.
The icefall is in constant motion. This often acts as a testing ground that judges if less experienced climbers will be capable of continuing or not.
Camp 1, Valley of Silence (6065m)
Located right above the Khumbu icefall, this camp is situated in a daunting and plain location. The surrounding is a flat area comprising several deep crevasses and mountain walls. Since it lies on the lower altitude as compared to the other three, this camp is a little warmer and could be used for resting.
The area is prone to be washed by avalanches. At night, we can listen to the deep, murmuring cracking sounds under our tents . while you are dealing with this situation with a pouncing heartbeat and a pounding headache, there is this light of happiness that just a few steps around the corner you will be able to get your first close sight of Everest.
Camp 2 (6750 m)
Camp 2 is situated at the foot of the Mountain Lhotse and is considered as a very safe and sheltered location. The camp offers an amazing view of Mt. Lhotse. This place is amazing as it offers a stunning view of clouds rolling from the lower ranges up the valley and into the camp.
This camp is used by a maximum number of trekkers to set up their main climbing camp. The camp 2 is the main acclimatization camp and is also used as the base for the camp 3 acclimatization climb and the final summit. But several precautions are to be made while preparing our camp. The best trick to stay acclimatized in this weather is to bring yourself to take walks to the Lhotse face.
Camp 3, Lhotse Wall (7100 m)
Located on the small ledge on the Lhotse wall, camp 3 offers a pretty cozy location for acclimatization purposes. However, the wall needs to be climbed using ropes after acclimatization. The climb towards the wall is a flat walk that gets you nicely warmed up. At the wall, as you step into the ropes, the icy incline begins. The steep ice climb is pretty uneventful and you hear a howling sound and watch catapult down the wall.
The climb could either be easy or hard, depending on the weather. A dry, cold season means sheer, blue ice and high risk of Avalanche. After climb 3, you will traverse the wall towards the fourth camp. The camp 4 lies beyond the Lhotse wall that measures up to 4000 m. The route from Camp 3 to next Camp 4 is pretty safe.
Camp 4, The Deathzone (7920 m)
The camp 4 sits on a plateau at the edge of the atmosphere where the sky owns a dark blue color. The wall towards the summit is steep as well as dark but the thought of summiting the highest peak the very next day makes it easier to emotionally acclimatize oneself. It is necessary to check on every set of gear you own and get things organized for the biggest day of your life.
The Summit (8848m )
Finally, the day has arrived. The summit sits at the top of the world. Due to the decreased air pressure, the summit contains less than one-third of the oxygen at the sea level. A cold, white moon rises from the below, but you hardly glance at it or even the bright twinkle of the universe above. Typically, climbers achieving the great summit will click pictures, gain their composure, briefly enjoy the view, then return to Camp IV as quickly as possible. The risk of staying at the summit and the exhaustion from achieving the summit is too great to permit climbers to fully enjoy the great accomplishment at that moment.
Since most accidents occur upon climbing down, be sure to have enough oxygen left to come back. Since the final ridge before the wall back down to camp 4 is a bit tricky, make sure that you have your ropes and gears perfectly working. If the weather turns bad, the ropes might get buried and you might not be able to see them. Make sure to bring a compass and track your path while you ascend.
Exceeded only by your awakening in the morning; the sun rays softly warming you, as you slowly come to a wonderful, triumphant realization; that you actually, really, really made it.
You are now an Everest summiteer! Congratulations!