Insight on Everest Trekking

Mount Everest is the highest peak on earth. It attracts more than 50,000 people in a year to trek through the treacherous trail to reach its base camp. But, there’s more to the trekking than just seeing the Everest. The Sherpa inhabitants of the region, their native culture, rich biodiversity and the sight of humongous mountains are few treats of the trekking.


Everest Region

With the commercialization of Mount Everest, the trekking began in late 80s. Since then, millions of tourists have visited the Khumbu (Everest) region; few of them comprising of climbers. Today, the Everest Base Camp along attracts more than 50,000 tourists in a year.

Over 5,000 people have summited the Everest. With availability of better logistics and assistance, more climbers tend to join the expedition every year bringing the total summits over 300 per year.

Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse
Mount Everest

Khumbu is mostly accessible through a short flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Those who wish to map it on foot can arrive through Jiri village. It may well take over 9-10 days to trekking to reach the base camp. However, there aren’t any lodges available in the base camp, hence, you must stay at Gorakshep or Lobuche before approaching it.

Kala Patthar at 5,643 meters is located just above the base  camp. It’s a small hill or the monument where the trekkers can spend time enjoying the up-close glimpse of the Mount Everest. (Note: Everest isn’t visible from the base camp. The towering Lhotse peak blocks the entire view)

Namche Bazaar, Gokyo lakes and Tengboche are another major attractions in the region. Namche and Tengboche are accessible through the usual trail, however, you must take an entirely different route to reach the Gokyo lakes. Gokyo is a discreet village located at the western section of Khumbu.

Trekking

The trek is generally strenuous and may require walking over 5 hours a day. It begins at Lukla. The trail aslowly ascends towards Namche Bazaar through Phakding. Namche is the most populated Sherpa town and is known for its luxury lodges, markets and ethnic lifestyle. Hiking around the place or staying a day more is recommended.

The trek ascends further towards Tengboche. Tengboche boasts the highest monastery on Earth. The monastery is over 100 years old and the popular Mani Rimdu festival is held every year to commemorate its legacy. Few other Sherpa villages, you’ll come across are Dingboche, Lobuche and Gorakshep before heading towards the Everest Base Camp.

You can hike to the base camp from Lobuche in few hours and come back to Gorakshep to stay overnight. The next day, you an make an early hike to Kala Patthar and start descending the usual way afterwards.

Anyone from the age 8 to 59 can do this trek, with sound health and proper assistance. Acclimatization is essential to get used to the local environment and altitude.

Facts

  • The Everest was attempted by British mountaineer George Mallory before it was successfully summited by the 9th British expedition
  • Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa became the first humans to touch the summit of the peak, in 1953.
  • Over 5,000 people have summited the Everest since 1953.
  • Reinhold Messner became the first person to summit the Everest without the use of bottled oxygen
  • The term Sherpa actually signifies the native tribe of Khumbu region. Today, Sherpa is used as a misnomer for porters, guides and such.
  • Over 250 people attempt the summit in a single day every year during the climbing season of May.
  • The disaster of 1996’s at Everest cost 15 lives. The incident was later adapted into the best-seller, Into Thin Air.
  • The popular trekking seasons are Spring and Autumn. They last from March to June and September to November simultaneously.

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10 Died Climbing the Everest in 2017

The Mount Everest has already usurped 10 innocent lives in 2017. The Spring season is popular for climbing the Everest, as the small window opens only for short time during May. Almost 509 climbing permits were issued for the Spring season.

373 permits were issued for summits from the Southern side (Nepal), while 136 were issued for summits from the Chinese side.

Brief History

Mount Everest stands at 8,848 meters, making it the highest peak in the world. It’s in the Mahalangur himalaya range and falls in Nepal and China on Southern and Northern side, respectively. The first successful ascent of Mount Everest was made on 1953 by the 9th British Expedition team, including; Edmund Hillary, John Hunt and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.

Ever  since the commercialization of climbing in Nepal, more than 5,000 climbers have scaled the Everest. Most of the climbs took place only after 2000. The availability of logistics and assistants lately has made the expedition easier.

Reinhold Messner became the first person to climb Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen. Since then, many climbers have made a point to climb the Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen.

Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse
Mount Everest is the highest peak on Earth

Dead Indian Climber’s body to be retrieved

Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) is on a task to retrieve the body of an Indian climber Ravi Kumar who died while descending from the summit on May 28. He purportedly fell 200 meters from the route and into the crevasse.

The move to retrieve the body has come under scrutiny and criticism by the chairperson of NMA Ang Tshering Sherpa, as they are supposedly forced by the Indian embassy and the family of the deceased to retrieve the body.

It would have been a different thing if was alive. We should be mindful and not be taking the decision to get the body from such a danger zone. The family should understand that. It’s too dangerous to recover a body from such a difficult place ~Ang Tshering

Spanish climber makes a record

Kilian Jornet
Kilian Jornet

The 29 years old Spanish climber Kilian Jornet has summited the Everest without supplemental Oxygen twice in the same week.

He summited the mountain from the south and north sides. The first climb was completed in 26 hours, and the following climb was completed within 17 hours.

Today I felt good, although it was really windy so it was hard to move fast. I think summiting Everest twice in one week without oxygen opens up a new realm of possibilities in alpinism and I’m really happy to have done it. ~Kilian

The Everest Ordeal of Messner & Habeler

More than 4,000 people have climbed Mount Everest, but fewer than 200 have done so without oxygen.

On April 21, 1978, Reinhold Messner (Italian) and Peter Habler (Austrian) came close to summiting the Everest without supplementary Oxygen, however, the sudden illness of Habeler from the food poising paused their summit attempt.

Messner, along with 2 Sherpas, went up to South Col., only to be stuck by storm for 2 days. They arrived back safely to the Base Camp and waited 2 weeks before they made another attempt. Messner was steadfast and upbeat about doing the summit, while Habeler was of the same skeptic opinion of the Scientific community.

A Sherpa died after falling in a crevasse and another was rescued impromptu.

Messner and Habeler on Everest 1978
Messner and Habeler on Everest, 1978

On May 6, 1978, they embarked on their journey to summit the Everest, after much discussion and contemplation.

On May 8, 1978, Messner and Habler reached the Everest’s summit without the bottled oxygen. Accompanied by hard-working Sherpas and a team of foreign doctors, the duo successfully climbed the Everest after a setback and in a brink of another failure.

Few other Sherpas suffered major injuries and life-threatening conditions. A doctor suffered a medical injury while injecting plasma into himself. Messner himself went snow-blind while descending from the summit.

Climbers use supplemental oxygen to give them an edge while pushing to the summit of a mountain like Everest at 8850 meters. At that altitude, the available oxygen is 33% of that at sea level. It is like running up a staircase while holding your breath 2 out 3 steps.

They shook  the entire scientific and medical community by climbing the Everest without the Bottled O2, which was proclaimed as an impossible feat. The medical community was with a view that staying above 8,000 meters without bottled O2 may lead to a permanent brain damage or even death.

Everest became Messner’s fourth ascent of the Eight-Thousander without the use of bottled O2. He, again, became the first man to climb Everest solo and without the use of bottled O2 in 1980 from the Northern side (Tibet).

He described his ordeal as;

Breathing becomes such a strenuous business that we scarcely have strength left to go on. Every ten or fifteen steps, we collapse into the snow to rest, then crawl on again. My mind seems almost to have ceased to function. I simply go on climbing automatically.

The fact that we are on Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is forgotten – nor does it register that we are climbing without oxygen apparatus


1978 Everest  Documentary

14 Eight-Thousanders of the World!

The Eight-Thousanders are the mountain peaks which are above 8,000 meters in height. There are only 14 such peaks in the world, and all of those are located in the Great Himalayas & Karakoram of South Asia.

The first recorded successful ascent of an eight-thousander was by the French climbers, Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal, of Annapurna on June 3, 1950.

Himalaya/Karakoram spans 2,400 km (1,500 mi) from Nanga Parbat on the western front to Hindu Kush range in the east. A splendor and pride of many nations, they are the most sought destinations in the world for adventure travel. Mount Everest at 8,850 meters is the highest point of the greater Himalaya range.

List of Eight-Thousanders

Peak Height Location
Mount Everest 8,848 m Nepal, China
K2 8,611 m Pakistan, China
Kanchenjunga 8,586 m Nepal, India
Lhotse 8,516 m Nepal, China
Makalu 8,485 m Nepal, China
Cho Oyu 8,201 m Nepal, China
Dhaulagiri 8,167 m Nepal
Manaslu 8,163 m Nepal
Nanga Parbat 8,126 m Pakistan
Annapurna I 8,091 m Nepal
Gasherbrum I 8,080 m Pakistan, China
Broad Peak 8,051 m Pakistan, China
Gasherbrum II 8,035 m Pakistan, China
Shishapangma 8,027 m China

Himalaya/Karakoram Facts

  • They are the 3rd largest deposit of ice and snow in the world. There are approximately 15,000 glaciers located throughout these ranges, which stores about 12,000 km3 (3,000 cubic miles) of fresh water.
  • These are the youngest among the many mountains in the world. The formation of Himalaya dates back only 70 million years, whereas, Appalachian mountainswere formed almost 300 millions years ago.
  • The myth of Yeti, an abominable snowman in English literature, is related to the Himalaya. According to the folklore and locals, the Yeti is a revered as the God by many while other regard it as the mountain guards or wild beast.
  • Geologists have performed tests over years to prove that The Himalayas are geologically alive. The mammoth mountain range is said to be moving approximately 20 mm every year!
  • They span over 2,400 km and covers 6 different countries of South Asia.

Total of 456 Climbers Reached Everest in 2016

As the expedition season for 2016 came to an end, 456 climbers successfully climbed the Everest this year. Out of which, 199 were foreigners. While hundreds of climbers tasted the feat, many other returned or were being evacuated before the big summit. Almost 33 climbers summited the Everest every day this season.

Country Climbers Summiters
Nepal 449 258
India 64 52
US 58 39
China 20 18
UK 29 15
Australia 15 11
Others 111 63
TOTAL 746 456

:. Department of Tourism of Nepal

The climbing season brings deaths along with the success too, every year. This year, 5 innocent souls lost their lives trying to summit the Everest. Dr. Mariya Strydom, an Australian, died of AMS while descending from the summit.

Three more climbers die from altitude-related conditions on Everest, while two climbers went missing and are presumed to have died on the mountain. Many more climbers have been evacuated by helicopter for pulmonary edema, frostbite, and other illnesses. ~NatGeo


Cory Richards’s Insta from the Everest!

Cory Richards and Adrain Ballinger snapchatted their journey to the top of the world in their recent expedition of Everest! Mount Everest @8,850 meters is the highest mountain on Earth. The altitude above 8,000 meters is known as the “Death Zone,” because your body literally starts dying in such great height, however, these two adventurers managed to bring back their journey through social media into the world!


Here are some fantastic images from Cory Richards’s Instagram.


Hey @adrianballinger What's next? Sunrise at 28,800 ft on Everest. @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure

A post shared by Cory Richards (@coryrichards) on


I believe there is no such thing as an unsupported climb of #Everest by its normal routes. A climber can choose not to hire Sherpa, but they still utilize the Sherpa and western guide power of other teams. All the "unsupported" climbers I saw on the North Side utilized rope-fixing, trail breaking, rescue infrastructure and tents (sometimes wth permission, sometimes without) placed by Sherpa of other teams. @adrianballinger I choose to acknowledge this support, and by paying for it supporting the Sherpa community with safe and high paying jobs. The Sherpa team we worked with, part of the @alpenglowexpeditions team, worked, played and laughed with us throughout the season. 3 summited, and the 4th, Palden Namgye, turned around at 8500 meters to support Adrian's descent. Thank you Panuru, Mingma, Palden and Pasang! #everestnofilter #everest2016 (original caption by @adrianballinger changed slightly for my feed)

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"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Aristotle I posted a similar image to this about two weeks and talked to the points of team work. That was the impersonal view...this one is about partnership. I've spent the past two months with @adrianballinger on the North side of Everest. That time Passed with a blink. His overwhelming and genuine psych, his deep level of respect and understanding of personal nuance and needs, and his true desire to act as a singular partnership are cornerstones of his personality...which has been one of the greatest experiences of partnership I can point to. Yesterday, AB made the incredibly hard decision to turn around before the summit. In some ways, I think he wanted this even more than me. But he knew that to keep going was to endanger himself and others. He also knew that as a partnership, splitting up was the best thing to do. It was a paradoxical decision that at once splinters conventional ideas of partnership, and in that moment, cemented ours forever. I couldn't be more proud of him and the decisions he made with our Doctor, Monica. It's sad to turn around after months of effort. It's my job to know that and respect that. But I'd be remiss if I didn't voice the idea that this was always a team effort and @adrianballinger is the stronger half of that team. EverestNoFilter #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer

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