Standing at the height of 8848.86 meters, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. Situated in the Sagarmatha National Park in Solukhumbu district of Nepal bordering Tibet, an autonomous part of China. Climbing to Everest is the dream of every mountaineer because it is the highest point on Earth.
More than 4,000 people have so far climbed Everest more than 9,000 times. Mt.Everest is one of the world’s deadliest mountains because of its extreme cold and low oxygen environment.
Currently 8,848.86 meters high, Mount Everest. The tallest mountain base-to-peak is Hawaii’s Mauna Kea at 10,210m (33,500 ft). However, it is only 4,205m (13,796 ft) above sea level, making Mt.Everest the highest mountain above sea level. It is believed to be about 60 million years old. On Everest, there are about 7000 peaks.
Climbing history and attempts
Even though Everest is near to the earth’s center, it is also the tallest mountain above sea level. There are 17 possible routes for the Mount Everest Expedition, although climbers often favor the two that originate in Nepal and Tibet. The ridges on the Nepal and Tibet sides are located in opposite directions. Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander, and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, a Nepalese, developed the initial line for climbing to Everest in 1953.
Also, climbing to Everest is challenging. The Khumbu icefall on the Nepalese side of Mt.Everest, which is sometimes known as a “death path,” is one of the expedition’s many challenges. Even experienced climbers and mountaineers must use caution in this area. In addition, the climbers can experience issues with altitude sickness and severe inclines. As the height rises, the air gets thinner. The thin air may make it difficult for people to breathe.
Mount Everest expedition cost
Depending on the sort of expedition, what is included in the cost, and the desired degree of luxury, climbers can anticipate to spend anywhere from $25000 (USD) to $125000 on their excursion. The amount of money needed to reach the Everest peak varies. According to the scale, a person’s expense might be anywhere between $25,000 and $75,000 or even up to $100,000.
However, the cost of the expedition increases every year. So before planning for climbing to Everest, one needs to do an updated research about the cost of climbing Mt. Everest. Generally speaking, this also involves travel from Kathmandu or Lhasa, food, extra oxygen, Sherpa support and base camp tents. There are other restrictions with such a broad range, though, such as the need for an individual Sherpa, Western guides, advice, supplies, and tents on the upper peak.
Difficulties of Mount Everest Expedition
There are many difficulties while climbing to Everest, to list out a few, some of the top difficulties faced by mountaineers while climbing to Everest are as follows;
Lack of Oxygen
At 8850 meters above sea level, the top of Mt. Everest will have around 33% of the oxygen present at sea level. At such oxygen concentration, a typical person has trouble surviving. The Death Zone, when the air is thin, is also said to exist over 8000 meters in height. Despite carrying artificial oxygen, one could still feel feeble due to the thin layer of oxygen. As a result, climbing to Everest is more difficult due to the low oxygen level there.
Acclimatization is the process by which a specific organism adapts to a change in the environment it lives in, enabling it to retain fitness under a variety of environmental circumstances. Before embarking on an Everest adventure, one must learn to fit in because the Himalayan area has a very chilly environment. It is helpful to walk gently and not rush through the adventure to combat altitude sickness.
Altitude sickness is one of the most challenging symptoms and problems to Mount Everest’s expedition. Severe headache, lack of appetite, breathlessness, exhaustion, difficulty sleeping, nausea, fast heartbeat, and severe dehydration are some of the main symptoms of altitude sickness. While hiking in the Everest region, if you have any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away before it’s too late.
Glaciers cover Everest and the neighboring summits, including precipitous ice falls, which dangle like frozen waterfalls from the sides of the mountains. Avalanche cones—huge snow mounds that form when ice and snow have fallen from above—mark the locations of avalanches. On Everest, there are certain areas where avalanches happen often. Avalanche risk is increased in locations like South Col, Khumbu Icefall and North Col.
Falls account for the majority of fatalities on Everest. Climbing to Everest peak in upper camps is quite perilous because of falls. When walking on covered ice in the dark grounds, extreme caution must be used. Check the knots and carabiners twice, and keep your footing to be extra cautious.
In a flowing body of ice known as a glacier, a crevasse is a large, wedge-shaped hole. A glacier’s upper 50 meters (160 feet), where the ice is most fragile, is where crevasses typically occur. The places with the highest crevasses are the western Cwm and the Khumbu icefalls. Therefore, even a little negligence in this extremely dangerous environment might result in the climbers’ deaths.
Extreme cold Temperature
Extremes characterize the weather and environment of Mt.Everest. At the top, it is seldom warmer than freezing, and in January, it may be as cold as -60° C (-76° F). Despite the cold, wind chill and hurricane-force gusts along with severely harsh weather are the primary problems climbers confront.
Everest is the top of the world. At these heights, just 10% of the atmosphere is still present, and the temperature drops to a deadly -55°C due to the extremely low air pressure. That is the reason, Everest is considered as the coldest place on the earth during the summer.
Most dangerous places on Everest
Everest is itself a very dangerous place to survive on, but the mountain still has some points that are considered even more dangerous. This makes the Everest expedition more challenging and risky.
There are several risky areas, including the ice fall, crevasses, and the Death Zone close to the top. Numerous climbers have been murdered by rock falls, avalanches, earthquakes, sudden cold temperatures, and other hazards on the way up or down.
Here are the list of risky spots on the Everest;
Khumbu is the world’s highest altitude glacier. It is at the altitude of 7,600 m (24,900 ft) at its source. At the western end of the lower Western Cwm, the glacier includes a sizable icefall known as the Khumbu Icefall. The first significant challenge—and one of the riskier ones—on the traditional south col route to the summit of Everest is this icefall. Additionally, it is Nepal’s biggest glacier. Therefore it is the first hurdle while climbing to Everest.
In order to make it simpler for the numerous tourists and climbers who try to reach Everest’s peak, expert climbing guides modify the way every year with ropes and ladders. The glacier’s jagged, steep slope descends at a rate of several feet every day, heaving and shifting under the weight of gravity and its enormous mass.
Valley of Silence (6100m-6400m)
There are deep murmuring cracking sounds beneath the tents in the night at the Valley of silence. It is a flat area of endless snow. Under the snow, crevasses are widespread, therefore ascending this region while being clipped to the fixed rope is a lifesaving idea.
Camp 3, Lhotse wall (6800m-8000m)
The Lhotse Face is the name of Lhotse’s western side. Any climber who wants to reach Everest’s South Col must ascend this 1,125 m (3,690 ft) glacial blue ice wall. This face bulges sometimes at 80 degrees and rises at 40 and 50 degree pitches. Sherpa will install fixed ropes to climb this ice wall. Up to 7800 meters, the route to Everest and Lhotse is identical. This is yet another hurdle while climbing to Everest.
The Death Zone (8000m-8848m)
The death zone is the point where oxygen is not sufficient for human life to survive because of increase in altitude. The death zone in Everest starts from 8000 m onwards. The atmosphere’s oxygen content decreases by 40% at that altitude above sea level. The human body finds it challenging to obtain the oxygen it requires as a result.
Snow blindness and frostbite are additional concerns in the death zone. Snow blindness is the temporary loss of vision brought on by the reflection of snow and ice. Any exposed flesh might become frostbitten. The temperatures are so low on Everest that skin instantly freezes.
Hillary Step is 12 meters (40 feet) away from the actual summit of Everest. The Hillary Step was the final significant difficulty before reaching the summit of the mountain and the most technically challenging portion of the traditional Nepal-side Everest climb.
However, after the earthquake, many climbers and researchers suggest that the Hillary Step has collapsed and exists no more.
The area above 26,246 feet/8,000 meters, known as the “death zone” of Everest, is so difficult to walk that it can take most climbers up to 12 hours to climb to the summit. This is the final push while climbing to Everest.
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The Everest peak is a dangerous location. Above it, humans have access to only one-third of the oxygen that is found on the sea level. The cold and wind cause a serious health risk. During their brief time at the summit of the tallest peak in the world, many summiteers continue to wear their oxygen masks.
Average time to be on the top of Everest is about 10 minutes. Temperatures drop below to -60 °C (-76 °F) are possible. Despite the cold, hurricane-force wind and wind chill are the primary problems climbers face. The summit is very windy and hostile. By the time anyone reaches the peak, they’ll be hypoxic, or rather low on oxygen. People forget to take photos or think logically.
Interesting facts about Mount Everest
- There are around 7000 peaks on Everest.
- There are 3 countries visible from the top of Everest (Nepal, China and India.)
- Everest is approximately 60 million years old.
- Research suggests that the top of Everest was once the bottom of an ocean at some point of time.
- Everest grows by 5mm every year as the Indian plate is constantly colliding with the Eurasian plate. That causes the Himalayas to rise even higher.
- It is the tallest mountain in the world from sea level, however, Mauna Kea is taller than Mt.Everest if measured from bottom to top.
- There are at least 310 dead bodies on Mt.Everest, they will remain there without getting recovered.
- Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa were the men to climb Mt. Everest first in the year 1953 AD.
Documentaries and films on Mount Everest
Everest (2015 film)
Everest is a 2015 biographical action-adventure movie that Baltasar Kormákur directed, produced, and wrote with William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy. It is based on a true story of the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster, and focuses on the survival attempts of two expedition groups. It shows the story of Rob Hall (Clarke) and Scott Fischer (Gyllenhaal).
14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible (2021 documentary film)
14 Peaks is a documentary film set to be released in 2021 that was directed by Torquil Jones and produced by Noah Media Group, Little Monster Films, and Torquil Jones, with executive producers Nirmal Purja, Jimmy Chin, and Elizabeth Vasarhelyi. Based on the life of a Nepalese mountaineer Nirmal (Nimsdai) Purja who attempted to summit all the 14 peaks over 8000m on earth.
The film is about Nirmal Purja’s Project Possible, a mission for high-altitude climbing in Nepal. Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu climb in 48 hours, 30 minutes, making it the fastest triple-header, Purja broke his own record from 2017.
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Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. Situated in the Sagarmatha National Park in Solukhumbu district of Nepal bordering Tibet. More than 4,000 people have so far climbed Everest more than 9,000 times. Climbing to Everest is the dream of every mountaineer because it is the highest point on Earth.
Climbers to Everest can anticipate spending anywhere from $25000 (USD) to $125000 on their excursion. Extreme cold Temperature, Crevasses, Falls, Avalanche, Altitude Sickness, Acclimatization and Lack of Oxygen are the few difficulties that climbers face during the expedition.
Thus, Everest is a risky mountain to climb. However, it is a lifetime experience to be on the top of the world and capture the magnificent view from the top. It’s a feast for adventure lovers and mountaineers.