Everyone in the world knows the highest peak in the world is Mt. Everest but many are confused about its real home - Nepal. Actually, Mt. Everest is situated on the boundary of Himalayas of Nepal and Tibet. The gigantic Mount Everest is situated in the amazing Mahalangur range of the huge Tibetan Plateau famous as “Qing Zang Gaoyuan”. Describing topographically, on the part of Nepal, Mt. Everest is situated in the Sagarmatha National Park of Solukhumbu District. Similarly on the part of Tibet, Mt. Everest lies in the Tingri County of the Xigaze area.
Even though Mt. Everest lies in both Nepal and Tibet, the accessibility to Everest from Nepal is easier in comparison to that from Tibet due to some political restrictions and other aspects. So, whenever anybody will say “trekking to Everest Base Camp”, it means you will be ascending the South Base Camp situated at the altitude of 17,598 feet in Nepalese land.
According to the recent surveys accepted by Nepal and China, The height of the Mount Everest is 29,029 feet (8,840 meters) above the sea level based on the measurement.
Different surveying methods reveal different measurements. Even Geologists disagree with those results of the literal height of Mt. Everest as it keeps on changing due to the tectonic movements and also due to question about the height is measured according to the permanent snow or rock.
How it got its name “Everest”?
Mount Everest is actually named after Sir George Everest, the Welsh Surveyor General of India. It was renamed from “Peak XV” to “Everest” in the honor of Sir George Everest but he didn’t opt for the honor and was continuously protesting but due to political aspects in 1865, it was named “Mt. Everest”. Just the worst part was, the Welsh pronounced it as “Eave-rest” not “Everest”.
There are several names for Mt. Everest depending upon the localities. “Sagarmatha’ is the Nepalese name meaning “the top of the ocean” and “Chomolungma” meaning “Holy Mother” in the Tibetan language.
How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?
Ascending the top of the world, Mt. Everest is not a joke. It’s an expensive expedition with a precious dream. For sure, you will not be using the cheap equipment for trekking and hire a guide or porter who doesn’t know what is going on and which way to lead. Choosing cheaper stuff can cause the trip in risk and danger. The price of best gears usually ranged from USD 7,000 – 10,000.
First of all, the documentation is a must. So, the trekker will be initiating with getting the permit from the Nepalese government that costs around USD 11,000 and the trekkers will be charged on the basis of per day spending at the base camp. Secondly, Medical and Travel Insurance and other insurances must be clearly done before commencing the trek. Emergency evacuation might or might not be needed but it must be standing by all the time. So, here the cost can rise to USD 25,000.
Then, the daily wages/salary, the insurance, the expenses on food and accommodation for the trekking staffs as Guide, Porter, Cooks, etc. are being paid. Depending upon your acclimatization, you might require staying at the Base camp for more than 2 months also. So you must be prepared for all these expenditures.
You must buy the trekking gears and equipment that can withstand throughout the journey to Everest. Oxygen cylinder must be carried that usually costs more than USD 500 per cylinder. At least 5 Oxygen cylinders might be required for 1 trekking. A climbing suit with the proper spiked boots might cost around USD 1000.
According to surveys, Jon Krakauer’s team paid USD 65,000 per trekker for their Everest Expedition. In 2017, Alan Arnette (writer, speaker, and Seven-Summit ascender) paid USD 64,750.
Ascending the Mount Everest
The ascent can be started either from Nepal or Tibet but usually many trekkers choose Nepal due to easy accessibility. The southeast ridge is generally regarded the easiest trail to climb the Mount Everest. Climbing from the north is comparatively cheaper but emergency rescue is more complicated and the helicopters are not permitted for flight on the Tibetan side.
The Everest Base Camp in Nepal lies at the height of 17,598 feet which is the starting point of climbing the Mount Everest.
Descending the Mount Everest
The descent also must be done carefully as the ascent will be done. It totally depends upon the time the ascenders leave for the summit and it is usually recommended to descend as soon as possible after reaching the top in order to avoid the running out of Oxygen. The Oxygen levels are too thin at this elevation above 8,000 meters (26,000 feet). This is called the “Death Zone”. There is a high probability of the climbers will die quicker without supplementation oxygen.
It is always risky and dangerous during the descent from Mount Everest and hanging out or rest at the top. Some climbers do hang on long enough to call via satellite phone to their home to share their excitement of achieving the victory.
There was a case of 28-year British climber in 2010 who went blind during the descent and perished on the cold mountain.
Similarly, Babu Chiri Sherpa in 1999 set a new world record of staying in the summit for more than 20 hours and even slept there in the mountains. But sadly, he perished in 2001 after the fall onto his 11th attempt.
Death records in the Mount Everest
In the reality, the number of deaths is lesser in the Mount Everest than that in the Annapurna I. The Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world and the Annapurna I comes at the last of the list of Top-10 highest peaks in the world. But contrarily, the fatality rate is just the opposite. The highest fatality rate is around 34 percent in Annapurna I of Nepal and more than one in three ascenders usually perish on the average. It is 29 percent for Mount K2 – the second highest fatality rate and it is 4 – 5 percent of fatality rate in Mt Everest according to current status.
Basic tips for trekking to Everest Base Camp
Every year, thousands of trekkers or climbers visit Nepal to trek to Everest Base Camp. You do not need any special mountaineering experience or training or technical gears and equipment to climb a mountain. The main thing you need is a fit and fine health with the good walking and ability to acclimatize at any altitude.
The level of Oxygen is about 53% at the Everest Base Camp. Many of the trekkers or climbers usually ignore the signs and symptoms of this Altitude Sickness and push themselves to the high risk and sometimes death. So, it is a must and a bit of advice please do not ignore any headache, dizziness, disorientation, the difficulty of breathing etc. and stay communicating with the group and the leader.
The top 10 tallest peaks in the World (Altitude measured on the basis of sea level):
- Mount Everest: 29,035 feet (8,850 meters)
- K2 (located between China and Pakistan): 28,251 feet (8,611 meters)
- Kangchenjunga (located between India and Nepal): 28,169 feet (8,586 meters)
- Lhotse (part of the Everest range): 27,940 feet (8,516 meters)
- Makalu (located between Nepal and China): 27,838 feet (8,485 meters)
- Cho Oyu (near Mount Everest between Nepal and China): 26,864 feet (8,188 meters)
- Dhaulagiri I (Nepal): 26,795 feet (8,167 meters)
- Manaslu (Nepal): 26,781 feet (8,163 meters)
- Nanga Parbat (Pakistan): 26,660 feet (8,126 meters)
- Annapurna I (Nepal): 26,545 feet (8,091 meters)
Notable Everest Climbing Records
- Apa Sherpa successfully touched the summit for 21 times in May 2011.
- In 2013, Sherpa Phurba Tashi tied Apa Sherpa with his 21st successful summit attempt.
- American Dave Hahn, a non-Sherpa possesses the record number of successful attempts; his successful 15th attempt was in May 2013.
- The youngest climber of Mount Everest, Jordan Romero—a 13-year-old boy from California achieved the victory on May 22, 2010. He is also the youngest to complete ascending the Seven Summits.
- American Melissa Arnot summited for her 5th time and created a record of successful summits as a non-Sherpa woman in 2013.
Author: Step On Himalaya
Date: 15th March, 2019