Mount Everest is the tallest point in the world. The fact of it being the tallest has attracted people to come and try conquering it. They are attracted for so many reasons: some are adrenaline junkies, some are true mountaineers, and some are just wanting to feel that sense of accomplishment.
Are you one of these people? If you do, preparation is key. There are several passages to climb Mount Everest, but people usually go either from the north route (Tibet) or the south route (Nepal). Going up to Mount Everest’s peak is not an easy journey. You need to be ready both physically and mentally.
Even though the hike might get a little nasty with the cold weather and all, it will be a rewarding journey for you. Before you decide whether this hike is for you, you can take into consideration these 15 things.
1. Every Year There Are 800 People Who Climbed The Everest
On average, there are 700-800 climbers each year. They come from either the Tibetan or Nepal side of the mountain. Except for the year 2014,2015, and 2020 (due to Covid), there are no climbers permitted to climb from the Nepal side. Remember to get your permit for climbing Mount Everest before your trip.
2. It Is Best to Climb on May
In order to successfully reach the top, there are some things that you need to pay attention to. It is important to find the right time frame to start climbing and go back down. Most of the time, the trip down from the summit is the most dangerous. People succeeded in reaching the top, but they didn’t make it back down to the camp.
It is best to make sure that around May 15, you have already started your journey back down. At that time, the weather is warmer and high altitude winds called the jet stream have moved away from the top of the mountain.
The trip from the bottom of the mountain usually takes 6-10 weeks long, thus it is best to schedule yourself to start climbing as early as March.
3. It Takes 2 Months To Reach The Summit
It takes 6-10 weeks, normally about 2 months to get to the peak of Mount Everest. The long time is due to three things: trek in, acclimatization, and the weather. From the bottom of the mountain, you need to trek 8-14 days to come to the base camp.
You can skip this early trek by taking a helicopter from Lukla to Base Camp. Then, from base 1-4, it is the process of acclimatization which is the process of adjusting your body and making sure it is ready for some altitude.
Lastly, weather dictates your plan in the mountains. It might cause you to wait a little longer or need to change your way and it will show you when is the right time for you to climb to the peak.
4. Mount Everest Has Wifi
When you’re climbing Mount Everest, you don’t have to worry about losing wifi connection. Since 2010, the base camp has been equipped with wifi. The initiative is done by a local Sherpa named Tsering Gyalten Sherpa, who first decided to bring his native Khumbu Valley to be a 21st century village. He set up this business as a way to help improve the quality of life of the people.
They can have online medical consultation, communicate with their loved ones, and also practice reading and writing. Remember wifi on Mount Everest is for communication and not for entertainment.
5. Traffic Jams Exist In Mount Everest
Due to the number of people trying to conquer the summit every year, it turns into an overcrowded place. Many times, hundreds of people are seen to be waiting in line to climb the summit in the cold and thin oxygen conditions. Once they reach the summit, they will find no place because there are too many people.
6. Mount Everest Is Facing Pollution and Trash Problems
Due to the number of people trying to conquer the summit every year, it faces major pollution and thrash problems. These climbers have left their thrash including biological thrash on the mountain. Since toilet facilities are only available in the base camp, the human waste on the other camps could get really nasty.
With climate change, ice is starting to melt which exposes this thrash that has been hidden for decades. It is a concerning scene especially for the locals who live there. Their health is threatened by their decreasing hygiene living quality due to this.
7. Mount Everest Is Not The Tallest Mountain In The World
To be exact, Mount Everest is not actually the tallest mountain in the world, it is the highest point above sea level in the world. The tallest mountain title actually belongs to the Mauna Kea, a volcano on the big island of Hawaii. From its base to the peak, it is 10,210 meters while Mount Everest is only 8.848 meters.
However, Mauan Kea has most of its body under the water, thus its peak above sea level is shorter than that of Everest. If you calculate the distance between the core of the earth to the peak of a mountain, Everest is also not the tallest.
The tallest peak from the Earth’s core is the peak of Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador. Its geographic location, which is at the equator, makes its peak 2,072 meters further from Earth’s core compared to Everest’s peak.
8. Mount Everest Has Different Names
Mount Everest is named after Sir George Everest and got its name in the year 1856. At first, he thought that the mountain should get a more local name. However, it turns out that Nepal and Tibet are closed to foreigners and no local names have been confirmed yet at that time.
Then, in the early 20th century, a Swedish explorer named Sven Hedin found out the Tibetan name of the mountain is Cha-mo-lung-ma. It turns out that the name has been used in a map in Paris in 1733 made by geographer D’Anville. Cha-mo-lung-ma or Qomolangma means the “Goddess Mother of the World”.
Also, its Nepali name is Sagarmatha which means “Goddess of Sky”. However, Mount Everest is the most common name that is universally used.
9. Height of Mount Everest Is Still To Be Announced
If someone asks you the height of Mount Everest, the answer won’t be the same today as it was last year since the mountain is still growing. The Himalayan Mountains existed due to the movement of the two tectonic plates: Indian and Eurasian plates.
The two plates are still moving up to today. When the Indian plate slips inside the Eurasian plate, the mountain will grow taller by 4 mm each year. However, scientists believe that the 2015 Nepal Earthquake might cause the mountain to shrink. Thus, China and Nepal have sent people to recalculate its height again.
10. Yuichiro Miura The Oldest Successful Climber
Yuichiro Miura is a Japanese mountaineer who set the record of the oldest person to climb Mount Everest at age 80 in 2013. It is his third successful attempt to conquer the peak of the Mountain Everest. Previously, he did it at age 70 and 75 years old.
11. Tabei Junko Is The First Woman To Conquer The Peak
Tabei Junko, a Japanese woman mountaineer, is the first woman to summit Mount Everest in 1975. During her trip, she almost didn’t make it due to an avalanche that buried and knocked her unconscious while she was camping.
Miraculously, her Sherpas are able to save her and none of her group members suffer from fatal injury. She was injured and could not walk for two days. However, this doesn’t stop her from continuing and reaching the top 12 days after the avalanche. By 1992, she had completed the Seven Summits. She died at the age of 77 due to cancer.
12. 40,000 Locals Live On Mount Everest
40,000 is unbelievably a big number of people living around the Mount Everest area. The Sherpas, local to Mount Everest, live as high as 4,270 meters above sea level in Khumbu Valley.
They take their livestock as high as 4,880 meters to graze in the summer. Living so close to the tallest peak in the world, they traditionally see the peak as something sacred and they will not climb the mountain.
However, they started going up the mountain when the English came to do their expedition in the early 20th century which led to the emergence of new jobs for them. Being naturally able to adapt to the mountain conditions, they started going up as porters and eventually being a guide for climbers even up to this day.
13. Conquering The Summit 24 times
Kami RIta Sherpa is the person with the most successful attempts on conquering the peak of Mount Everest. He has done it 24 times. His 23rd and 24th attempt are only 6 days apart.
He is a Sherpa who works as a guide that takes climbers up to the peak. He is known as the “Super Sherpa”. In an interview, he says in times of doubt, it is better to descend. The peak will always be there as long as you stay alive.
14. 1996 Is The Deadliest Year
In the year 1996, specifically on May 10, 1996, there were 8 deaths found on the mountain due to storms. That year a total of 15 people perished in the climbing season of spring 1996. There were 4 expeditions that took place that day when suddenly there was a storm. The climbers were trapped in a position where it was hard for them to go back down.
As the storm continued to rage, it was hard for these climbers to survive due to the depletion of oxygen. The tragedy was blamed on inexperienced climbers and guides that agreed to take them for a large sum of money. Nevertheless, there were 98 other climbers who made it to the peak in 1996.
15. Dead Bodies Are Supposed To Be Left
It is the protocol that dead bodies are left where they fall on Mount Everest. Some people have to live the rest of their lives haunted by guilt because they did this. However, bringing a dead body back is dangerous. The most famous one is the “Green Boots”. It has been left for around 20 years up in the mountains.
To take a dead body back down, it is a difficult, risky, and expensive business. 8 Sherpas at least are needed to risk their life to take one body down, where they need to take the frozen body that most likely has doubled its actual weight by first digging the place where it is left. Everything is frozen up in the mountains and this is where the task gets difficult and risky.
After knowing all this, do you still think climbing Mount Everest is something for you? If you feel like Everest is still calling for you, you can start preparing yourself now. The preparation includes both training for your physical and mental strength. Good luck!