Climbing Mount Everest is every climber’s dream, but not everybody can fulfill it. Everest always tests its climbers, whether it’s due to chance, financial lag, or climate issues. So you want to climb Everest?
It’s more complex than just putting on a pair of hiking boots and setting out for the nearest mountain peak. Even for experienced climbers, Mount Everest is a notoriously tricky summit.
You are mistaken if you have thought climbing Everest is like going on a trek. You have to have more courage to take on dangerous adventures. And it’s not only the thing that is vital during the summit. Certified training and hard work, the capacity to go through some of the coldest temperatures, and acquiring mountain gear are some of the most important things for the summit.
Let’s know what it takes to climb the world’s highest mountain.
The Physical Challenges of Climbing Everest
It’s no wonder that Mt. Everest has been called ‘Chomolungma’ – the “Mother Goddess of the World” in the Tibetan language. At 29,035 feet, it is the tallest mountain on Earth. Reaching its peak requires immense hard work, courage, and strength.
But even before you reach the mountains, you must first contend with the harsh conditions of the Khumbu Icefall. This treacherous area is where glacial ice chunks break away and fall unpredictably, making the journey incredibly risky. Many climbers have lost their lives here.
You face even more challenges from there—climbing steep ridges and crossing crevasses on your way to the summit. The air is thin at this altitude, and temperatures can drop below zero degrees Fahrenheit. To make matters worse, altitude sickness can set in quickly, causing dizziness, nausea, and even death.
So yes, to climb Everest is no easy feat. It takes months of training and tremendous mental and physical strength to reach the top. Are you up for the challenge?
Extreme Altitude: The Science Behind Climbing Everest
When most people think about climbing Mount Everest, the first thing that comes to mind is the extreme altitude. The tallest mountain is 8,848 meters (29,028 feet) above sea level. So it’s no surprise that climbers face several challenges when ascending and descending, including altitude sickness, frostbite, and even death.
But what is it about high altitude that makes it so dangerous? And how do climbers adjust to the lack of oxygen?
Altitude sickness occurs when a person spends too much time at high altitudes without giving their body time to acclimatize. Symptoms can include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue. In severe cases, altitude sickness can lead to fluid accumulation in the lungs (pulmonary edema) or brain (cerebral edema).
While no one answers how climbers adjust to the lack of oxygen, scientists have discovered a few things about how the body responds to high altitude. For example, one study found that climbers who ascend slowly have better oxygen uptake than those who rush to higher altitudes. And another study showed that taking supplemental oxygen reduces the risk of developing altitude sickness.
Natural Build: Topography Where Mount Everest Sits
Climbing Mount Everest is not everyone’s cup of tea. While it sits at the highest altitude globally, it is also built with dangerous and inaccessible topography.
The tallest mountain is not just the most elevated; it’s also steep and precipitous. The highly inclined bearings are also one of the causes of climbers’ death during the Everest summit. As of November, reports show that at least 310 people have died attempting to climb Everest.
Similarly, Himalayan regions are more likely to be trapped by natural calamities. Whether it’s glacier fall, heavy snowfall, avalanches, or others, Everest is not always a place to cherish, especially when you are on the verge of ascending.
Training and Preparation required to Climb Everest
Excellent physical and mental condition is required to climb Everest. You’ll trek through rugged, high-altitude terrain with much thinner air. You’ll also be carrying all your equipment, so you’ll need to be physically fit and strong.
Most climbers spend at least six months training for the trek. They’ll hike and climb in high-altitude areas to get used to the conditions they’ll face on Everest. They’ll also do a lot of cardio and strength training to prepare their bodies for the challenge.
If you need to be in better shape or don’t have a lot of experience hiking or climbing, it’s best to start preparing now. It’s not an impossible feat, but it’s not something you should take lightly.
Gear Necessary for Succeeding the Ascent
Climbing Everest requires more than just the right attitude. You’ll need some specific and expensive gear to succeed. This includes insulated clothing rated for temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius (-76 Fahrenheit) and crampons that attach to your boots to help grip the ice.
You should also bring a sleeping bag, hiking boots, a thermos, a helmet, rope, and harnesses to ensure you don’t slip on any of the mountain’s glaciers or steep sections. You should also always remember your extra oxygen tanks or medications if you are climbing with an illness. Plus, don’t forget your sunglasses—the bright sunlight reflecting off the snow can cause permanent damage to your vision if you don’t protect it adequately.
Finally, before attempting the summit, every climber should have their radio to communicate with their team and other climbers in emergencies.
Cost Of Climbing Everest
Everest is everyone’s dream, and dreams never come cheaper. It is more than buying a new car. When it comes to climbing Everest, the cost can vary from $35,000 to $100,000.
Obtaining a climbing permit from the authorities of Nepal or Tibet costs $11,000, including bottled oxygen and high-altitude gear like tents, sleeping bags, and boots.
According to Adam Arnette, the average cost of climbing Everest in 2017 was $45,000. But a fully custom climb can cost you more than $115,000.
In 2022, if you dare to take a summit to Everest, you will have to set your budget somewhere between $30,000 and $160,000. The average cost in 2022 is $45,000.
Besides that, there is always the provision of support for climbing. Sherpas are always on standby to support in the Everest region – they charge some amounts, though. If you are looking for a personal climbing Sherpa, you will have to pay around $5,000 – Sherpas for loading and unloading costs $3,000, while Sherpas provide cooking service starting at $2,000.
It’s a hefty amount of money, so make sure you plan before choosing Mount Everest as your next summit.
Mentally Preparation To Climb Everest
Let’s talk about the mental challenge of climbing Everest—This is one of the main things that can make conquering the mountain complex. It will require a lot of mental fortitude and strength to keep going, especially when times get tough and you want to give up.
To prepare for the psychological challenge, it’s essential to set realistic expectations for each leg of your journey and the entire climb. Know what you will encounter on each day of your climbing, and have a plan for how you are going to cope with these challenges mentally.
Training your brain is just as important as training your body. You’ll need to practice deep breathing techniques and visualization exercises during extreme difficulties, such as high-altitude climbs and low temperatures. This can help keep your mind focused on what you need to do to stay calm about the task.
Working With Professional Guides for a Safe Climb To Everest
Climbing Everest is no small feat, but proper guidance and preparation might be possible. One thing you can do to ensure a safe climb is to work with professional guides or climbing services.
The experienced guides know their mountaineering stuff and can help you develop a plan that works for you, your fitness level, and the gear/equipment you’ll need. The provision of logistical support, such as porters to carry your supplies, cooks to make food, and Sherpas to help you summit the peak, is also available.
And when it comes to safety, they’re your go-to people because they have experience managing all aspects of the climb, from planning out routes and campsites to dealing with unexpected conditions on the mountain. If something goes wrong (which hopefully won’t happen!), these professionals are in a better position to handle it than someone who’s going it alone.
It’s not impossible to climb Everest, but it’s not easy. It takes a lot of training, preparation, and endurance to reach the top of the world’s highest mountain. If you’re considering attempting the climb, ensure you’re fully prepared before taking on the challenge.