Climbing Mount Everest is a dream come true for every mountaineer and rock climber. Viewing the world from the highest place in the world seems mind-boggling.
Over the years many people have climbed mountains for different reasons – hunting, surveying, and even for spiritual purposes but most mountaineers do mountain climbing as a recreational activity or as a hobby which may involve mountain biking as well as rock climbing. It is just a few of them that take mountain climbing as an occupation where they are being hired as a guide by recreational climbers or they are being paid by companies and tertiary institutions to climb mountains.
Climbing the highest mountain in the world has drastically changed over the years as improvement in technology, knowledge and the provision of significant infrastructure has inspired several people to take both the risks and the price attached.
Mount Everest is the tallest and the most popular mountain in the world of about 29,029 feet (8,848 meters high). It has been scaled by thousands of people due to its accessibility, although it has taken an average of three lives per year. Nevertheless, its popularity continues to grow over the years, as it is becoming safer due to improved gears, weather forecasts, and better technical skills.
How Was Mount Everest Formed?
The mountain was formed when the collision between Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates occurred, resulting in an upward force pushing up the rocks that form the highest mountain in the world. This force is still pushing the mountain peak of Everest every year to about an inch high.
Where is Mount Everest located?
Mount Everest straddles the border that is between Nepal and Tibet which at the peak of the Himalayan Mountain Chain. It is widely known and accepted in Nepal as Sagarmatha and in Tibet as Chomolungma. It lies close to the equator and at a latitude of 280 approximately.
How crowded is Mount Everest?
In the 1990s, when the international guides began to sponsor and pioneer commercial trips up the mountain despite the risk, its popularity aloft drawing several mountaineers from around the globe to conquer its peak year after year. According to the Nepal Ministry of Tourism, their record shows that they issued 347 individual climbing permits to foreign climbers in the year 2018 and reported that 261 of them reached the peak or summit of the mountain.
How Long Does It Take To Climb Mount Everest?
The best climbing season is usually the second half of May between the winter and the region’s summer monsoons. But for a successful summiting, preparations should begin months before the short climbing season. Most of the mountaineers will converge at Kathmandu around late March to acclimatize (acclimatizing means to get used to the new climate).
In April, mountaineers make several surveys or overnight forays to successfully erect camps on the mountain to acclimatize. Trekking towards their base camp will take about ten (10) days, then the support staff and workers that work on high altitudes are already on the mountain moving loads and making routes to the summit.
Then by the second week in May, mountaineers would have formed an established track of several miles of fixed ropes leading from base camp to the peak, alongside well-stocked camps. Then they take a while to rest while some of the mountaineers decamp from the mountain to lower elevation to recover fully. Whilst the summit push will normally take place for about four to five days. Therefore, climbing Mount Everest is done on their way home at the beginning of June.
How Many Routes Are There To Reach the Peak?
17 Routes are used to pioneer the summit of Everest, but most people climb it using these two routes (Nepal and Tibet). The Southeast Ridge (Nepal), has a slightly shorter summit day and is quicker when descending, especially in cases of emergencies when mountaineers will have to race through the Khumbu Icefall.
What does the Everest summit look like?
The summit of Everest looks like a dome of snow about the size of a standard dining table. It can hold about 6-8 mountain climbers, who can stand and enjoy their view from the top. But sometimes Mount Everest gets really crowded.
How Dangerous it is
The summit of Mount Everest has approximately 1/3 (at 29,035 feet) of the air pressure that is at the sea level, thereby, reducing the climber’s ability to take in enough oxygen and resulting in the asphyxiation of most climbers. This is why scientists postulated that the human body cannot be remaining without limit when it is above 19,000 feet.
Then as the mountaineers move up the mountain and their oxygen intake becomes low, their bodies are more susceptible to a wide range of ailments such as blood embolism, pulmonary edema, and even the heart finds it difficult to pump blood around the body circulatory system at such altitude.
Many times climbers of Mount Everest will make use of oxygen tanks to reduce the impact of such altitude. Nevertheless, oxygen trapped in bottles has its consequences and risks asides the cost and weight of the bottle oxygen, breathing gas alone can only supplement the oxygen level and if it runs out then the body has no choice than to give in to the pressure.