Am I fit to climb Mount Everest?

Over Mount Everest


Shocking truth

This mountain peak is certainly the most magnificent and at the same time the most tragic and dangerous place in the world. The mountain silhouette has driven many courageous people to climb to the top. Unfortunately, most of them stayed in the snow and rocky cliffs forever. Over 235 mountaineers and locals died on the ascent, but the number is not exact because not everyone registers before the ascent. Due to the different air pressure and the thin air, it is almost impossible to breathe. Despite the dangers, the icy air and the lack of oxygen, many people risk their lives to stand above the world for a short time. What's so special about it?

How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?

This is a fair question these days because, as we all know, the whole thing is a pay-to-play expedition. Not only do you have to be physically fit and experienced in mountaineering, you also have to be willing to pay a lot for it. The minimum is $ 30,000 if you can go off on your own. Travel organizations offer guides for which they charge $ 60,000. The VIP Expedition Service, with internet and phone reception during the trip, costs $ 90,000. Overall, however, the price depends on the guide, the organization and the services offered. Even so, when choosing your travel organization, you shouldn't just pay attention to the price and the name. You should do your own search and see if the flight and SHERPA are included.

Why is it so expensive?

The Nepalese government requires all foreigners to pay a fee if they want to climb Mount Everest. Depending on the group and the time, the cost is between $ 11,000 and $ 25,000.

Many readers are now probably horrified: “What a rip-off!” However, you should not forget that despite these fees, more than 200 climbers have died and a lot of rubbish is left behind. If you didn't have this fee, practically anyone could try and Everest would be a mixture of a dump and a cemetery.

Another cost point is the right equipment, which also costs a lot of money. You shouldn't forget the money for tours and other services either.

Mount Everest facts

  1. Everest is part of the Mahalangur chain and is 8848m high.
  2. An inactive volcano in Hawaii, the Mauna Kea, holds the first place for the highest mountain, if one does not assume the sea level.
  3. It is 60 million years old and was created by the tectonic plate shift from the Indian to the Asian plate. Due to the tectonic activity, Mount Everest grows 6mm every year.
  4. The summit is on the border between Nepal in the south and China (Tibet) in the north.
  5. Chomolungma (after the Tibetans) means holy mother of the universe.
  6. In order to keep warm, the climbers have to take oxygen with them. Eat a lot of rice and pasta before starting the ascent so that you have enough energy. On average, mountaineers consume 10,000 calories a day and that number doubles as they climb. Overall, most of them lose 5 - 10kg body weight through the expedition.
  7. In history, 282 people (169 Western climbers and 113 Sherpas) perished on the ascent between 1924 and August 2015. Equipment is one of the most common causes of death, as 102 climbers died because they did not take oxygen with them. Most of the dead lie in the snow masses on the mountain, but China has published that individual bodies have been recovered. Other causes of death are falls, avalanches and excessive physical strain from altitude.
  8. The youngest person to ever conquer Everest is American boy Jordan Romero, who reached the top via the north face at the age of 13 on May 23, 2010.
  9. 14 climbers managed to climb the mountain on one side and come back down on the other.
  10. The wind speeds can be higher than 320km / h.
  11. It takes about 40 days to climb because the body has to get used to the high altitude.
  12. The first climbers who made the ascent without oxygen were Reinhold Messner and Peter Habler in 1978. A total of 193 climbers made it without oxygen, that is only 2.7% of all climbs. There is around 66% less oxygen with every breath on Mount Everest compared to normal altitude.
  13. There have been over 7,000 ascents so far performed by 4,000 different people
  14. The oldest person made it on May 23, 2013 at the age of 80, the Japanese Miura Yiuchiro.
  15. There are 18 official routes to climb Everest.
  16. The first woman to climb Mount Everest was the Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei in 1975.
  17. To prevent falls, the Bergteil use nylon ropes with a diameter of 10mm. Also, most of them wear spikes. Ice axes can stop the fall in icy terrain and thick suits filled with down should be used for clothing.
  18. Sherpa is the name given to the people of western Nepal. They originally came from the Tibetan side hundreds of years ago. They help the climbers to carry their equipment, food and supplies to the higher camps.
  19. The climbers use the additional oxygen from an altitude of 7925m. However, this only makes a difference of 915m, so that the air conditions at the top feel like an altitude of 7315m.
  20. Temperatures can drop to -62 ° C.


Mount Everest was formed 60 million years ago. The mountain has a long history of the "first climbers", beginning in 1921 when George Mallory and Guy Bullock died trying on a British expedition. The first successful ones did it in 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and now it is Yuichiro Miura the oldest person to climb Mount Everest, aged 80 on May 23, 2013. But the highest mountain peak in the world is not only worth seeing and a challenge for mountaineers, it is also the home of the Sherpa, who have lived there for more than 500 years. This small nation has the best guides for tourists and professionals who want to climb the highest and hardest mountain.

Where is Mount Everest located?

Mount Everest is not only the highest mountain in the world, but also holds another record - the highest border between two countries. The mountain runs through the countries of China and Nepal, but the top is in China - or rather in the autonomous Tibetan region. Mount Everest belongs to the Himalayas and is one of nine mountain peaks that belong to the mountain range. Interestingly, the 39 highest mountain peaks are all in the Himalaya Mountains, so that Mount Everest is surrounded by many little brothers. Together they form a kind of fence between the Tibetan plateau and the Indian subcontinent.

The entire mountain range lies in South Asia and runs through Pakistan, Bhutan, Tibet, India and Nepal. That's why Mount Everest has so many names. In Tibet it is called “Chomolungma” or “Qomolangma”, in Chinese “Shèngmǔ Fēng”. The people of Darjiling in India call the mountain "eodungha", which means "holy mountain". For many years it was thought that the highest mountain would be in the Andes, and it wasn't until 1852 that an Indian mathematician discovered the real, highest mountain peak.

What was he named?

The highest mountain in the world was officially discovered by George Everest in 1841who was a surviving Indian general. The first name was given in 1865, because many locals had come up with their own names for this impressive mountain. But the highest mountain in the world needed an international name and that's why it's officially called Mount Everest. Andrew Waugh insisted on taking the name of his predecessor who discovered the highest mountain.

In which country is Mount Everest located?

Throughout history, Mount Everest was either part of China or Nepal, as was the autonomous region of Tibet. But even today, Tibet tries to regain independence from China after they were annexed in May 1959. Relations between Nepal and China are absolutely peaceful and it is almost symbolic that the national border is on the highest mountain in the world. That is why the highest mountain peak in the world does not theoretically belong to one state, but is evenly distributed between Nepal and China. Every tourist can choose a side for himself. However, the side of Nepal is the most beautiful and the easiest to climb.

How high is Mount Everest?

Imagine living in a world where Mount Everest is still undiscovered and every teacher in school says the highest mountain is Kangchenjunga or Dhaulagiri. But for centuries it was certain that the highest point on earth was definitely not Mount Everest. It was not until 1852 that Mount Everest was recognized as the highest mountain. This is 8,848m above sea level and grows by 4mm every year due to the shifting of the plates. Also, earthquakes can move the mountain and even change the overall height. Modern scientists are trying to prove that the calculations made by China and Nepal are incorrect. Mount Everest is growing, because the continental plateaus do not stand still and push Everest together.

It is interesting that the total height of Everest is still a matter of discussion. In 1856, British explorers first calculated the height with an angle measuring device. The result was 8,840m. Nowadays the official altitude is 8,848m. To imagine this altitude one can only say that jets normally fly at this altitude. It is therefore no wonder that there are almost no wild animals that can live at this altitude due to the low oxygen content and the thin air. But Mount Everest is home to a rare spider that lives in the mountain crevices. This black spider eats frozen insects that are carried to these heights by the cold winds or masses of snow.


The Everest massif includes several mountain peaks, such as Changtse with 7,580m, Nupste with 7,855m and Lhtose with 8,516m. At that time it was extremely difficult to calculate the exact height, because you used an angle measuring device (theodolite) that weighs over 500kg and therefore you needed 10-15 men to carry it alone. It took several attempts to get the right height, so that an adequate result was only achieved in 1949.

The next place for people to live is the Rongbuk Buddhist Temple with a monastery that was founded in 1902. It was recently rebuilt as it suffered massive damage from the civil war. Nowadays this is really the last stop for all mountaineers who want to go to the base camps. In the Rongbuk Monastery you can stay in a small hotel with a restaurant.

About the height

For nearly three centuries, the highest known point on earth was the Chimborazo volcano in the Andes. Its height is "only" 6,267m. In the 19th century a new champion was appointed - the mountain Nanda Devi in ​​India with a height of 7,816m. That could have been a joke, because these days the Nanda Devi is only number 23 on the list of the highest mountain peaks. But there was a reason why Mount Everest was recognized so late, because the region around Nepal was closed to the world for a long time.

Interesting facts

Mount Everest is the most polluted mountain in the worldbecause there is no infrastructure up there and the tourist masses cannot dispose of the garbage. This can be empty oxygen tanks, old equipment or even food packaging that has been piled up on the holy mountain for years.

It is also very interesting that scientists are still finding remnants of marine life from more than 450 million years ago. Because Mount Everest was nothing else than the seabed at that time, because the Himalayan Mountains were only formed 60 million years ago. If we are talking about facts here, then we should also ask ourselves who has been to Mount Everest most often? It was the two Sherpas Apa Sherpa and Tashi Purba who were at the top 21 times.


Unfortunately, Mount Everest is a major challenge and one of the most dangerous places in the world, due to the low oxygen levels in the air and the deadly avalanches that have already carried away many locals and brave climbers. The greatest tragedy occurred in 2014 when a huge avalanche killed 16 Nepalese guides, and that in the vicinity of a base camp. Another bad accident was in 1996 when 15 people died on the descent. These people died for a variety of reasons - some had faulty equipment, insufficient oxygen in the cylinders, or an unexpected blizzard. This accident is in second place with the most deaths. Another tragic event came in 2012 when 11 people stayed in the cold forever while ascending. In total there are around 200 dead people on the mountain, although the exact number is unknown. The bodies are buried in the snow and rocks. Avalanches and falls are the most common causes of death on Everest.

Mount Everest base camps

For all those who dare to climb Mount Everest, as already mentioned, there are two alternatives - either from the Chinese or from the Nepalese side of the mountain. In order to get used to the special weather and air conditions, every tourist has to stay in one of the two base camps for a longer period of time so that the body can get used to the special conditions and one does not get altitude sickness. In both camps there are doctors who can give you tips before the ascent. The longer stay in the base camp reduces the risk of health problems due to the pressure difference and the altitude.

The south camp is in Nepal and the north camp in Tibet (China). Although you can even reach the north camp by car on summer days, the south camp is much more popular. Of course, all the local people, who used to be just farmers, now work in the camps and help bring up the luggage and offer food, drinks and other products. In addition to the two camps, there are others, but they are only accessible to people who definitely want to get to the top of the Himalayan mountains.


If you think anyone can climb Mount Everest, then you are wrong. First of all, it's extremely expensive, up to $ 60,000. The ascent to the highest mountain in the world is not a walk or a tourist attraction, it is a challenge with mortal danger. Every year numerous tourists die trying to conquer Everest, some fall in glacier canyons, others cannot withstand the extreme temperatures or get altitude sickness.

That's why you need a lot of special equipment for such a challenge - shoes, clothing, tools and electronic devices, but also a team of experts who support you, in addition to your own years of mountaineering experience. But when you talk about the ascent itself, it is of course fascinating. No matter which route you go, you should go with a Sherpa. About 3,000 Sherpas live in the Himalayan region, almost all of whom are fantastic guides and conquerors of the heights. In short, the Highlanders. If you've seen the photo of the first people on Everest, you know how impressive the feeling can be. In the words of Tenzing Norgay, “I wanted to jump, dance, it was the best feelings in my life, I was above the entire world”.

The most popular season for climbing Everest is spring. Expeditions in autumn are rather rare. Nowadays the most popular way to do it is with a guide. The guide knows the safest route to the top and can help if something unexpected happens. In addition, the guide can explain everything important before the ascent, choose the right equipment and confirm the state of health in advance.

The plan

The first step is a good physical condition and experience in mountain climbing, because the ascent is risky and dangerous. The expedition begins at a base camp on the north or south side, depending on the climbing plan. The participants stay there for about a week, at an altitude of 5,000m. Here you can talk to experienced guides, check your health status and relax before the strenuous climb. Then the mountaineers get food, necessary supplies and oxygen bottles and go through the expedition again with the guide. For extra costs, you can get help from the Sherpa. They will then carry your oxygen bottles for you.

How long does it take to conquer Mount Everest?

It is certainly not a walk through a snowy landscape if you want to get to the highest place in the world.For untrained climbers and for people with a minimal risk of illness, the time in base camp lasts 30-40 days under the Sherpa supervision, so that the body can get used to the lower air pressure and the lower oxygen content. Only then do you begin the actual ascent. It takes average for most tourists 60 days from arriving in Kathmandu to the last step on the highest point on earth. If everything is ready, you can get from a base camp to the top within 7 days. It takes another 5 days to come down.

The first person on the highest point in the world

Although Edmund Hillary was the first person to climb Everest, there have been numerous attempts before him. In the twenties, the best routes for mountaineers were discovered through expeditions and so the members of this expedition were the first to set foot on the "holy mountain". Nevertheless, two different people, Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, the Nepalese mountaineer, managed to get to the top on the southern route and thus take mankind's first step on top.

In 1953 mankind managed to climb Mount Everest. After China closed Everest to all visitors and allowed only one expedition per year, Hillary and Norgay set off. Due to the strong winds, they often had to stay in one place until the winds stopped. You made it to the top of the earth. Edmund Hillary dedicated this achievement to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, choosing the best present for her. Hillary and Norgay only spent 15 minutes on the top, but those minutes are only like walking on the moon.

The youngest person to climb Everest was an eighth grader from California who was only 13 years old. This is followed by the Nepalese girl Ming Kipa Shira at the age of 15. The oldest man was 80 year old Miura Yiuchiro from Japan and the oldest woman on top was Japanese Tamae Watanabe at 73 years old.

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Photos: prudek, bbbbar, blasbike, kiwisoul, muha04, OSHI, v.apl /

The author: Michael Himmel
Mountaineers, adventurers, travelers. Has worked as a professional photographer and journalist. Traveled to more than 50 countries. Climbed Mount Everest and other mountains. Likes to explore nature and share his experiences with others.

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