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Mount Everest is on the bucket list of every high-altitude mountain climber. It is the highest and one of the most dangerous peaks in the world that every mountaineer wishes to summit at least once in a lifetime. Many documentaries, films, and books have captured the beauty of this amazing mountain. However, there is a dark side of the mountain too. Since the expedition to Mount Everest began, hundreds of people have lost their lives on Everest.
So, let’s dive into how long does it take to climb Mount Everest and why it is so hard to climb.
Average Expedition Time
The average expedition time to Mount Everest is around 10 weeks or 2 months. However, it can take as long as 3 months as some climbers like to spend more time before reaching the summit to get used to the atmosphere. How long does it take to climb Mount Everest? The expedition time includes gathering supplies, reaching the base camp, getting accustomed to the altitude, and then eventually trekking as practice before going for the summit.
To summit Everest, there are two general paths that you can take. One is from Tibet and the other is from Nepal. Most climbers Tibet so if you were to summit Everest through the Tibetan path, here is a breakdown of what your journey would be like.
You will begin the adventure by boarding a flight to Kathmandu that is the capital city of Nepal. From Kathmandu, a small plane will take you to Lukla, a plane landing spot near Everest. The plane lands on a scary small airport that is built on the edge of a cliff. From Lukla, you can choose to reach the Everest base camp by trek or by helicopter.
At the Everest base camp, how long does it take to climb Mount Everest? You’ll meet other climbers and Sherpas (the local guides that accompany you) at the base camp. When at the base camp, you’ll be able to feel the extreme altitude, weather, and mountain sickness. Everything is covered with snow, and the air is thin, which might start to affect your health.
As you set on the expedition, your goal would be to trek from the base camp to the higher camps. Camps let you take some rest and take breaks that let you slow down the expedition to acclimate your body to the conditions on Everest. There are a total of 4 camps on Mount Everest; the base camp, camp 2, camp 3, and camp 4. From camp 4, the journey gets tougher since the climbers not only have to worry about the climb but the ever-changing weather conditions that can be deadly. At 8000 meters, the death zone of Everest begins that is notorious for taking the most lives.
Whilst at camp 4, climbers rest, sleep and build up the courage to reach the summit. The bottleneck’s climb is the most difficult and can be very tiring and exhausting for even the most experienced climbers.
How long does it take to climb Mount Everest? When the weather allows, climbers set off to reach the summit. From base camp to the summit, the ascend takes around 6-10 hours while the descent takes around 4-8 hours. A climber has to get back to camp 4 to spend the night. But also, the descent is the most dangerous so mountaineers time their journey in such a way so they descent in the daytime. So, most climbers set off for the summit at around 11 pm. This way, they can reach the summit by early morning and come back before it gets dark.
How long does it take to climb Mount Everest and descent? The reason descent becomes exceptionally challenging for climbers is because of various reasons. Firstly, the path is very narrow and fall means death. Because if you get injured and are unable to get to the camp, no one can help you. Secondly, after long hours of climbing to make it to the summit, on the way down, climbers are mentally and physically exhausted. The chances of survival increase considerably for climbers only when they reach camp 4.
The descent from camp 4 to base camp is not as tough compared to what a climber has accomplished so far. They can rest, eat, and celebrate along the way. The exhaustion and persistence pay off once they achieve the hardest part of the journey. From base camp, a helicopter takes them back to Lukla from where they fly back to Kathmandu and their home in a couple of days or a week.
Why Climbing At Night Is Better?
Nighttime for climbing to the summit is preferable when the climbers have to climb continuously for more than 12 hours. They time their journey in a way so that they climb the difficult parts of Everest during the daytime. When the passage is brightly lit and chances of mistakes are lower. Mount Everest is approximately 8,848 meters tall. How many miles are 5000 meters? It is around 3.1 miles but along the bad weather, low oxygen, threatening and technical paths, every step is difficult and exhausting.
Most of the deaths that occur at Everest occur while climbers descend. When the climbers are exhausted from climbing continuously, it is hard to stay rational. One wrong decision can end with a fall and turn into the gruesome death of the climber. The situations have been so bad, that climbers have given up hope of getting back even when they were a few meters away from camp 4.
The whim of Everest decides everything. How long does it take to climb Mount Everest depends on the climber’s physical, emotional, and psychological abilities as well as weather conditions? Until camp 3, the climbers don’t find the climbing too dangerous. They often climb up and down to camps to get familiar with the path. However, the final summit and descend are the hardest as nature decides the passage. If the wind is too cold, it can get lethal when climbing.
Bad weather can keep climbers at camp 4 for days. Avalanches are inevitable and can occur at any time. Camps get destroyed due to bad weather and climbing gear is blown off if left unsecured. How long does it take to climb Mount Everest and can weather influence the journey? In a nutshell, several factors decide the fate of a climber and cannot be controlled but avoided to some extent.
Mount Everest’s Descent
To climb Everest, the best time is to start the expedition in March so you can descend by the end of May. How long does it take to climb Mount Everest and descend?
They descend from camp 4 to base camp is less time taking if the weather conditions are stable. Climbers have reached the base camp from camp 4 in a day when the Khumbu Icefall has been stable. However, trekking down Everest is not the only way to come back. Several climbers have also paraglided and skied down Everest. Jean-Marc Boivin, a high-altitude climber, in 1988, paraglided from the summit of Mount Everest to base camp 2 in 12 minutes.
How long does it take to climb the Mount Everest summit and get back to camp 4? The trek from the summit of Everest’s base camp can take hours. Along with breaks for rest and sleep at night, the descend can take quite a long time. The descend is also dangerous as some paths are very steep, avalanches can occur anytime and climbers’ exhaustion can affect their ability to make rational choices.
Namche Bazaar Town
Namche Bazaar town is a small town that climbers encounter on their way to the Base camp. Base camp is located at 5,380 meters so an uphill trek takes a while. On the way to base camp, you come across small villages, monasteries, and markets. You can buy food, tents, gear, and souvenirs from Namche Bazaar town on the way to Everest’s base camp.
Hiking To The Everest Base Camp
Most mountaineers chose to hike to base camp to get acclimatized to the atmosphere. Trekking at such a high altitude is a hard job. How long does it take to climb Mount Everest and how does altitude sickness affect climbers? The altitude affects breathing, sleeping, and the overall health of a climber.
On their way to the base camp, numerous climbers catch altitude sickness. Because the bodies of different climbers respond differently to the altitude and atmosphere on Everest, they show different signs of sickness. However, the most common signs of altitude sickness are headaches, feeling sick, dizziness, tiredness, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath.
How long does it take to climb Mount Everest and get back? The way downhill from base camp is however shorter and takes 2 to 3 days on average. To cut down on time, many climbers choose to take a helicopter from base camp to Lukla. This way, they can also carry trash from the base camp to Lukla along with them on the helicopter.
Heights Of Base Camps At Mount Everest?
The summit of Mount Everest is 8848.86 meters above sea level. How many miles is 5000 meters? 5000 meters is around 3.10 miles and at this height, the helicopters are unable to stay airborne due to low air density.
The Everest base camp is at 5364 meters which is approximately 17,500 feet. This is where most experienced helicopter pilots can fly. Everest camp 1 is situated at 6100 meters from sea level. While Everest camp 2 is only 300 meters ahead at 64000 meters.
So, how far is 300 meters and how many miles is 300 meters? 300 meters is approximately 0.186 miles. Now that you know how far is 300 meters and how many miles is 300 meters, how long does it take to climb Mount Everest from camp 2? To hike from camp 1 to camp 2, usually, mountaineers take 8-10 hours and reach camp 2 before it gets dark. However, every climber’s hiking speed and weather conditions on the way are different so they take less or more time accordingly.
How long does it take to climb Mount Everest camp 3? Everest camp 3 is at 6800 meters which is 400 meters ahead of camp 2. And camp 4 is 8000 meters ahead of camp 4 which is around 1200 meters ahead of camp 3.
From camp 4, the summit is 8848.86 meters ahead. The area from camp 4 to the summit is known as the death zone. How long does it take to climb Mount Everest from camp 4? The climbers find this trek downwards the hardest of their entire journey due to 2 major reasons.
The way to the summit is steep and they have to climb continuously for 6-8 hours. Secondly, the death zone has the coldest winds and most unpredictable weather. The winds can reach 75mph on a regular day when the situation is perfect for climbing during the climbing season of April and May.
The Summit Of Everest
The summit of Everest is a difficult path with extreme conditions. A, 8400 meters, which is almost in the middle of camp 4 and summit, there is Everest’s balcony. It is a small area that is not too steep. The climbers take a rest here, change oxygen, snack and then move ahead to summit Everest. How many miles are 300 meters from camp 4? It is approximately 0.18 miles.
Why Helicopters Can’t Fly To Mount Everest?
Helicopters usually fly at about 3000 meters. But they can reach as high as 5000 meters with effort and customization. How many miles is 5000 meters? 5000 meters are 3.1 miles approximately. Now that you know how many miles is 5000 meters, you can easily tell it is quite high.
Reaching beyond this limit puts the life of the helicopter pilot in danger since as the oxygen gets thinner high up, the helicopter’s ability to stay airborne decreases.
The depleting oxygen in the air not only affects the ability of climbers to breath and stay rational but also affects the helicopters. With low oxygen, creating the required airlift to stay in the air becomes impossible. However, on May 14, 2005, a French fighter pilot, Didier Delsalle for the first time landed a helicopter successfully on the summit of Everest and set the world record.
The French fighter pilot worked in French Aviation where he remained a helicopter test pilot and fighter jet pilot. After landing an Airbus AS350 Squirrel on Mount Everest for 3 minutes and 50 seconds, he flew back to Lukla. To prove that this landing was not a fluke, he repeated it the very next day when weather conditions were worse.
A camera was installed below the helicopter to record the entire journey. On May 15, 2005, Delsalle proved that he could summit Everest safely with virtually no problems. How long does it take to climb Mount Everest? In Delsalle’s case, it took him only a few hours to fly from Lukla to the summit of Mount Everest and come back. A journey that takes months for most climbers.