” I really believed the story had finished. I supposed it would be recorded in Alpine journals but that was all. How wrong I was. The media and public reaction was far beyond anything I naively expected.” Sir Edmund Hillary’s statement after he and Tenzing became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mt. Everest in 29 May 1953.
Mt. Everest in Nepal is known by its Nepali name Sagarmatha – ‘Sky’s Head’. Among Sherpa and the Drokpa Tibetans dwelling around its periphery – Mt. Everest is affectionately known by its local name Chomolungma – ‘Goddess of the Wind’. After half a dozen futile attempts from the Tibet side, it was only in 29 May 1953, the world’s highest peak was ‘conquered’ by Tenzing Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary following a route on the SE ridge of the mountain from the Nepal side. Following this historic ascent for many years until the Chinese opened Tibet for climbing and tourism in 1980s, all ascents to Mt. Everest were done from the Nepal side only. This popularly known as the South-Col route is the route we will follow in our climb of Mt. Everest from the Nepal side.
Approach to the Base Camp and the climb:
To begin our expedition with a 35 minute flight to Lukla. From Lukla, we trek at a leisurely pace to arrive at the base camp in 10 days. We get the first view of Mt. Everest just before arriving in Namche Bazar. On our way to the base camp, we visit the monasteries in Tengboche and Pangboche to receive blessing and read special prayers for the safety and success of the expedition from the head lamas. We also make sure climbers are well acclimatized before they will arrive at the base camp.
Arriving at the Mt. Everest base camp at 5360m/17580ft., we set up our communication center, kitchen, dining tent and an altar with flagstaff which will be adorned with Windhorse prayer flags and national flag of climbers in the team. At the altar before we enter into the Khumbu icefall to begin our climbing, on an auspicious day we make a special puja ceremony to appease Miyalungsama the goddess of the Mt. Everest and protectorate of the Sherpa peole of Khumbu region. After the Puja, we are ready to climb the world’s highest mountain by its normal route and soon set-up an Advance Base Camp at 6,600m/ 21,648ft. over-coming the hazards of Khumbu Ice Fall. A temporary camp at 6,000m / 19,680ft. is also placed for climbers to help get acclimatized before moving to the ABC – just at the head of the Khumbu Ice Fall. Climbers who are now acclimatized to stay at the ABC – will take their turn to climb to the Camp III set on the Lhotse Face at an elevation of 7,400m / 24,272ft and return to ABC camp for sleep. Following this acclimatization pattern, climbers will sleep at the Camp III before they will arrive at the South-Col for their summit bid. On the South-Col camp, climbers are encouraged to use supplementary oxygen for sleep in order to maintain their best form for the summit push. Ample supply of oxygen and Sherpa help are provided on the summit day. Depending on the weather condition, the climb for the summit is started before midnight in order to best utilize the day light condition for return from the summit. Most of the climbing Sherpa supporting you climb will have summitted Everest on one or several occasion. Their role will include to assist in route preparation, camp preparation, transfer of food, oxygen and other equipment to camps above base camp.
Day 01: Climbers arrive in Kathmandu
Day 02: Meet Sherpas, group dinner etc
Day 03: Fly Lukla and begin trek to Phakding
Day 04: Trek to Namche
Day 05: Excursion around Namche for acclimatization
Day 06: Trek to Tengboche
Day 07: Trek to Dingboche
Day 08: Acclimatization around Dingboche
Day 09: Trek to Lobuche
Day 10: Acclimatization around Lobuche
Day 11: Kalapathar ~Gorakshep
Day 12: Trek to the Base Camp
Day 13/14: Free at the base camp
Day 15 – 59: Climbing
Day 60/61: Clean ABC / BC
Day 62~64: Return trek to Lukla,
Day 65: Fly to Kathmandu and party