20 Feb 2021 Peak Climbing Nepal
Are you planning to climb the highest mountain peak in the world but don’t know where to start? Read on to know more about Everest climbing season and other information in detail.
Mount Everest is a towering peak located in the Mahalangur Himalayan range. At an elevation of 8848.86 m, it is the tallest mountain peak in the world. Reaching the top of Mt. Everest is generally considered the greatest achievement in the mountaineering world. The Everest region also boasts of many other climbing and trekking destinations.
Every year hundreds of mountaineers make their way to Nepal to conquer the summit of this Everest. The difficulty level of this mountain expedition is quite staggering. This is mainly due to high altitude, dangerous route, and harsh weather conditions. Hence, favorable weather conditions are essential for a safe and successful Mt. Everest climbing adventure.
Moreover, the small window from April to May in Spring is the best season to climb Mount Everest. Many tour operators run their climbing expeditions in these months. Stable weather and favorable climbing conditions are advantages of this season. September to November in the Autumn season is the next best time for climbing the mountain.
Furthermore, the off-season climb in winter is not favorable as there are heavy deposits of snowfall. Climbers find it difficult to traverse in unstable grounds with thick snow. Three are extreme freezing temperatures at all times on Everest. The summer season is wet with overcast skies and heavy rainfall. The risks of avalanches and landslides make the journey quite challenging.
Mount Everest’s unpredictable climate is a prime factor to consider before the climb. Temperatures never rise above the freezing point of 0° C (32° F) at the summit. There are hurricane-force winds reaching 285 km/h (177 mph). These winds are at a lower level in May, thus many climbers take this expedition during this short window. Read further for a detailed description of Mt Everest climbing season and other information.
Everest Climbing Season
The Spring season from April to May is an ideal time to ascend to Mount Everest’s summit. It is also the perfect time for trekking to Everest base camp. Spring is the climbing season for all big and small peaks in the Himalayas of Nepal. The weather remains stable and there are great views of snow-capped mountains.
There are minimal chances of precipitation and overcast conditions in the region. Warm weather, clear blues skies, and a lesser amount of snow deposits are highlights of Spring. Many operators run their expedition from April to May. Other mountain peaks of the Himalayan range, including Lhotse, Makalu, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Manaslu, Mera, Island, and are also popular among mountaineers in this season.
Similarly, the wind speed is still a challenge for this season. But taking into consideration all kinds of factors, Spring is the best climbing time. The pre-monsoon period means that rain is minimal and there are warm temperatures in the day. Temperatures warm rapidly during the day. You can observe climbers wearing T-shirts up until camp II.
However, nights are chilly and cold, with a significant drop in temperature. The summit temperatures average between –15F and -26C on the summit of Everest. There are tea houses and lodges along trails with proper food and accommodation facilities. Overall, Spring is the best Everest climbing season because of these incredible factors.
The Autumn season in September to November is the second-best time for this climb. This season arrives after the Monsoon season and before the harsh winter. Therefore, many climbers try to conquer the mountain in this small window. Autumn is not as favorable because there are higher amounts of snow deposits. But it is an excellent alternative to the Spring climbing season if we consider all other factors.
Moreover, the Autumn season starts from late September and lasts till November. Peak climbing adventures go in full swing in the Everest region, including Island Peak, Mera Peak, and others. The beautiful hilly vista, mountain valleys, green meadows, water streams, are quite enchanting.
Autumn also has a perfect climate and weather for climbing and trekking adventures. Snow-capped mountain views and natural wonders make Autumn a great time for climbing adventures. There is generally clear weather and moderate temperatures in this season. There have been many successful ascents of Mount Everest and other mountain peaks above 8000 meters in the autumn season.
Besides that, Autumn is also a cultural season with many festivals during this time. And you can celebrate them with locals, especially in lower regions. Overall, the perfect weather and less dangerous snow slides make Autumn a great alternative to spring.
The summer monsoon season may seem like a great time to climb Mount Everest due to hot weather. But it is quite the opposite. Nepal’s summer season also coincides with the monsoon season. It remains wet throughout with heavy rainfall and precipitation. The Everest peak remains shrouded in mist in the monsoon that can start early June and last till late August.
There are overcast conditions and clouds cover the Everest summit throughout the season. The Summer-monsoon season brings heavy rainfall and slippery roads. This makes traversing in the Everest region quite tricky. There are leech-infested trails, which is another challenging aspect of the monsoon.
Additionally, the Mount Everest expedition requires a trekking journey to Everest Base Camp. These climbers will stay and acclimatize before starting their journey to the summit. Trekking in the rain for almost two weeks is not ideal and quite uncomfortable. After heavy rainfall, the temperatures drop significantly in the region. This makes it colder across the region.
Climbing Mount Everest in the monsoon is not ideal due to many logistical reasons as well. Tea Houses and lodges remain shut in off-seasons. Getting proper supplies of food above base camps might be quite challenging. Therefore, the summer monsoon season is not ideal for climbing Mount Everest.
Winters (December to February) in the Everest region are harsh, with extreme freezing conditions. During winter, there are hurricane-force winds that will threaten to shoot off climbers from the peak. Everest is the only mountain summit that reaches the jet stream and is one of the planet’s windiest places.
January has an average of -36C (-32F) and can drop to a minimum of -60C (-76F) at the summit. It is the coldest time in the Everest region. These are the windiest periods in Everest’s summit with around 75 mph of winds blowing at most times. It is comparable to a Category 1 Hurricane. The climbers can experience adjusted temperatures of -70C (-90F), which is similar to Siberia and Antarctica.
Everest base camp area averages temperature of -17° C (-1.4°F) in the Winter season. From November to February, there is a high influx of jet streams in significant amounts. This migrates from the southward region of the northern hemisphere. It brings cold, freezing temperatures, hurricane-force winds, and heavy snowfalls in the region.
Winter trekking to Everest base camp is still possible but climbing Mount Everest in winter is not ideal. Heavy snowfall increases the snow deposit in the mountains and makes it unstable for climbers. Besides that, freezing temperatures in the morning and night is another challenge in winters.
Climbers will have to stay for a long duration in camps above an altitude of 6000m, which is quite challenging. There are cases of climbers getting instantaneous frostbite in open skin during daily chores. Winter also means that teahouses and lodges along trails get shut. This means trekking before an expedition gets difficult as well. Hence, climbing Mount Everest in winter is not ideal.
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Best Season For Mount Everest Expedition
Spring is an ideal time for the Mount Everest expedition as it brings stable weather conditions. Still, there are some instances when unpredictable winds from the south can affect visibility in the Everest region. However, considering all other factors, it is the best time for climbing in the Himalayas.
Spring is also perfect because there are fewer snow deposits on the mountain, which makes it easier for climbers. There is warm weather in the daytime with scenic clear mountain vista all around. Accommodation facilities like tea houses and lodges are lively and remain crowded. You will have a great time camping with fellow climbers and enjoying a comfortable adventure in this short Mt Everest climbing season.
Moreover, Autumn is the second-best time for this climbing expedition. Although snow deposits are high this season, there are stable weather conditions. You will have a great adventure in the beautiful landscapes of the region. Hence, it is an excellent alternative for those climbers who cannot take this expedition in Spring.
Furthermore, the Everest Base Camp trek is an essential part of climbing expeditions. The best time for the trek is Spring and Autumn as well. The warm days make it perfect for mountaineers. However, nights and mornings are colder. Climbers must trek slowly to acclimatize to the high altitude. Therefore, favorable conditions are essential.
Mount Everest has a northern hemisphere seasonal pattern. It lies at 28° north of the equator and gets affected by the Indian Monsoon coming from the Bay of Bengal. It brings monsoon clouds from June to September. The winters are quite harsh in the Everest region, with heavy snowfalls and heavy deposits of snow. Therefore, you should always choose your expedition in a favorable climate.
Various Climatic Conditions In The Everest Region
The Everest Base Camp receives around 18 inches of annual rainfall on average. 80% of these rains occur in the monsoon season. From early June to late September, there is precipitation in the region, and it remains dry most of the year. Most parts of the region experience a rain shadow effect.
Monsoon clouds from the south of Everest Base Camp and will complete its rain before arriving at base camp. Besides that, high elevation controls the moisture amount and limits. Precipitation at base camp is just 18 inches when compared to Lukla’s 70 inches. The Everest summit receives almost zero rainfall as there are high force gale winds.
Besides that, intense winter snowstorms can occasionally occur in the region bringing around a few meters of snow. Climbers should take proper notice of precipitations and check weather forecasts. This keeps them safe from any dangers in their expedition.
A new solar-powered weather station in South Col provides accurate and reliable weather-related data. This allows climbers to plan their route and journey in advance. Therefore, you should choose Spring as your Everest climbing season as it has stable weather and climate.
Mount Everest peak’s pyramidal shape and high winds give birth to a rare phenomenon called a “Banner Cloud.” You can see the Banner Cloud on cloudless days on the covered side of the mountain. It then forms strong winds around the hill and creates a low-pressure cell environment temporarily.
Moreover, this then draws moisture on the covered side upwards. The Matterhorn in Switzerland is the only other mountain that produces this banner cloud phenomenon. The morphology of Everest and high winds help to create this cloud formation effect. Besides that, the shape of Everest affects wind speed as the clouds with 50mph wind speed strikes at a right angle to the peak.
Furthermore, when clouds get weaker, they rise up, and when it’s denser, it tilts down. Hence, it is a natural phenomenon rarely found in some parts of the world. This affects the climate on Everest’s summit. Climbers should consider and study this effect before taking this incredible mountain climb.
The Everest summit is the windiest place on earth. There are hurricane-force winds that can shoot off a climber. These winds continue to blow over 50% of the time. October to early April is one of the windiest periods in the Everest summit. Winds exceeding 75 mph, similar to a Category 1 Hurricane blow in the summit.
Additionally, the winter wind chill makes conditions even more freezing. Frostbites on an instant are quite common. Hence, climbers should cover their skins at all times. Warmer temperatures and relaxation in wind speeds make May quite popular for climbers.
Freezing conditions due to high force winds make the winter expedition unfavorable. The temperatures drop to around 70C (-90F) when adjusted with the wind chill. The Everest summit is one of the coldest places on the planet. It is comparable to Siberia and Antarctica’s record-breaking temperatures.
Climbers should use proper trekking gears for safety and a comfortable climbing experience. They also tie themselves with each other so that they can help others even if one of them falls. Wind and windchill are some of the dangers of this Mount Everest expedition.
Climate change and its effects are evident in the Everest summit as it is around the rest of the world. The Khumbu Glacier is thinning and retreating as compared to the last 50 years. The volume of ice in glaciers has reduced significantly. Sublimation is a primary cause of thinning. It is the phenomenon of direct evaporation of the ice without actually going through the melting process.
Moreover, temperatures are below zero degrees (freezing point) at most times. Therefore, the glacier doesn’t have a chance to go through the melting process and evaporates from ice directly. The glacial retreat caused by climate change is another threat to climbers and settlements.
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Final Say – Everest Climbing Season
Mount Everest expedition lies on the bucket list of every avid mountaineer. Most of these expeditions run in the Mt Everest climbing season of April and May in Spring. Veteran expert climbers and team guides run these organized expeditions. Therefore, it is the peak climbing season of Mount Everest.
There is less snow, the ground is stable, and daytime temperatures are moderate. These incredible conditions make Spring the best time for the expedition. However, there are some challenges like harsh winds. However, they relax to some extent at this time compared to other seasons in the Everest region.
During winters, deep snow and freezing conditions present a formidable challenge. Frostbite is quite common, and you will get it in an instant on open skin. It is also a challenge to get proper accommodation in the trek that precedes the expedition.
Similarly, while the summer months may seem like the perfect time on Mt. Everest, but it is not the case. This is because summers are quite wet in the region, with heavy precipitation. Trails get slippery, and you will have other logistical problems. Hence, the off-season expedition of Everest is not ideal. We hope you learned about the Everest climbing season in detail.