26 Nov 2020 Peak Climbing Nepal
In this article today, we are going to discuss How To Train For Climbing Mt Everest.
Trekking in Nepal may seem fun with statuesque views, dramatic landscapes, steep mountains, and lofty hills all-around. But it’s actually not as easy as it looks with endless precipitous trails, rocky foothills, and stone stairs that soars incessantly.
The combinations of elements including high altitude and climate make the trek in Nepal extremely difficult. The tracks are real troublemakers as they increase the difficulty level until the trekker doesn’t tear down.
Miles-long paths cram-full of rocks and boulders are tough to walk down but more than that, it’s the snowy ridge that makes the trek intricating. It ups the ante, making it super nerve-wracking to walk the trail.
For the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest comes with the most formidable challenge that no mountaineers can escape. Even the professional climbers who had successfully ascended other several snow peaks struggled to make it to the top.
The trails are awfully steep and rugged till the base camp and beyond that, it’s all snow and glaciers. So, without crampons and stout hiking boots, you can’t even think of climbing the mountain, much less complete it.
The crevasse and seracs make it no better to summit Everest as it demands more technical climbing skills and resilience. You’ll be needing some steadfast ladders which don’t quiver stay hard at a place to cross the chasm.
Pre-training is a must before reaching out to the trails of Mt. Everest. It will help you stay stable and self-reliant throughout the trek and conquer the fear. Climbing the mountain is physically challenging, therefore, you need to have
If you’re still thinking of how to train for climbing Mt Everest then invests as much time as possible in physical training and exercise. If it’s possible, you can also climb mountains that are moderate with less demanding trails.
Table of Contents
- Guidelines for the Mt. Everest Trek
- How to train for climbing Mt. Everest?
- Difficulties of climbing Mt. Everest
Guidelines for the Mt. Everest Trek
At 8,848 meters, Mt. Everest is the world’s tallest mountain and also the greatest appeal for mountaineers around the world. Despite its technical climb and sharp snow slopes, the mountain is trekked by several hikers around the globe.
The trails of Everest cover nearly 62 miles distance from Lukla to reach the summit. It starts with a gentle climb on the lofty hills beside the Dudh Koshi River, moving towards Phakding. From here, we incline upwards on a rugged trail, pass numerous villages, cross suspension bridges over Dudh Koshi River to get to Namche Bazaar.
After the sherpa village, the trek gets a bit difficult with the continuous steep trails that run down ancient mani walls. The entire walk takes about 5-6 hours through the old wooden bridge and above the hills, before turning up at Tengboche.
Sitting at 12,687 ft, Tengboche is a beautiful village in the Khumbu region with a prehistoric Tibetan monastery. Next on the expedition of Mt. Everest trek, we head to Dingboche, walking downhill and then upward. Most of the days, we’ll be walking along the river valley and some Chortens to arrive at the village.
In the subsequent days, our trail follows the line passing small settlements and walks aside the narrow cliff to get to Lobuche and then Gorak Shep. The journey from Base Camp to Everest summit is really tough and therefore, we’ll take maximum time off for acclimatization and training.
Our local guide will be helping us on how to train for climbing Mt. Everest during the voyage. Stretching almost 20.5 km from the base, the trail walks over Khumbu Icefall and deep crevasse. We’ll also scramble the towering seracs and pave the way to the summit through Western Cwm, a steep-sided hollow valley excavated by Khumbu Glacier.
The trek to Everest narrows down after Camp III as it all comes down to the death zone. This is also the section where you’ll have to be extremely careful as the pressure of oxygen is too low for human survival. After reaching the top, you’ll get to clasp your eyes on the spectacular view of surrounding mountains like Nuptse and Choyu.
How to train for climbing Mt. Everest?
Climbing mountains are never easy with extreme difficulties and unforeseeable weather conditions on the way to the crest. You have to come up physically strong to beat the hurdles as well as walk the steep trail at the same pace from beginning to the end.
Trekking Mt. Everest is no different as it too involves meandering the jagged trail that’s nearly 150 km far from Lukla. Most of the sections are rocky with towering hills and plateau which is incredibly strenuous and severe to navigate.
Venturing on a multi-day hike with a large backpack before setting off for Mt. Everest will help a lot to finish the expedition more comfortably. Cardiovascular exercise like jumping rope, elliptical training, and squats also helps stay in form. For more details, here are some fundamental approaches on how to train for climbing Mt Everest.
1. Measure your current fitness level
If you’re climbing a mountain as gigantic as Mt. Everest, it becomes a must to have an inkling of what your current fitness level is. Without knowing your physical strength and how much you can take it, it’s hardly possible to reach the summit.
The trails of Everest bring out the best and worst in hikers, making them exceed the limits. Thus, if you’re ascending Mt. Everest, you need to keep yourself in great shape by focusing on your strength. But, that doesn’t mean you need to go too far and take a whole lot of stress than one can handle.
Instead, you should take it slow and work on building your physical stamina little by little. The best way to assess your fitness level is to consult a pro fitness trainer who can read your strong suit and give you the right advice. It’s a good thing to counsel the physicians as they can help you maintain the fitness level.
2. Prepare a strong fitness routine
Ascending Mount Everest is definitely not a stroll in the park. In fact, it’s a marathon that pushes you to boundaries right from the start of the journey to reaching the acme. Everest trails are most brutal as they toss rocks, steep terrains, and glaciers on the way to the top.
The trek may be a bit easy till the base camp but after that, it gets really hard with loose moraines and glaciers. The continuous gain in elevation makes the expedition even worse causing shortness of breath and exhaustion.
Hence, to cope with the extreme difficulties while trekking the mountain, you need to come fully prepared. It involves following a strict diet and intense fitness regimen which helps improve your muscle strength.
Preparation for the Mount Everest trek is a daunting task especially the exercise as it’s meant to reinforce your physical condition. So, better start with the basic training especially for the novice who doesn’t have previous experience of climbing.
You can stick to weight-bearing exercises like jogging, cycling, and snowshoeing on a regular basis. However, after learning the basics, you shall press for hardcore exercises like cardio and planks which help improve your heart and cardiovascular health.
Aerobic exercise like brisk walking, kickboxing, and circuit trekking allows the trekker to maintain mental health and cognitive control. It also makes them more flexible to deliver consistent pace en route Everest. Thus, you can obtain physical endurance by accommodating how to train for climbing Mt Everest.
3. Increase stamina
Some trekkers don’t realize how vicious the trails of Mt. Everest can be which is why they go easy with their fitness routine. But, it’s only insane to think that the snow peak is plain sailing and easy to travel. Quite frankly, the trek to Mt. Everest is a rough journey with lots of grueling walks on sheer hills and moving ice sheets.
Hence, there’s no denying that the success of ascending Mt. Everest relies on the climber’s stamina and how long they can stand the increased altitude. Henceforth, you have to work on your physical resilience through a suitable climbing technique.
Climbing Mt. Everest is physically demanding so start with some short and easy hike by carrying a backpack. If you want to increase your stamina, just don’t hinge on the ground level trek or foothills. Instead, go harder and traverse different types of terrain, particularly highlands and plateaus.
There are many twists and turns on the way to Everest summit. Thus, you need to approach personalized fitness training and exercise. Yoga and meditation also prove to be beneficial in reducing stress and relaxing the mind.
4. Carry essential gear
Mt. Everest trek is all about the proper planning, physical prowess, and use of the right equipment at the right time. In absence of adequate trekking gears, mountaineers will have to scrap the expedition or start fresh. This will cost them extra time as well as more
Therefore, if you want to get to the summit of Mt. Everest, make sure you have all the essentials. The trekking gear required to climb the mountain is usually the same to a certain extent. However, depending on which season you’re climbing the mountain, you might need some additional apparatus.
Some common mountaineering stuff that trekkers should have while scrambling Mt. Everest includes a ladder, fixed rope, and ice ax. Apart from that, they’ll also need proper trekking suits to protect themselves from the cold. Here are a few of the checklists of mountaineering equipment needed while clambering Mt. Everest is.
a. Mountaineering boots: There’s nothing more important than a pair of sturdy climbing boots when you’re ascending Mt. Everest. Since it has a mix-terrains of rocks and glaciers, it’s more imperative that you carry both multilayered hiking boots that are stout.
Insulated mountaineering boots are practically more comfortable and long-lasting. They are water-resistant and provide better traction while walking on the snowy trails that are quite slippery. Another option for mountaineers is to use the three-season boots as they are light, moderately warm, and super flexible.
b. Crampons: Another piece of equipment that you can’t brush aside at any cost while scrambling Mt. Everest is crampons. They are the sharp-toothed device made of steel alloy to provide a firm grip while walking the hard-packed snow.
It is fitted to the footwear to move freely on ice-smeared rock and steep glaciers. Crampons with lightweight are designed for day-day activities in winter. Therefore, to climb the mountain, you’ll need improved designed crampons with better tensile strength.
Although there is a wide range of crampons available in the market, steel ones are most popular with icy terrain. They are more durable and convenient to walk on. Aluminum crampons also make it easy for climbers to walk the slippery trail as they are made to be light however, they are not durable.
c. Ice Axe: Ice Axe is an irreplaceable piece of equipment in the toolbox for mountain climbing. They are highly flexible and are used in both ascending and descending the trail involving ice cliffs and glaciers. While buying an ice ax for Mt. Everest, you need to take a close look at the adze and shaft. The length of the ice ax also plays a decisive role in determining whether or not to buy the device.
Henceforth you’ll have to pay great attention to the size of the ice ax as much as the shaft grip and stainless steelhead. The standard length of an ice ax is 10 cm as most hikers want their tool to be shorter with a straight shaft. They work really well on the steepest ice tracks, providing a solid grip.
d. Carabiners: Carabiners are metal loops with spring gates designed to strap or fasten the rope. It’s excessively used during rock climbing and mountaineering to build an anchor. Since Mt. Everest is an uphill walk with lofty glaciers and ice blocks, you’ll require both locking and non-locking carabiners.
e. Fixed rope: Trails of Mt. Everest consists of towering ice cliffs, rolling glacial valleys, and huge flank crevasse. To overcome these obstacles and traverse the path, you’ll need a climbing rope that doesn’t rip easily.
Whenever you’re shopping for a fixed rope, take its length and diameter into consideration. Your safety relies on the quality of the fixed rope so get a static rope that’s treated to last long. There are wide varieties of ropes available in the market including single and twin ropes for mountain climbing.
Thus, you can choose anyone that’s more convenient and reliable for you. However, make sure that the length of the rope is at least 60m. It’s the standard size and useful for all types of outdoor climbing activities.
Backpacks are probably the most underrated yet most substantial component of hiking. Without one of them, trekkers cannot even set off on their excursion as all their stuff has to go in it. It’s therefore whenever you choose a backpack, look out for the maximum capacity it can hold. Not to forget the straps and torso length of the rucksack as it guarantees your comfort and ease.
Apart from the basic gears, you’ll also need some warm and multi-layered clothing to escape the icy-cold weather of Everest. Because the temperature in the mountain is incessantly below 0 Degree Celsius even in spring and autumn, you should carry more woolen garments.
Water-resistant gloves and down jackets are more appropriate and worthwhile for a mountain trek. You should also pack a full-sleeve t-shirt, light-weight fleece trousers, a windproof jacket, and a breathable sweater to stay safe from cold.
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Difficulties of climbing Mt. Everest
If not only, Mt. Everest is definitely one of the most ferocious and relentless mountains in the world. Its trails are incredibly difficult to steer through as it passes deep valleys, gorges, loose moraines, and crevasses. The moving snow slides and rock-fall makes the trek equally difficult. Other than that, it’s the ever-changing weather of Everest that causes hindrances for mountaineers. But, if you carefully comply with the direction of how to train for climbing Mt Everest, you can simply get away from the trek difficulty.
Read more on: How Hard Is It To Climb Mount Everest?
1. Hostile Environment
What can you expect at an elevation of 29,028 ft other than the frigid weather and sub-zero temperature? Thus, it’s needless to say that the climate of Everest is what makes it so ferocious and wild.
However, it’s not just the acme of Everest that makes the mountain so ruthless than the others. The trail walking from Lukla to Base Camp is equally tough with peaks and valleys that get the climbers exhausted by the time they reach the foot of Khumbu Glacier.
Adding to the trek difficulty is low atmospheric pressure stirred by increasing altitude, low precipitation, and haze of Everest. It causes the mountaineers to feel dizziness, aggravation, and trouble sleeping.
Apart from that, it’s the oxygen level at the crest which leads the hiker to pass out. It’s also for the reason why they carry supplemental oxygen during the voyage. The extra oxygen allows trekkers to breathe easily even on the mountain top.
2. Altitude Sickness
Altitude Sickness is one of the prime reasons why mountaineers terrify climbing Everest. It upsets trekkers paving their way up to the summit, inducing chronic mountain sickness like extreme hypoxemia, severe headache, and cerebral edema.
First-time climbers are usually likely to suffer from altitude sickness more than the ones who have already surmounted them. It can develop anywhere above 2,500 meters above sea level. Meandering from the foothills of Lukla, the path rises all the way up to 8,848 meters which witness a reduction in barometric pressure.
This makes it difficult to breathe and retain the same pace as that in the lower hills. Acute mountain sickness usually starts with minor symptoms like headache, nausea, fatigue. Things often get worse when climbers neglect these little extra indications and end up in distress.
Hence, you shouldn’t ignore the early signs of altitude sickness and rather get help as soon as possible. Meanwhile, if the medication didn’t work, you have to descend the trail immediately.
Since there is not enough oxygen at the crest and even on the trail, it likely causes hypoxemia and high altitude pulmonary edema. That’s essentially the reason why trekkers spent more and more time on acclimatization.
Altitude sickness normally occurs when the mountaineers don’t give themself enough time for rest or continuously scale higher elevation. That being so, sherpas guiding the mountaineers recommend to go easy on the trail and take maximum days off to relax their body.
3. Inexhaustible trails
The trail to Mt. Everest is no longer a secret and almost everyone knows what challenges they may encounter during the excursion. They are not just stretched miles-long but also savage which is difficult to traverse for any mountaineers.
Starting from Lukla, the path runs more than 62 miles to reach the acme of Everest. That being said, trekkers are required to walk even more than the actual distance due to acclimatization.
Mountaineers traverse the trails from Camp I to Camp III back and forth just to impede the altitude sickness. This eventually increases the trek length, making it harder and tiring for the climbers. However, if you carefully follow the instructions on how to train for climbing Mt Everest, you can easily beat the path.
4. Unpredictable Weather
Weather at Mount Everest is unforeseeable for many reasons but the underlying factor is definitely altitude. The more the hikers ascend the mountain, the tougher it becomes for them to keep it together due to low oxygen.
The climate is unpredictable at the top with the temperature reaching below -27 Degree Celsius even in October. Unexpected weather change is common at Everest trail but it’s not a good sign for mountaineers. It causes hurdles for them, sometimes even compelling to halt the expedition.
Winter is definitely not the right time to climb Mt. Everest due to freezing temperature and extreme snowfall. Besides unclear visibility, trails in most of the path are fully covered in snow which is pretty rough to get through. The only way to minimize the risk is to stay informed about the weather forecast.
Trekkers will have to be extremely cautious on their way to Mt. Everest’s as the possibilities of avalanche is always high during Mount Everest’s trek. Falling masses of rocks and snow is often evident on the steep slopes of Everest. It’s mostly induced by the rise in temperatures, heavy snowfall, and wind. Therefore if it’s possible, don’t climb the mountain in broad daylight to prevent the risk.
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