7 Feb 2024 Peak Climbing Nepal
If you have ever been curious about the zenith of elevation that meets the sky, then just look no further than Mount Everest, the unrivaled apex of Earth, which has made the very notion of highest a whole new meaning. Standing with glory at a staggering elevation of 8848.86 meters (29031.69 ft), the colossal peak of Everest is the ultimate quest for the people who dare to touch the sky. However, touching the highest point on our planet comes when you know exactly where is Mount Everest located.
The roof of the world, Mt. Everest, is located at the border of Nepal, spreading its south flank and Tibet, with its north face. So, the snow-clad highest peak in the world carries a different yet similar significance for the people of both countries. The mighty Everest is called Sagarmatha, meaning Peak of Heaven by Nepalese. Similarly, this pinnacle is called by the Tibetan name Chomolunga, which can be translated as the Goddess Mother of the World.
No matter what name it is called, this incredible peak is not just a landmark but also a determination and resilience for the ascent against the winds of adversity.
Where Is Mount Everest Located: Coordinates And Location In Map
The magnificent Mount Everest is part of the Mahalangur section of the Great Himalayas that proudly hosts four out of the six highest peaks in the world- Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, and Sagarmatha itself. Moreover, that sprawling mounting range has been stretched across six countries, including Bhutan, India, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nepal.
Situated at the border of Nepal and Tibet, Mount Everest has coordinates of approximately 27.9881 latitude and 86.9250 E longitude. The Southern face of the mountain falls under the Sagarmatha National Park in the Solukhumbu district of Nepal, while its north face falls in the Xigaze’s Tingri County in Tibet.
How Old Is Mt. Everest?
Do you know that before 1852, Mount Everest was not the tallest mountain in the world? Mt. Kanchanjunga, with an incredible height of 8586m/28169 ft, was considered the tallest mountain in the world. However, a governmental survey of India established this fact and made this year recognized as the highest peak in the world.
Before Mt. Everest was called Peak XV. This name was given based on the numerical order in the Great Trigonometric Survey of India. However, the name was changed to Mt. Everest in 1865 after the name of the British Surveyor General of India, Sir George Everest.
When the Indian Australian plate moved from northward to south and was forced downward under the Eurasian plate, the collision of the two plates caused tectonic action. Thanks to the tectonic action, the Himalayan ranges thrust upward, pushing the massive rock formation, and later, one of such formations formed Mount Everest.
As per geographical standards, the highest peak in the world is considered a youngster with being at least 50 to 60 million years old.
How High Is Mt. Everest?
As per the triangulation methods opt by the Indian survey team from 1952 to 1954, the height of the highest peak in the world was recorded to be 8848 m/ 29029 feet. This figure was widely accepted. However, the Chinese survey team made another evaluation of Mt. Everest in 2005. They recorded the height of Mt. Everest to be 8844.43 m/29017 feet, which is comparatively 13 feet lower than the previous calculation made by the Indian survey.
Recently in 2020, with a joint survey of both Nepal and China, the new official height of Mt. Everest was recorded to be an enormous 8848.86/ 29032 feet.
Geography Of Mount Everest
After the tectonic collusion between the plates, Mount Everest came to life with multiple layers of rocks, making a recumbent fold due to the thrust. The lower fold has metamorphic schists and gneisses. Such metamorphic rocks are topped with igneous granite. As the elevation rises, you can find sedimentary rocks of marine origin formed from the remnants of the ancient floor of the Tethys Sea. The visible yellow band just below the summit pyramid is the accumulation of limestone formed.
Shape And Climate Of The Tallest Mountain In The World
Do you know that Mount Everest has the shape of a three-sided pyramid? The tallest mountain in the world has three faces: south, north, and west. The lines that join two faces are called ridge lines.
Likewise, the summit of Sagarmatha has layers of softer snow which can fluctuate as per the season by some 5-20 feet figure annually. The top has the highest snow level in September after the monsoon season in Nepal, and the mountain has a low snow level during the match when the winter snow depletes with the arrival of spring in Nepal and northwesterly winter winds.
It is obvious that the temperature in Mount Everest will be on a minus scale. However, even the temperature of the base camp can decline to –3 degrees Celsius in summer. The temperature will further decline upto -17 degrees Celsius in the winter season. As you ascend high the temperature will decline between the range of –36 degree Celsius to the lowest of -60 degree Celsius at the summit of Mount Everest. Even during the hottest month of July, the temperature will range around -19 degrees Celsius at the top. The climate of Sagarmatha is truly hostile and unpredictable. The raging storms and howling winds can hit the slopes any moment, and then the visibility will suddenly become poor, with smoke hovering over the mountains.
First Expedition Of Mount Everest
After discovering that conquering Mount Everest’s summit was possible, many people with bravery attempted this expedition. However, some people were unsuccessful, and some died during the expedition, carrying the mystery of whether they reached the top of the tallest mountain in the world.
The first human record to step on the summit of Mount Everest was made by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953. After gaining sponsorship from the Royal Geographical Society Alpine Club, John Hunt selected two climbing pairs for a ninth British expedition. The first pair of Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evan returned by reaching 100 m near the summit. After two days, on 29 May 1953, the second climbing pair of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa conquered the summit of Mount Everest at 11:30 am via the South Col route. These two mountaineering pioneers not only engraved their names with bold letters in history but also opened a path of ascending for other aspiring mountaineers to attempt the ladder of symphony between earth and sky.
Routes To Climb Mount Everest
As said, when there is a will, there is a way. Mountaineering pioneers have traced about 17 routes to the ascent of the Chomolungma. however, only two routes, i.e. the south col route and the northeast ridge, are opted for by the climbers to conquer the summit.
The south col route from Nepal was first traced by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. Initially, in 1924, English mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine attempted to climb Mount Everest from the northeast ridge. However, Mallory was found dead on the north face in a snow basin. Later, the first expedition from the northeast ridge was completed by a Chinese expedition team in 1960.
Attempting the summit is easier from the north col as climbers can have access to base camp via jeeps. But traveling at such a high altitude takes huge courage. Likewise, you can conquer the Everest base camp by taking a mainstream climbing route of the Everest base camp trek. You will transverse through the beautiful Khumbu region of Sokukhumbu district, including Namche bazaar, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorakshep and base camp.
Why Mountaineers Prefer Climbing Everest From The Southeast Ridge?
The Everest summit culminates with the barren southeast, northeast, and west ridges.
Even though mountaineers can drive to the base camp for the northeast ridge climb, they prefer to climb from the South Col, taking the route of the iconic Everest base camp from Nepal.
During the expedition from the south col, climbers will not just explore the mighty Everest but also immerse in the grandeur of the Himalayas, with 8 out of 14 8000 meters class highest mountains in the world.
Moreover, the adventurers’ sherpa communities have played a vital role in leading various expeditions on the snowy slope of the mountains, including the south flank of Sagarmatha. Additionally, the well-maintained path and reasonable infrastructures along the trekking path to base camp attract numerous mountaineers to attempt Everest from the southeast ridge.
Furthermore, Nepal has the facilities for evacuation and rescue of the mountaineers in case of emergency. The autonomous region of China, Tibet, does not have helicopter facilities, so South Col is also preferred from a safety perspective.
How Long Does It Take To Climb Mount Everest?
Climbing Mount Everest is an immense challenge that requires adequate preparation, skills, practice, and many other things. It will take about 2 months to complete the Mount Everest quest.
Mountaineers like you can embark on the journey by various routes to the Everest base camp. Climbers can opt for a 35-minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla or take a bus drive from Kathmandu to Salleri or Jiri to start the trek to Base camp. It will take about 10 to 15 days to reach base camp.
The actual adventure now starts from base camp. Climbers will spend weeks ascending and descending to various higher camps to make necessary preparations and acclimation properly to adapt themselves to the exposed higher altitude. After making themself fit for the climb, they will attempt their journey to Camp IV, which is located near the death zone at an altitude of 7950 meters. Reaching this height, they will use supplementary oxygen to support themselves as the oxygen level in the air will drop from 36% to 38% as they approach the summit.
After proper acclimatization, it will take approximately about 5 to 6 days to reach the summit and descend, but these days are more like the hunger game. You must fight to the death for your survival in the mountains.
You may also like:
- How Much Does It Cost To Climb Mount Everest?
- Dangers of Climbing Mount Everest
- How Tall is Mount Everest?
- Where is Mount Everest Situated in Nepal?
Mount Everest, the Death Game Quest
Every climber and mountain enthusiast has the dream of climbing Mount Everest once in their life. However, climbing the peak with an immense altitude of 8848 m is not an easy job. They have to prepare for every set of challenges and risks that will come their way before and while descending after conquering the summit.
The death rate in the Everest expedition is lower as compared to other 8000 m mountain expeditions. As per the Himalayan Database, the fatality rate is about 4.4 deaths per year since 1922. While the Annapurna expedition has 32 deaths per 100 successful summits and K2 has 23 deaths per 100 successful summits. However, treacherous snowy slopes, hostile weather and other challenging and technical factors are something you shouldn’t compromise with while embarking on this expedition.
Moreover, the death zone located above 8000 meters with insufficient oxygen for human beings is the deadly section that mountaineers have to pass on the 8000 m class mountains. It is not recommended to stay more than 16 to 20 hours in the death zone as human cells start to die one by one and minute by minute in the death zone. Mountaineers tend to keep the summit window as low as possible so that they can reach the summit and descend before their health conditions start to degrade. Hence, every minute climbers are pushing themselves to the summit is like a time bomb that can explode any second.
The oxygen level in the summit is one-third of that of sea level, i.e.33%. Lower oxygen level is itself a huge difficulty that can invite other physiological issues. Moreover, ascending to the extreme altitude of 8848m has the life-threatening risk of high altitude cerebral edema(HACE), high altitude pulmonary edema(HAPE), and Hypoxia. Additionally, climbers have to deal with the risk of avalanches, frostbite, hypothermia, etc, which can cause their death while attempting to summit the peak.