People believe that climbing Mount Everest is a magnificent achievement, reserved for individuals who are extremely fit and experienced in summiting peaks. How difficult is Mount Everest to climb?
About the Mount Everest Hike
At 29,000 feet, Everest is the tallest above-sea mountain in the world. What you should know is that above 26,000 feet, there is insufficient oxygen to sustain human life. Climbing 29,000 feet in unknown territory without enough oxygen to maintain human survival is difficult, to say the least.
The temperature is freezing, the terrain is quite steep, and you are carrying all of your gear on your back. On top of all of that, by the time you reach the ‘Death Zone,’ you are most likely going to be deprived of sleep and very, very exhausted. It is worth noting that most people die on the way down, compared to the way up, as they expended all of their energy without sparing enough for the return journey down the mountain.
There are a lot of ways to die when attempting to climb up and down Mount Everest. Besides hunger and thirst, you could die from an avalanche, losing your footing and falling (the risk increases when there is overcrowding), snow blindness, a blizzard, exhaustion, getting lost, malfunctioning equipment, altitude sickness, frostbite…the list goes on. Furthermore, expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars in getting good training and the right equipment. It takes weeks for someone to acclimatize to the incredible altitude, and there is very little to do in a boring camp.
Are There Any Upsides?
To raise their odds of survival, many people use Sherpas to carry their gear for them, which is something of a necessity for all but the most experienced climbers. In fact, for every climber, there is likely going to be about 15 support people. Icefall doctors affix the ropes and ladders across crevasses in the treacherous Khumbu Icefall, and Sherpas provide guidance on all manner of strategies for climbers.
While many of the climbers are well-off Western males who are risking their lives, they could not really do it all without the help and assistance of the Sherpas. Today, there are many support facilities at Mount Everest, thanks to tourism. The abundance of support makes things a little less dangerous.
What Does a Climb Involve?
If you want to complete the climb, then you need to prepare yourself beforehand with some altitude training. Take some gear and get yourself familiar with high altitudes. That is why the Sherpas are so important – they live at high altitude levels and can be your climbing assistants, as they are more tolerant of the low oxygen levels.
You will need good cardiovascular health, a wary mindset (do not lose your footing and watch out for corpses), and a tolerance of low oxygen levels to make up and down the mountain. You will also need mountaineering training; put on weight if possible. About 600 people climb to the summit each year.