If I must sum up what is it like to visit Mount Everest in just one word – then the word is ‘Surreal’. Every voyage to the Mount Everest begins with a dream and as an avid trekker, it has always been my dream to trek to the highest mountain in the world.
I have always been encouraged and determined to visit Mount Everest, however there are several factors I had to consider before heading to the greatest journey of my life. Through my personal experience, I have described each stage on what it is like to visit Mount Everest.
What is it like to fly to Lukla?
To visit Mount Everest, I took a short flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. You must know that flying to Lukla was one of the most petrifying and exciting moments that I experienced on the trip. Numerous flights carry trekkers between Kathmandu and Lukla and the flight lasts not more than 25-30 minutes. But the take-off is the scary part as the runway is comparatively smaller. On one side there is a vertical wall and on the other side there is a steep valley. Although, it is the one of the most conventional ways hikers use to reach the Himalayan region 9,383 feet above sea level, yet it was an adventurous ride.
How tedious is it to climb Mount Everest?
At 29,029 feet (8,848 meters), Everest is the world’s tallest mountain, so it is obvious to say that climbing is not going to be easy. From my experience I would tell you to save energy on the preliminary terrains. You might be excited in the initial phase of the trek but preserving your energy for the last challenging days is advisable. Also, take these pointers –
- Do not climb together with large numbers of hiker on one rope.
- Do not rush and let people pass one by one, especially when you are crossing a bridge or a narrow channel.
- Do not slender on the ropes more than required.
- Use your crampons and legs on steep areas and hikes.
What is the weather like on the Mount Everest?
The subalpine areas are beautiful surrounded by majestic mountains. As I hiked through the subalpine, the weather was good with warm days and cool nights. However, the weather changed from tablelands to the highest mountains as it got darker, denser and snowier. As we were trekking, the weather conditions changed dramatically each hour as we hiked higher.
How dangerous is it to trek to the Mount Everest?
No doubt that the Mount Everest is the world’s deadliest mountain, if proper precautionary measures are not taken. Irrespective, thousands of people are drawn to Nepal to climb it each year. Avalanches, earthquakes and falls are the most precarious reasons because of which Mount Everest is considered unsafe. However, during my visit to the Mount Everest there were over hundreds of trekkers trying to attempt and achieve the summit. With professional to guide, weather forecasting, geared outfits and high-tech equipment – I was completely in safe hands! The only thing concerning is altitude sickness, as it is the only thing that bothered me.
What is the air like on Mount Everest?
Air at the summit has only one third of the oxygen compared to the sea level. Because of which, almost everyone uses a supplementary oxygen while trekking to the summit. Mountaineers begin using oxygen just below the ‘death zone’ at 8,000m, and sometimes also carry extra bottled oxygen for emergencies. Although altitude sickness due to breathlessness on higher altitude did give me headaches, but they were bearable. However, I have read that many endure High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), leading to indistinct speech, awkwardness, diminished coordination, hallucinations and weak decision making – none of which are good sign in the death zone.
How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?
The cost to climb the Mount Everest differs on various grounds. If you plan to climb solo it may cost you more, while if you prefer to go to the mount with an organised group the cost is comparatively less. Also, the cost to climb the summit varies depending on the nationality of the trekkers. While a national for Nepal, India, China and some other neighbouring countries can climb Mount Everest for as low as 5000 dollars, the same trail may cost a foreigner upto 60,000 dollars. Speak to a travel expert to get an ideal packages and detailed costing for climbing the summit.
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