A Detailed Guide for the Everest Expedition

Himalayan Image

Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth, is perhaps also the most famous mountain the world, and recent estimates indicate that it is around 50 to 60 million years old. This mountain was named Everest after George Everest, a former Surveyor General of India, and was declared the world’s highest peak in 1856. Before 1856, Kangchenjunga was considered to be the tallest mountain. 

Mount Everest lies on the border of Nepal and Tibet, with its highest peak in Nepal. So, it is natural that Everest had different names. Tibetans call Everest Qomolangma, which means holy mother, while Nepalis call it Sagarmatha, meaning the “Head in the Great Blue Sky.” 

In 1856, Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India, declared that Everest was the highest mountain on earth, with a height of 8,840 m (29,002 ft). A more accurate estimation by an Indian survey in 1955 determined that the height of Everest to be 8,848 m (29,029 ft). In 2022, a joint measurement team from China and Nepal established Everest to be 8,848.86 m (29,031. 69 ft) high.

After Everest was declared the highest mountain on Earth, it began to capture the imagination of mountaineers worldwide, mainly the British. The first British expedition aiming to climb to the top of Everest took place in 1922, without using bottled oxygen. A scientist and mountaineer, Alexander Mitchell Kellas, was the first to suggest using bottled oxygen for reaching great heights. 

Mallory and Irvine formed members of the third British expedition in 1924. They carried a modified oxygen container and were last seen at 26,000ft of Everest, but it is not entirely clear if they were returning from the summit or were headed to the summit.

Finally, on 29th May 1953, as a part of the ninth British expedition, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary became the first mountaineers to climb Mount Everest.   

CNN estimates that around 4,000 people have summited Everest to date.

 

Everest Region

Mount Everest, a part of the Himalayan range, sits surrounded by other tall mountains, including Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Kanchenjunga, and Makalu. It lies inside the Sagarmatha National Park, which is recognized as a world heritage site in 1979 A.D. There are around 20 villages inside Sagarmatha National Park, home to about 6,000 Sherpas. With an area of 124,400 hectares, Sagarmatha National Park includes glorious mountains, deep valleys, stunning glaciers, exquisite high passes, and lush alpine forests inhabited by rare animals such as pandas and snow leopards. 

Mount Everest lies in the Solukhumbu district in north-eastern Nepal.

 

Best time for Everest Expedition

Most expeditions start in April, and most mountaineers attempt their ascend in May, just before Nepal experiences the monsoon. However, you might need to acclimatize in the Everest region for weeks before attempting the summit. It will take around two months for a successful attempt. 

 

Everest Expedition Highlights

  • Summiting Mt Everest - the highest mountain on earth
  • Scenic flight to Lukla 
  • Breathtaking view of the sunset over Mt. Everest from the Kalapathar
  • Prayer wheels, colorful flags, mani stones, high suspension bridges
  • Wide range of flora and fauna
  • Ancient monastery in Tengboche (3,867m / 12,687ft)
  • One of the world’s highest airports at Syangboche (3,780m / 12.402ft)
  • Views of some of the highest peaks, including Mt. Lhotse (8,516m), Cho Oyu (8,201m), and Mt. Makalu (8,463m)
  • Explore Sagarmatha National Park
  • Khumjung monastery believed to house a yeti scalp
  • Wildlife like musk deer, colorful pheasants, snow leopard, and Himalayan tahr
  • Highest glacier on Earth- The Khumbu Glacier (4,900m)

 

Expedition Grade

Summiting Everest is a very daunting task requiring both knowledge and technical skills. You need to pass through steep rock sections and ice sections that are often over 45 degrees grade. The expedition involves using several types of equipment, like crampons, ice ax(e), fixed lines, and bottled oxygen. You need to climb at terrains above 8,000m, known as “the death zone.” This expedition is not for the faint-hearted, and it requires months of training for those with physical and mental toughness.

 

Preparing yourself

You must be mentally and physically tough to attempt to climb Everest (29,035 ft./8,850 m). If you are an ambitious average person, you need about a year of preparation to climb Everest. Consider that after avalanches, exhaustion and high altitude sickness lead to accidents on Everest. You should also know how to handle oxygen and mask regulators. Being fit will reduce your oxygen consumption, lets you pass slower climbers, and you can reach the summit early to catch the stunning morning views. Moreover, you will be better prepared to face unexpected bad weather. 

We recommend you climb at least one mountain over 20,000 ft. It will enable you to learn how to use gear and equipment and face a hostile environment at high altitudes. You will also get an idea of the amount of endurance you require and the level of physical fitness this mammoth task demands.

Please note that the more peaks you ascend, the greater your chances of a successful Everest climb. 

Please note that exercising at lower altitudes does not guarantee that you can perform the same level of exercising at higher altitudes, and cardiovascular fitness may not be adequate. We also suggest you practice carrying as much as 50-60 lbs of weight up to 4,000 ft. You must be comfortable hiking 1,500 ft vertically carrying a 20 lb pack. 

In Nepal, you can ascend several peaks to prepare for the Everest expedition. Just contact us at 977-9840055491 or email [email protected] for more details. 

 

Insurance

Everest expedition is a huge undertaking and comes with several risks associated with high altitudes, such as altitude sickness, landslides, and rough weather conditions. Hence, you need adequate insurance covering helicopter rescue, evacuation, repatriation at altitudes up to 8,000m, and treatment costs. 

You must provide us with a copy of your travel insurance policy before the expedition starts. Please note that we can cancel your expedition for the absence of or inadequate insurance. In emergencies, we will use your insurance policy and other informational documents you sent us for a quick and effective rescue.

We can refer you to insurance companies based on our previous clients’ experiences. However, we are not involved in selling insurance policies in any shape or form.

 

Equipment

Our advice is to bring only the must-have items to the expedition. It is not necessary to bring all equipment and gear from your country as you can buy them in Kathmandu for moderate prices.

Here is a list of things you will require for the expedition.

Head

  • Sun Cap
  • Balaclava to avoid frostbite and block wind
  • Neck gaiter to cover ears and neck
  • Headlight with extra batteries (400 to 500 lumens)
  • Climbing helmet
  • Desert Cap that can protect your head, neck, and face from sunburn in mountains
  • A warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic to keep you warm)
  • Fleece hat to cover ears and head
  • Snow goggle
  • Oxygen mask

 

Face

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Guard
  • Glaciers glasses to avoid UV rays and snow reflections

 

Hands

  • Thin lightweight fleece gloves (or wool)
  • Heavy gloves for high-altitudes
  • Wind stopper gloves (we recommend those with touch sensitivity for mobile use)
  • Insulated summit gloves waterproof/breathable 

 

Body (Upper)

  • Down jacket to be used below 6,000m
  • T-Shirt (Cotton)
  • Gore-tex jacket for protection against rain, snow, and wind
  • Thermal top base layer (closest to the skin)
  • Fleece jacket for extreme cold 
  • Windproof jacket for extreme wind and snow
  • Warm jacket to provide an extra layer

 

Body (Lower)

  • Thermal bottom base layer for warmth and sweat absorption
  • Heavyweight synthetic pants
  • Midweight pants to protect yourself from rain, snow, and wind
  • Lightweight cotton pants for climbing and trekking
  • A pair of fleece or woolen trousers
  • Gore-Tex (over)trousers or bibs. Waterproof/breathable with full side zips
  • Underwear made of synthetic material like polyester
  • Insulated Down jackets (not synthetic) with full side zips for bathroom
  • Gaiters for trekking boots (used over the boots to avoid snow enter boots)

 

Footwear

  • Hiking shoes for walking and staying in camps
  • Wool or synthetic socks
  • Liner socks to be worn inside wool/synthetic socks 
  • Trekking shoes for the trails in the mountains
  • Normal synthetic fiber socks and pants for high mountains
  • Camp booties while walking or staying in camps
  • Slipper for walking around camps

Essential gears

  • Helmet - lightweight, ventilated, and adjustable
  • Summit Down Suit for full body insulation
  • GPS tracker
  • Crampons that fit your boots perfectly- improve mobility on snow and ice
  • Ice ax (e) with a pointed spike
  • Climbing harness for attaching to a climbing rope
  • Jumar/ ascender
  • Locking and non-locking Carabiners
  • Tape slings- an essential part of a climbers' kit to wrap around the section of rock and hitch to other
  • Satellite phone
  • Belay devices
  • Prusik loops
  • Altimeter watch that alerts you to bad weather
  • Trekking poles 
  • Swiss knife 

 

Toiletries

  • Medium size drying towel
  • Small mirror
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Face and body moisturizer
  • Female hygiene products for females
  • Deodorant floss
  • Nail clippers
  • Tissue /toilet paper roll
  • Anti-bacterial hand wash
  • Pee bottle (1 liter)
  • Multi-purpose soap (must be biodegradable)

 

Personal accessories

  • Money
  • Watch
  • Cell phone
  • Camera

 

Medical needs

  • First-aid tapes and plasters
  • One skin-blister repair kit
  • Stomach antibiotic - Ciprofloxacin, etc.
  • One set of earplugs
  • Personal simple and light first-aid kit
  • Anti-diarrhea, headache pills
  • Cough and cold medicine
  • Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetazolamide
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses or contact lens supplies

 

Extra items

  • Trail map/guidebook
  • Wet wipes (baby wipes)
  • Please have a notepad and pen handy to note information.
  • Extra passport photos and photocopies of passport
  • Notebook and pen (if you want to write your moments)

 

Essential documents

Please email us the following documents to arrange permits.

  • A copy of your passport, three passport-size photos, and travel/health insurance documents with contact details
  • Additionally, we advise you to maintain a separate photocopy of all essential documents, including insurance policy, travelers' cheques, bank/ATM card contact numbers, international flight tickets, emergency contact numbers, etc.

 

 

Luggage

Besides the required clothing, gear, and equipment, you can decide what you want to bring to the expedition. Though we will arrange porters and yaks to carry your luggage we advise you to bring the bare minimum things. You can store the rest of your stuff at the Discovery World Trekking store for free for the period of the expedition. 

 

Spending money

Our expedition covers most costs but not all of them. So, you must bring spending money to cover several costs, such as visa application fees, meals (except breakfast) in Kathmandu, beverages (hot (tea/coffee), cold, and alcoholic drinks), travel insurance purchases, and snacks, etc. Further, we estimate that you will need USD 10 to 20 per expedition day. 

Nepal is surprisingly cheap as 1 USD is equal to around Rs. 125. (Nepali Rupee is the national currency). Though you can bring a traveler’s cheque, we advise you to carry cash as cashing a traveler’s cheque requires paperwork for processing, and banks charge a service fee of 4% or more. In contrast, you can easily exchange major currencies for Nepali Rupees in legal cash exchanges all over Thamel. If you want, you can withdraw cash from many ATMs all over Kathmandu, as most of these ATMs are open 24/7. However, for Rs 35,000 withdrawal, the fee is Rs 500 using a foreign card. 

If you have Indian Rupees, note that only Indian Rupee Notes of 100 and 2,000 are legal in Nepal. We also advise you to bring new and clean notes as many established Asain banks do not honor old and dirty foreign currency notes.

 

Visa

If you are an Indian, you do not need a visa to enter Nepal. Most of the other foreign nationals are eligible for an on-arrival visa and get an on-arrival visa at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu or at immigration checkpoints along Nepal-India or Nepal-Tibet borders. 

To apply for a visa, you need a passport with at least six months of validity, a passport size photo, and visa fees. The visa fees differ based on the duration you plan to stay in Nepal. For a 90-day stay (most likely because the expedition is for 63 days), you need to pay USD 125.

SAARC (India, Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh) country, and Chinese nationals are eligible for a free visa with some restrictions. 

Citizens from countries, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan, may not receive an on-arrival visa. So, if you are a national from any of these countries, you must contact your nearest Nepali embassy. 

Nepal-Government has the authority to change visa policies without prior notice, so please visit https://www.immigration.gov.np  for the latest visa information.

 

Getting to mount Everest

As soon as you book our expedition, we advise you to email us your flight details so that we can welcome you to the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). We provide free airport pick-up service to ensure you do not need to suffer needlessly while navigating this new city. Our representative will receive you at TIA and transfer you to a selected hotel. We will be briefing you and checking your luggage to ensure that you have packed all the necessary things for the expedition. On the third day, we will pick you up from your hotel and take you to TIA for an early morning flight to Lukla. Lukla is the gateway to Everest. You will trek for about a week to reach Everest Base Camp from Lukla.

 

Permits & Entrance fees

To get to the Everest Base Camp (EBC), you will need two permits - 

1. Khumbu Rural Municipality Permit, which costs Rs. 2,000 (~USD 17), and 

2. Sagarmatha National Park Permit, costing you another Rs. 3,000 (~USD 24) + 13% vat if you are a foreign national. SAARC nationals can get Sagarmatha National Park Permit for Rs 1,500. 

For climbing Everest, you will need a climbing permit from the Nepal government. Furthermore, garbage deposit is mandatory, and so are the Nepal government liaison officers. 

However, if you are climbing with Discovery World Trekking, we will take care of all the permits and paperwork so that you can enjoy your climb hassle-free. All permit costs are included in this package.

 

Language

You do not need to be worried about the language barrier in Nepal. Nepali is the national language of Nepal, but a sizeable portion of the population, mostly living in cities, knows English well. If you partner with us for the expedition, we will assign guides that can speak English, Japanese, or Spanish as you prefer. 

 

Remaining in Contact

During the trek, you can use Wi-Fi in the lodges/hotels you will be staying in by paying a small service fee. You can also buy a local sim in Kathmandu before starting the expedition, but the signals might be weak for mobile/cell phones. You can use the internet (1 Mbps) at Everest Base Camp by paying a small fee. Our climbing Sherpas will use walkie-talkies to communicate with different camps and carry a satellite phone for emergencies.

 

Food & Water

While in Kathmandu, before departing for the Everest expedition or after returning to Kathmandu, you will have plenty of food choices and can indulge in your favorite dishes. While on your way to Everest Base Camp from Lukla and vice-a-versa, we will arrange your meal in the best possible hotels/restaurants. All meals will be nutrient-rich, tasty, and hygienic. However, as you ascend to greater heights, food choices get limited and more expensive. Though non-veg items will be available at these places, we do not recommend them for meat hygiene concerns.

While you stay at the camps, we provide cooks and helpers to prepare your meals. Our trained cooks will provide you with tasty and nutritious food. In addition to meals, we advise you to bring extra dietary supplements, preferably from Kathmandu.

You can buy bottled water at en route shops/lodges to Everest, but we advise you to bring a water bottle and buy bottled water from lodges/tea houses. It will help in environmental conservation, and you might not be allowed to carry plastic bottles in some expedition regions. During the climbing period, we will boil water in tent camps and provide you with boiled water. For precaution, we advise you to use water purification pills before drinking water.

 

Accommodations

While in Kathmandu, you will stay in a selected hotel in rooms with an attached bathroom. In the expedition regions, we will provide your five-night stays in rooms with an attached bathroom at Lukla, Phakding, and Namche (3N). Similarly, you will stay six nights in standard rooms at Tengboche (2N), Dingboche (2N), Lobuche, and Pheriche. 

You will be staying at tent camps while climbing Everest. Our Sherpas will prepare your tents even before you even reach the camp. These tent camps will have necessary things for a modest stay, including pillows and mattresses. 

 

Staying Safe

Everest expedition contains inherent risks that most mountaineers will be aware of. To reduce the risks, we carry all the necessary latest gear and equipment, including walkie-talkies and satellite phones. We pay great attention to weather conditions to decide when to climb higher and when to descend. Still, summiting Everest comes with risks. So you will require adequate insurance, including helicopter rescue and repatriation, along with treatment costs up to the highest expedition altitude (8,000m).

Altitude sickness is common among climbers on their way to the Everest top. Though altitude sickness, also called acute mountain sickness, can strike anyone anytime, you can minimize the chances by taking the following precautions.

  • Listen to your Sherpa guide
  • Do not skip acclimatization days
  • Drink at least 4 liters of water per day 
  • Take plenty of rest after a daily hike 
  • Take enough food during trekking 
  • Walk/climb at your own pace
  • Keep your body warm 
  • Drink garlic soup

Our team is always ready to face altitude sickness. Our Sherpas have completed intensive wilderness first aid training and use oximeters to monitor blood oxygen saturation levels at high altitudes. Moreover, we have designed our itinerary to provide you with enough time for acclimatization. 

You will become aware of altitude sickness as it hits you. Some early/common signs of altitude sickness are

  • Headache 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Appetite loss
  • Tiredness and dizziness 
  • Difficulty in sleeping 
  • Increased heart rate and shortness of breath

If you become aware of any of these symptoms, you must inform your guide.

Our Sherpas are completely at comfort at high elevations, and they are ready to help you in case you develop altitude sickness.

Severe signs of altitude sickness are:

  • Severe headache
  • Confusion or lack of coordination with group members
  • Breathlessness even after enough resting
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Rapid Increase in heartbeat rate
  • Problem in vision
  • Irritable cough or persistent cough
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Irrational behavior
  • Difficulty in sleeping

These symptoms develop if you ignore or do not treat mild altitude sickness. So, please tell the symptoms you are facing, to your guide, once you are aware of them. In severe cases, your Sherpa might decide to descend immediately to avoid life-threatening conditions like HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema) or HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema). In HACE, fluid collects in the brain, while in HAPE, body fluids enter the lungs. 

You can resume your ascent only after you feel better and the Sherpas permit you to climb higher. Your safety is our first priority. For maximum safety, we follow the golden rule during the expedition - “climb high and sleep low.”

Discovery World Trekking office will remain in contact with the expedition team at least once a day through the expedition leader to ensure that your expedition is going on as planned. If you face any difficulties, at any time, during the course of your expedition, you can contact our office. 

 

Being Cared

You might feel a little daunted at the prospect of traveling to a new country that speaks a different language and has a different lifestyle. However, with Discovery World Trekking, you no longer need to worry about yourself. From the moment you step into Nepal and until you board your flight back to your home country, Discovery World Trekking will be there by your side, ready to help you. We do not want you to feel alone in a new country. For this reason, we provide our guests with free airport pickup service. As a company, Discovery World Trekking believes that the whole earth is a great family, and we must help each other. 

 

Finally

We believe you now have complete information that should satisfy your need to know about Everest expeditions. If you want to learn more Call/Viber/WhatsApp at Viber +977- 9840055491 or email [email protected]. You can send us your queries, including possibilities of a custom expedition.