ITINERARY AND CLIMB IN DETAIL
The climbing begins in the Khumbu Icefall immediately above basecamp. We will use prefixed ropes and ladders to safeguard our ascent. Having sharpened our technical skills at basecamp we will move through this area and ascend to Camp 1 on the Khumbu glacier at 6000 metres. We could reasonably expect the ascent to camp one to take six or more hours on our first trip but with further acclimatisation during the expedition, that time should shorten significantly.
From here the route follows a gradually ascending glacier known as the Western Cwm, neatly sandwiched between the west shoulder of Mt Everest on our left, Nuptse peak on our right and Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest peak, immediately to our front. Camp 2 is situated at 6500 metres below the southwest face of Everest, about 5 hours walk from Camp 1. This walk can vary from blisteringly hot on sunny windless days to icy cold if clouds block the sun or the wind picks up.
A short walk above Camp 2 is the Lhotse face, which we must ascend to reach Camp 3 metres. Being the pre monsoons season, this face, while not particularly steep, can be icy and exhausting as we ascend fixed ropes for 800 metres. The camp is located on ice ledges hacked out of the Lhotse face and can be very cold and safety becomes paramount with the massive Lhotse face falling away beneath us.
Most climbers will use oxygen from this point for the ascent up to Camp 4 , at 8000 metres as we first ascend another couple of hundred metres up the face before beginning a long and exhausting traverse over the Yellow Band (a limestone rock band), and later climb rocky terraced steps up the Geneva Spur to finally reach the South Col at almost 8000 metres.
The push to the summit will commence later in the evening of the same day that we reach camp 4, often as early as 9pm, with the intention of climbing through the night and the next morning to be on the summit by midday (at the very latest) next day. We will then descend to Camp 4 and if time allows, continue our descent to Camp 3 on the same day.
While Mt Everest’s summit is our goal, the highest priority will always be the safety of the entire team.
Our programme is specifically designed to allow us to acclimatise to the very best that we are able and to climb within that acclimatisation schedule. We will only proceed to higher camps once our acclimatisation is appropriate and the necessary safety ropes and ladders have been put in place.
The ascent of Mt Lobuche East at the beginning of the expedition is designed to enhance acclimatisation but should also identify any significant health or fitness issues that might otherwise only reveal themselves on Everest. Additionally, being fully acclimatised to 6000 metres by ascending Mt Lobuche East, means that we can limit the number of traverses of the Khumbu Icefall (between 5300 metres and 6000 metres) on Mt Everest, traditionally the more dangerous part of the mountain.
All climbers and Sherpas will use supplementary oxygen above camp three. During the preparatory phase of the expedition, our Sherpas may well climb separately from the client team on some days as they ferry loads up the mountain to ease the burden on the clients. However on the summit push every client will be accompanied by an individual Sherpa to assist with carrying the client’s oxygen and to provide an escort at all times in case any client should need to descend ahead of the main team.
All climbers and Sherpas will use supplementary oxygen above camp three. During the preparatory phase of the expedition, our Sherpas may well climb separately from the client team on some days as they ferry loads up the mountain to ease the burden on the clients. However, on the summit push every client will be accompanied by an individual Sherpa to assist with carrying the client’s oxygen and to provide an escort at all times in case any client should need to descend ahead of the main team.
Day 1 - Arrival in KTM, transfer to hotel& briefing
Day 2 - Half day sightseeing and afternoon equipment checking and fitting
Day 3 - Kathmandu; final preparation and packing
Day 4 - Fly to Lukla (2840m); trek to Phakding (2610m) 40min flight, 3-4hrs
Day 5 - Trek Namche Bazar (3440m)-6hrs
Day 6 - Acclimatisaiton hikes - Khumjung, Khunde (3840m)
Day 7 - Acclimatisation hikes – Thame village 4-5hrs
Day 8 - Trek Tengboche (3860m); visit monastery 5hrs
Day 9 - Trek Dengboche (4410m) in the ChhukungValley
Day 10 - Day hikes to Nagarjun Peak (5200m) 5hrs
Day 11 - Trek to Lobuche (4910m) 4hrs
Day 12 - Trek to Gorakshep (5150m) 3hrs
Day 13 - Trek to Everest Base Camp (5364m) 5-6hrs
Day 14-37 - Acclimatization climb on Lobuche East (6,119m) Peak, load carries and acclimatisaiton on Everest to camp 3
Day 38-45 - Trek out and rest at lower villages, eg Debouche
Day 46-57 - Climb to camp IV, Summit Push
Day 58-59 - Base camp
Day 60 - Trek to Pheriche 6hrs
Day 61 - Trek to Namche 5hrs
Day 62 - Trek to Lukla 6hrs
Day 63 - Fly to Kathmandu
Day 64 - Bad weather contingency day/Free day in Kathmandu
Day 65 - Expedition concludes