How Long Does It Take To Climb Mount Everest (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 To 10 Weeks

Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth. It’s also one of the most dangerous to climb, with death rates at about 1 in 10 climbers. 

A typical climbing season lasts for 3 months, but that doesn’t include time taken off for acclimatization and recovery. Adding those 2 factors in, one looking at a 6-month process to summit Mt. Everest – if nothing else stops.

There are many different routes up this mountain, so there isn’t one definitive answer as to how long it takes someone to climb this mountain because many factors are involved.

How Long Does It Take To Climb Mount Everest?

TypeDuration
Mount Everest Height29002 feet
Total deaths of climbers265

The typical duration of an Everest expedition is between two and three months. Climbers begin coming to Everest’s base camps during March. At around 5,300 meters, the base camp is on the south side and overlooks the icefall, the primary setback.

It takes about 6-10 weeks to prepare for a successful ascent on Mount Everest. One needs to make sure they are physically, mentally, and financially ready before making any plans to attempt the climb. Prepare for an incredibly difficult journey that will require focus, discipline, altruism–no matter one’s level of experience or skill set. 

Awareness is key when planning this hike. If it’s something one wants to do–prepare for all eventualities so climbing the mountain has many enjoyable memories instead of painful ones. 

Don’t stop continuing the preparations with physical fitness training until about 3 weeks before the actual expedition departures.

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Mount Everest climbers come from a wide range of ages. Yuichiro Miura, the oldest person on Mount Everest in 2013, was 80 years old, whereas Jordan Romero, the youngest climber from the United States that year, was only 13 years old.

All treks must pay for helicopter insurance and life insurance, which is required by law. The main expense of the Mount Everest expedition is government taxes and fixed expenses. 

This is because the risk of life is high, and the fact that Mount Everest is the highest in the world makes it a primary reason. It is 29002 feet high, according to the surveyor, general Andrew Waugh.

Why Would Climbing Mount Everest Take So Long?

It takes a lot of time and money to climb to the summit and even more to get back down. Plus, one needs permits, guides, oxygen tanks- it’s an expensive trek. 

Climbers usually spend 2-3 weeks on the ascent (depending on weather), and the descent is another 4 days (or more if climbing with an oxygen tank). All told? 7-8 weeks of extreme physical endurance combined with steep terrain that requires both strength and skill. 

That’s why Mount Everest has become an elite destination for adventurous high achievers. Many people plod up 22,000 feet through ice storms simply because they’ve always wanted to plant their flag at the top – for glory or personal accomplishment. 

The height of Everest means one has to use more oxygen every breath. This requires more effort from both climbers and Sherpas, who support them, hence the slower pace.

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Mountaineers often refer to high altitude as “the Death Zone.” To live at or above 8000 meters is not easy; even elite mountaineers become ill, dehydrated, and deprived enough for their senses to stop functioning properly.

Sending an expedition with supplies up these slopes is also extremely tough-there are no roads or trains that can transport food into the area. Once the supply reaches the base camp, it’s usually perishable, so they must schedule trips back down to retrieve anything sold out before bad weather.

This is why most of the climbers attempt to climb from the Tibet side. Medical evaluation is necessary even if the climber has a small health problem like a bad cold.

Conclusion

The iconic mountain has been captured in so many films and documentaries that many adventures want to explore its majesty. One must make sure to gather enough supplies to make the trek back to base camp.

Most of the time, getting back from the mountain is very dangerous. After climbing the peak for hours, many climbers are exhausted. The mountain is higher than K2, which is just 8611 meters tall. However, 265 people have died between 1922 and 2004; 159 are from the Nepali side.

Even so, hundreds of climbers manage to climb due to the improvements in technology, knowledge and infrastructure provided by the commercial expedition guides.

References

  1. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/223/4638/784.abstract 
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/215823 
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