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Mount Everest is the highest mountain peak in the world. It has been into existence for more than 60mn years. It stands 29035 feet above sea level. Mount Everest is known by different names such as: Sagarmatha in Nepal and Chomolungma in Tibet. The first people to climb Mount Everest were Sir Edmund Hillary (of New Zealand) and Sherpa Tensing Norgay (of Nepal). These two people reached Mount Everest’s peak on May 29, 1953 (Greenspan, 2013).
Cost of expedition
- Airfare to Kathmandu: $1500 to $5000, depending on the route taken and the class travelled.
- Stay in Kathmandu: $400 to $800, depending on the number of days; there can be delays due to various reasons.
- Road transportation from Kathmandu to Lukla airport: $325 each person (to and fro).
- Visa for Nepal: $100.
- Expenses to reach Everest base camp: $4000 to $4600.
- Climbing fee: $16500 to $21500.
- Expenses at Everest base camp and higher camps: $3500 to $8800.
- Climbing gear: $3440 to $11880.
- Miscellaneous expenses: $9650 to $14400 (Arnette, 2014).
Tensing Norgay was born in a poor and humble family that resided amidst the mountains (in a village named Thame, Nepal). Tensing’s initial name was Namgyal Wangdi that was later changed to his famous name. It is interesting to know that the name Norgay relates to being fortunate. He made his first attempt to climb Mount Everest at the age of 19. After this, for the next twenty years, he was a part of most of the expeditions to Mount Everest. He died at the age of 72 in the year 1986 (Authint Mail, 2014).
4 camps on the way to Mount Everest
- Valley of Silence: This camp is situated at 20,000 feet.
- Camp 2: This cam is situated at 21,000 feet.
- Lhotse Wall: This camp is situated at 22,300 feet.
- The Deathzone: This camp is situated at 26,000 feet.
All the requisite precautions are taken by the trekkers while climbing the world’s highest peak. It is understood that as we go to higher heights, the amount of oxygen decreases. As such, oxygen bottles and the associated gear is a must. Tents with all basic amenities are also available with the trekkers. Warm clothes, eye protection, snow boots, etc. are a prerequisite. There are several companies engaged in the expedition business and it is always advisable to hire them for a safe expedition. During times of emergency, evacuation helicopters are available. Each trekker has a satellite phone for use in urgencies.
Nepal’s Lukla airport, also called the Tensing-Hillary airport, is one of the most dangerous airports of the world. As can be seen from the picture, the airport is narrow with houses on both the sides. The length is only half kilometre and pilots need to be well experienced to land an aircraft here.
Role of Sherpa
The world knows that Mount Everest cannot be climbed without the help of Sherpas. Tensing, among the first two to climb Mount Everest was also a Sherpa. During the years, Sherpas have made Mount Everest expeditions as their livelihood. The job involves serious threats (natural) but Sherpas are committed to the safety of the trekkers. Recently, 16 Sherpas died due to an avalanche during one of the expeditions. Sherpas feel that the Nepalese government is not providing adequate facilities for the expeditions. In protest, the Sherpas united and decided not to go on any expeditions this year (TOI, 2014a). Intermediation by the Nepalese tourism minister paved the way to resolution of the crisis and Sherpas agreed to commence expeditions (TOI, 2014b).
Overview of expedition
There are certain things to be kept in mind while embarking on the expedition. First of all, it is advisable to go with a team (no solos). Secondly, team members should follow all the instructions provided by the guides. Trekkers should consider the ethical aspects and avoid throwing waste on the mountains.
Arnette, A. (2014). Everest 2014: the cost to climb Everest. Web.
Authint Mail. (2014). Tensing’s life in pictures on 100th birth anniversary. Web.
Greenspan, J. (2013). 7 things you should know about Mount Everest. Web.
TOI. (2014a). Sherpas say no to Everest expeditions this year. Web.
TOI. (2014b). Mount Everest disaster: Nepal’s Sherpas agree to resume work. Web.