Where is Mount Everest we hear you cry?! Well, it is in the Himalayan country of Nepal!
But where is Nepal? Nepal is a small but prosperous nation nestled away in the depths of the sub-continent bordering India, Tibet, Bhutan and China. This peaceful and loving country is home to the earth’s tallest mountain and the majestic Himalayan mountain range.
Home to Dal Bhat and the Bengal Tiger, Nepal is also the birthplace of Lord Buddha which can be visited too. Nepal is a wondrous and adventurous place, rich in opportunity to explore and find yourself.
This deeply religious nation follows the Hindu faith and as such the inhabitants of Nepal are friendly, welcoming and hospitable beyond belief. You will be greeted with hands joined, heads bowed and a sincere Namaste wherever you roam.
Did you know that Nepal has a day of the specially dedicated to worshipping dogs?! Indeed they do, Kukur Tihar is celebrated during the Tihar Festival Week in late October or early November depending on the moon cycles.
Climbing Mt Everest is surely the biggest challenge anyone can take on. Many people chose to trek to Everest Base Camp and this in itself is no mean feat but before you take on such a challenge there are a few things to know first!
Where is Mount Everest?
Mount Everest is in Nepal although the Base Camps fall within Nepal and Tibet, thus you can start your Himalayan adventure in either Nepal or Tibet. Typically, however, trekkers choose to start in Nepal as this is a more easily accessible country and there are more trekking companies who run treks throughout the year.
Mt Everest is located at 27°59’ North latitude, 86°55’ East longitudes for those of you who want to find its exact situ.
In order to get to Mt Everest, you will have to take several flights. Nepal’s only international is in Kathmandu. Kathmandu is an amazing city to explore and is the perfect place to gain a greater understanding of this great nation and hear all the stories that locals have to tell!
From Kathmandu, it is possible to join one of the weekly Everest Flights! This one hour flight takes you as close as is possible to the world’s highest peak without actually climbing it! This is a phenomenal experience and a great way to see a panoramic view of the Himalayas.
From Kathmandu, you then catch a flight to Lukla in order to start your Everest expedition!
How High is Mount Everest?
Quite simply, Mount Everest is 8,848 metres above sea level at its highest point. However, if you think you can get there in one go, think again!
Due to its elevation, it is not possible to land a helicopter at the highest peak. As the air gets thinner it gets harder to fly and as such, you can only land a helicopter on Everest at 7026m. This is incredibly dangerous and such a flight for leisure purposes is rarely flown. Stepping out at such great altitude without causing serious damage to your health. But, on special request and for a hefty price tag, this can be arranged.
Due to the altitude, you must access Mount Everest in steady steps. In fact; if you’re climbing to the summit you must rise and return several times in order to acclimatise yourself to the winner air.
Base Camp, the most popular choice for trekkers, lies at 17,600ft above sea level which is still an impressive climb and worthy of admiration for those who take the test!
Who Climbed Mount Everest First?
In 1953 Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest. There are claims that Andrew Irvine and George Mallory reached the peak in 1924 but as there is no hard proof, and sadly they never returned from the mountain Hillary and Norgay are considered Everest’s first conquerors due to their successful and safe mission and return.
This initial expedition involved over 300 porters and 20 sherpas. Who are the Sherpas? Sherpas are the ethnic group of people that live in, on and around these mountain ranges in Nepal and Tibet. In the Tibetan language, Sherpa literally translates to Eastern People. ‘Sher’ meaning east and ‘pa’ meaning people.
The Sherpa people find living and working at lofty altitudes much easier than those who have been born and bred at lower altitudes. As such their lungs naturally have a greater capacity as such find the middle altitudes much easier to work in.
The role of the Sherpas was intrinsic to Hillary and Norgay’s successful summit. To this day the Sherpa take their role in helping trekkers incredibly seriously and have saved countless lives on the mountain.
In 1978 Reinhold Messner was the first person to reach Everest’s peak without supplementary oxygen which is an amazing achievement.
Where does the name ‘Everest’ come from?
The name Everest comes from the first General Surveyor of India who calculated the height of the mountain. Colonel George Everest was somewhat embarrassed, yet humbled by this accolade but as such, that is how the mountain got its name.
In Nepal Mount Everest is called Sagarmāthā. Sagarmāthā means ‘Forehead of the Sky’ which is an affectionate and accurate name for the magnificent mountain. Mount Everest is located in Sagarmāthā National Park, one of Nepal’s nine National Parks that include Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park too which are famed for their wildlife safaris.
Sagarmāthā is a tricky word to pronounce, partly why many people refer to the mountain as Everest. Sagarmāthā is pronounced Sag-ar-mata.
In Tibet Mount Everest is referred to as Chomolungma. Chomolungma, although now the language has adapted and changed, actually means ‘Hen’, like a female chicken! The fable goes that Norgay’s mother was asked what it means in translation. She said ‘the mountain so high that no bird can fly over it’. Others believe that Chomolungma means Mother Universe or Mother Earth in Tibetan.
Originally, on the maps of the Himalayas, Mt Everest was simply named Peak 15 before the decision was made to name it after George Everest.
How Much Does it Cost to Climb Everest?
Climbing Mount Everest is a costly excursion. The permit to climb the mountain above base camp alone costs $10,000! The climb alone can cost $35,000, this includes the huge team of sherpas, support staff and medics that you need too!
The kit alone costs upwards of $10,000 and training prior to landing in Nepal is $8,000 too! Extras such as insurance, visas, flights and food can amount to $4,000. Not only is climbing Everest a physical challenge but a monetary one too!
For those who are not expert mountaineers but still want a taste of the action then trekking to Everest Base Camp is a challenge, life-affirming and awe-inspiring experience!
Treks to Base Camp are a minimum of 14-days long and prices start at around $1200 (in Nepal) and are worth every penny. Remember to cost for your flight to Lukla, your visa to Nepal, trekking permits and your kit. Even though you’re not going the whole way you will still require sturdy boots, high-quality trekking poles and thermal clothing too.
From the Tibet side, the Base Camp Trek is a little more expensive as the trek is normally 18-days long. Those who have climbed both sides say that both options are equally amazing in their own right! The choice is yours! Tibet or Nepal!
Are you ready to trek?!
Mount Everest is the world’s ultimate physical challenge and is an impressive task to take on. Only the most experienced mountaineers dare scale its lofty heights! Although it may be on your bucket list you better get training now! It takes years of preparation and training before you’re mentally and physically ready to get on the mountain.
For those who want a taste of the action and a glimpse at the peak then trekking to Everest Base Camp is a sure fire way to get those all important Base Camp photos and boast to your friends that you stepped foot on the world’s tallest mountain!