Let’s begin by asking where is Mount Everest? It is located half way around the world in the Himalayan mountains with the north side of the mountain located in China and the south side in Nepal. Another good question in determining the time it takes to climb Mount Everest is to ask just how high is it? Being the tallest of all mountains on earth, Mount Everest is 29,035 feet above sea level or the cruising altitude of 747’s.
However, what makes climbing Mt. Everest so difficult is because of its extreme high elevation where there is only a third of the amount of oxygen than at sea level. This makes it very difficult for climbers to breathe, which affects the time it takes to climb Mount Everest. The second reason that it takes time to climb Mount Everest is due to the extreme weather conditions this mountain does experience on a regular basis.
The storms over Everest can be so horrendous that winds of over 100 miles an hour is not uncommon. Now if you combine that with plummeting temperatures as low as 100 degrees below zero, and it’s no wonder that Everest deaths now total over 200 souls. And because of the horrific weather conditions, the weather forecast has to be taken into consideration before a summit bid date can be determined. The other part of the equation is that it takes 6- 8 weeks of climatization or to become adjusted to the extreme altitude, before a climber can even hope to summit Mount Everest successfully.
Once a climber is climatized than it usually takes five days to climb Mount Everest from base camp. Most of the time needed to climb Everest is due to training the body to function where it really shouldn’t. Because of the extreme altitude of this mountain, a climber has to build up red blood cells in order to get more oxygen to his body. The air has so little oxygen at this altitude the lungs are not able to supply enough oxygen for the body to use it very efficiently.
Once the climatization process is finished, most climbers will still require at least 2 bottles of oxygen to summit and return to Camp 4. Very few mountaineers have climbed Everest without oxygen. The oxygen will aide the climbers in their summit bid and back again, but only if they do not experience acute mountain sickness in which case they would have to descend as soon as possible or risk becoming another death on Everest. Stay tune for my next post when I continue my discussion: How long does it take to climb Mount Everest?
See you in my next post!