Everest expedition from the north side route is a popular mountain expedition in the world. It is the easier climbing route in compare to Mt. Everest south face. Mt. Everest north side is the tallest mountain in the world (29,029 feet/8,848 meters) and an incredible challenge and experience. Zambuling Expedition offers a full-service expedition of this world-renowned peak with a medium number of climbers and a 1:1 climbing Sherpa/guide to each climber. We are committed to providing the highest level of support with strong and experienced climbing guides and Sherpa support and the best high-end gear.
The first attempt of Everest from the north side was by a British team in 1921. George Mallory led a small team to be the first human to set foot on the mountain’s flanks by climbing up to the North Col 7,003 meters (22,975 feet). The second expedition, in 1922 reached 8,321 meters (27,300 feet) before turning back. This was also the first team to use supplemental oxygen. The 1924 British expedition with George Mallory and Andrew “Sandy” Irvine is most notable for the mystery of whether they summated. If they did the summit, that would precede Tenzing and Hilary by 29 years. Mallory’s body was found in 1999 along the north side route, but there was no proof that he died going up or coming down. A Chinese team made the first summit from Tibet on May 25, 1960. Nawang Gombu (Tibetan) and Chinese Chu Yin-Hau and Wang Fu-Zhou, who is said to have climbed the Second Step in his sock feet, claimed the honor. In 1975, on a successful summit expedition, the Chinese installed the ladder on the Second Step. Tibet was closed to foreigners from 1950 to 1980 preventing any further attempts until a Japanese team summited in 1980 via the Hornbein Couloir on the North Face. There have been 4,428 total summits of Mt. Everest up to 2014.
Located on a gravel area 8 kilometers above Rongbuk Monastery, this is the end of the road. All vehicle assisted evacuations to start here and there are no helicopter evacuations possible in Tibet. Everest Base Camp is a term that is used to describe two base camps on opposite sides of Mount Everest. The North Base Camp is in Tibet at 5,150 meters (16,900 ft) latitude of 28°8′29″N and longitude of 86°51′5″E. These camps are rudimentary campsites that are used by mountain climbers during their ascent and descent. Climbers typically rest at base camp for several days for acclimatization to reduce the risks and severity of altitude sickness.
The intermediate camp is used on the first trek to ABC during the acclimatization process. This is no more than a resting place for the night where a few tents are placed. This area can be lightly snow covered, or with no snow at all depending on the weather. Most climbers only stop here ascending to advance camp from base camp. When descending you can walk from ABC to BC in about 6 hours’ time and this camp will not be necessary.
Advanced Base Camp on the north side of Everest is one of the highest advance base camps in the world. This position makes it shorter and easier for climbers to reach camp I, II and III from advance base camp. Most teams will use ABC as their primary camp during the acclimatization period, but due to its altitude, some climbers may need to descend to the intermediate camp to acclimate. ABC may or may not be snow covered and offers stunning views of the North Col.
Camp I is located just above the East Rongbuk Glacier. Most climbers will use crampons upon reaching the glacier. Within an hour of starting the ascent on the glacier, climbers will begin to utilize a fixed line and cross ladders that are placed over deep crevasses. In some areas, the use of an ascender on the fixed rope will be very helpful. Rappelling or arm-wrapping techniques are used to descend the steeper areas of this section. Generally, climbers will spend 4-5 nights at camp I during the expedition.
The route to Camp II consists of a steep and snowy ridge that eventually turns to rock. High winds are sometimes a problem during this section making it especially cold. The wind and air pressure are usually higher on the north face side versus the south side. Some expeditions use Camp II as their highest camp for acclimatization purposes before beginning the summit push.
Camp III is located along the steep area of the mountain that runs from 8,250-8,350 meters. There are a few small areas in this location to set up camp III and different expeditions will select different areas in the same general area. This area is steep, rocky and exposed and tents are perched on rock ledges and generally battered by the wind. Camp III on the north side is 350 meters higher than the South Col and much more exposed. Most teams use this high camp as the last rest spot before the summit bid.
From Camp III to the summit is a really long and hard day. Climbers use a fixed rope through a snow-filled gully, which is part of the Yellow Band. From the Yellow Band, the climbers change their oxygen cylinder and take a small ramp up to the northeast ridge. The route veers to the right of the high point and most climbers rate it as steep and challenging. From the Mushroom Rock, located at 8,600 meters, the route can be full of loose rock adding to the difficulty. The next part of the climb is the Second Step, which is the crux of the climb, as climbers use the Chinese Ladder. Climbers first ascend a 10-foot rock slab and then climb the near vertical 30-foot ladder. This section is very exposed with a 9,000-foot vertical drop. Generally, it is more difficult to navigate on the descent since you cannot see your foot placement on the ladder rungs. Strong climbers take 9 to 10 hours to reach the summit and return to camp III, while more moderate and less experienced climbers take 11-13 hours. Most climbers use 3-4 bottles of oxygen during the summit push and other bottles between camp II and III.