A New Route Found for the Everest Expedition

UPDATED ON 27 March, 2024
A New Route Found for the Everest Expedition

A new route for the Everest Expedition has been found by renowned French mountaineer Marc Batard and his team of Nepalese and French climbers. To determine whether this approach is commercially viable, Batard plans to examine and test it further during his 2022 A.D. spring Everest Expedition (without supplement O2). This new, alternate path circumvents the riskiest portion of the Everest side trip to Nepal—climbing the Great Khumbu Icefall.

The starting point for this new route is the 5,100-meter-high town of Gorakshep, and the climbing route passes beneath the Nuptse ridge. The ascent begins at an unnamed neighboring peak. By naming the summit Sundari summit 5,880 meters and the Sundari route, Batard wished to honor his previous Sherpa squad, the Sundari Sherpa. One of his 1988 Everest Trek members, Sundari Sherpa, served as his inspiration to ascend Everest and shatter the record for the fastest ascent in less than twenty-four hours.

Next, the path ascends to Camp 1 at 6,065 meters, above the Khumbu Icefall. In an attempt to locate a safer approach, Batard devised this new path. Steer clear of the Khumbu Icefall hazards, which even seasoned climbers find nerve-racking. The Batard team installed new 700-meter climbs using 10 mm screw bolts and 1,000-meter ropes. The via-ferrata aims to provide a significantly safer alternative to the treacherous Khumbu icefall for Sherpas carrying big loads by installing fixed metal railings. The group wants to complete the final 400 meters to Camp 2 (6,400 meters). 

New Route for Everest Expedition: Exploring Alternative Paths to the Summit

Even seasoned Sherpas are hesitant to travel through the Khumbu Icefall, which is the path that leads to the highest peak in the world, while the sun is shining. Climbers typically cross the roughly kilometer-long Khumbu Icefall at night or in the early morning by donning headlamps on their helmets.

The route is typically traversed between the hours of 4 and 5 in the morning when avalanche hazards are minimal and the ice blocks and hanging glaciers are stable. An avalanche is possible throughout the day as the sun warms the mountain, melting the hanging glaciers and causing ice to disintegrate.

The season’s expeditions were canceled on April 18, 2014, when an avalanche caused by a collapsing serac buried sixteen sherpa guides in the Khumbu Icefall.  Between 1953 and 2016, 44 deaths on the Icefall were reported by the Himalayan Database. However, there is positive news.

A Nepali-French team claimed to have investigated a different way to bypass the dangerous Khumbu Icefall, over seven decades after Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa became the first humans to summit Everest using their own groundbreaking traditional Southeast Ridge route. Situated just above the Everest base camp, where hundreds of climbers erect makeshift tents every spring during the climbing season, the Khumbu Icefall spans 5,500 to 5,800 meters. 

Taking up the hazardous Icefall is the first task for any climber. Renowned French mountaineer Marc Batard said, “We will test the alternative route that we tested in November to bypass the infamous Khumbu Icefall in the spring climbing season next year to assess whether it is commercially feasible.” 

It is a potentially life-saving detour, we think.

Marc, a 70-year-old mountaineer from Villeneuve-sur-Lot, became the first person to reach the peak of Everest without the use of bottled oxygen in September 1988. His achievement earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Ten years passed with no break in the record.

In 1990, he succeeded in climbing Everest for the second time after 1988. Now, thirty years later, Marc is back on Everest. Marc, who has three children and nine grandkids, stated, “My mission this time is to save the lives of climbers.” “I do not doubt that the route will be profitable.”

Creating of Everest Climbing Route 

Local officials in the Khumbu region have loosened some of the most significant limitations that were announced to curtail luxury at the Everest base camp. As the spring climbing season draws near, the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality has updated a few sections of the recently published Base Camp Management Procedure 2024 to achieve a balance between expedition facilitation and conservation initiatives. A 17-member committee chaired by the rural municipality chair would supervise the new provisions’ implementation under the revised regulations.

Notably, contingent on monitoring committee approval, helicopters will now be allowed to deliver expedition logistics to the base camp. A committee-appointed individual or organization may be given the sole authority to enforce all or any of the regulations to expedite the process. It has been stressed, meanwhile, that regular conditions should still be followed when transferring climbing equipment, such as using yaks and local porters.

In addition, the revised rules stated that THT was able to detail the area assigned to each person at the base camp: 60 square feet for dining and 80 square feet for sleeping. Furthermore, there are strong restrictions against businesses operating on base camp property, including bakeries, cafes, spas, and bars. It is mandatory for climbers who stay above the base camp to bring a poop bag or a biodegradable bag to dispose of their waste.

The updated paper states that although trekkers and other non-designated visitors are not permitted to stay overnight, certain groups—such as friends, family, medical staff, base camp administrators, and sponsors of expedition members—are exempt.

The most recent clause makes it clear that any expedition team, consisting of no more than 15 people, is free to hire as many high-altitude and base camp employees as they require.

Additionally, according to the regulations, linked restrooms are not allowed inside of tents. All expeditions, however, will be limited to the following: a maximum of four toilet tents, two shower tents, and two extra urine tents per group of up to 15 participants. 

Three helipads will also be present at the base camp; these will only be used for rescue and evacuation missions above the base camp.”An instant check-in-out system will be adopted at the base camp to track the climbers’ status above the base camp,” according to the new rules. 

Regulations state that expedition teams must register a list of all the necessary logistics above the base camp. Moreover, after their expeditions are over, they are not allowed to store these items at the high camps.

It said that all teams climbing Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse must return with a minimum of eight kilograms of trash per member, while Ama Dablam requires three kilograms. “The statement continued, ‘We will not allow box tents above the base camp, and we are making the use of new ropes mandatory while fixing the climbing route,” the statement continued.

“Expedition agencies will be responsible for retrieving the bodies of their respective members, and they will be given the ‘Garbage Clearance Letter’ only after the bodies are recovered and the waste is properly disposed of,” said the statement.

The best time to go to Everest in 2024 

There are a few reasons why spring and autumn are the ideal seasons to visit Mount Everest. One deciding element is the extremely variable and harsh climate of Mount Everest. The temperature at the peak never goes above 0°C, or 32°F, or freezing. Its average summit temperature in July is -2° F (-19° C), and its average summit temperature in January is -36° C (-32° F), with the possibility of a dip to -60° C (-76° F). The weather at the highest peak is infamously unpredictable.

While Mount Everest is chilly throughout the winter, which starts from January to March, tourists can see some of the most stunning and clear views of the mountain from a distance. Naturally, snowfall is expected from December to February. It’s critical to stay warm and dry throughout the winter when temperatures can drop to -15°C and the weather can be infamously unpredictable.

It’s probably best to visit Mount Everest around April, May, or even mid-June because not only is the summit frequently visible and distinct during this season. One of the finest times for mountaineers to try a summit ascent is during the climbing window that runs from April to May.

Summer may seem like the best time to visit Mount Everest, from mid-June to August, but it’s also monsoon season, which means the summit may experience a lot of rain. The Everest peak is frequently covered in mist during the monsoon season

Though tourists might enjoy pleasant weather in other parts of the region, Tibet experiences extreme cold during this season. Therefore, summer is the ideal season to visit Tibet, while those hoping to view Mount Everest may have to settle for less.

Travelers hoping to catch a glimpse of the mountain at its best have a brief window of opportunity from September to November, after the monsoon ends and just before the hard winter sets in. Climbers also peak in the autumn, when far more climbers attempt to reach the summit than do so in the spring.

Difficulties of climbing Mount Everest 

As of the conclusion of the 2022-23 climbing season, over 310 individuals have died on Mount Everest, according to the Himalayan Database. Over 16,000 non-Sherpa climbers have attempted to reach the peak of Mount Everest throughout that time, and 5,633 of them have succeeded.

5,825 Sherpa peaks contributed to these successful endeavors. Many more Sherpas have scaled Everest’s upper regions to aid other expedition members without trying to reach the summit. A few people have made several summit summits.

For first-time, non-Sherpa climbers, the death rate was 1.1% for males and 0.5% for females between 2006 and 2019.

Climbers attempting to reach the peak of Mount Everest confront numerous risks. These comprise the possibility of an avalanche, falling objects like boulders or ice, peril while traversing the Khumbu Icefall, hypothermia from exposure to bitter cold, falls, great tiredness and exhaustion, and illnesses brought on by dangerously low oxygen levels.

About 35% of all non-Sherpa climbers’ deaths on Mount Everest during a summit attempt between 1950 and 2019 were due to falls; the other main reasons were tiredness (22%), altitude sickness (18%), and exposure (13%).

During the same period, avalanches were responsible for 44% of Sherpa deaths. Sixteen Sherpas lost their lives in an avalanche in 2014. In non-Sherpa climbers, almost 84% of deaths happened during the descent either after they turned back before reaching the summit of Everest or after they reached it successfully. 

While falls contribute to some deaths during descents, the majority result from acute tiredness, fatigue, or prolonged exposure to extremely low oxygen levels. In Sherpas, most deaths occur in the lower sections of the climb, where they spend lots of time preparing the expedition route and face a greater risk of trauma-related death. 

Low Oxygen 

The amount of oxygen available at Mount Everest base camp (5,364 meters) is around half that of sea level. The oxygen availability drops to fewer than thirty percent at the peak.

In these low-oxygen, high-altitude settings, climbers run a danger of: 

  • High-altitude brain edema, 
  • acute mountain sickness, and 
  • high-altitude pulmonary edema.

The milder of the three ailments, acute mountain sickness manifests as a headache, nausea, appetite loss, and occasionally vomiting and exhaustion. Usually, it goes away after more rest, acclimatization, or a descent to a lower altitude. Rarely does it progress to a life-threatening state.

Nonetheless, more serious problems may arise if high altitude exposure is sustained.

Lung fluid buildup is the cause of high-altitude pulmonary edema. This causes severe dyspnea and a dry cough that may progress to generate frothy, pink phlegm.

Excess brain fluid causes high-altitude cerebral edema, which, if left untreated, can result in a coma or death as well as a severe headache, confusion, dizziness, and loss of balance.

Most climbers who aren’t Sherpas who attempt to reach the top of Mount Everest do so with additional oxygen tanks to improve their physical performance and lower their chance of getting sick. In the end, though, this is insufficient for certain climbers, and even if they do make it to the summit, many die from illnesses associated with high altitude or the environment when they return to base camp.

Conclusion 

The “standard route” approaches the summit from the southeast in Nepal, while the other approaches it from the north in Tibet. These are the two main routes for climbing.

Errors and fatigue are the two leading causes of death for climbers on Mount Everest. On the other hand, a significant number of climbers also pass away from illnesses connected to altitude, particularly high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE). Therefore, we have to choose the right route for the travel to minimize it. 

FAQs

How many routes to Everest?

20 distinct paths have been established to reach the top of Everest. There are two routes almost everyone takes to climb it. The South Col Route and the Northeast Ridge are the two main routes that have been constructed from Everest base to summit by hundreds of expeditions over the last hundred or so years.

What is the easiest route up Everest?

Most people agree that the Southeast Ridge path is far simpler than climbing Mount Everest. According to reliable statistics, the Southeast Ridge route has much fewer fatalities than the Northeast Ridge route, with the main contributing causes being altitude, falls, crevasses, and avalanches.

What are the two Everest routes?

The Northeast (Tibet) and Southeast (Nepal) Ridges are the top choices for 98% of all Everest climbers. For most people, the alternative methods are too dangerous. too challenging, and lacking in commercial guidance.

Do planes fly to Everest?

Flying to Everest or its base camp is not possible. Nonetheless, you may take planes to Kathmandu and Lukla, the nearest airports to Everest base camp and the starting point for most people’s treks to the summit.

What is the death zone on Mount Everest?

The “death zone” in climbing is where low oxygen pressure at high elevations makes human survival difficult. At an altitude of 8,000 meters (26,000 feet), the air pressure is less than 356 millibars (10.5 in Hg; 5.16 psi).

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