IFMGA Certified Sherpa Guided Team
Western “American” Guided Team
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April 1 – May 29, 2020
58 days in Nepal
Our Mount Everest expedition team is now open to qualified climbers. Mountain Gurus South Side expedition is led by a team of highly experienced IFMGA certified Sherpa guides. If you have been training for a world-class climb or are ready to tackle the toughest of the Seven Summits, Mountain Gurus is ready to take you to the roof of the world! Please contact us directly to learn more about our 58-day full service climb. In addition to our IFMGA Certified Sherpa guided climb, we offer the opportunity to climb Mount Everest with our Western guided team or a personal Sherpa guide. Our climb is under the oversight and leadership of a renowned American expedition leader, with over 10 summits of 8000 meter peaks Everest, Cho Oyu, and Shishapangma.
The highest mountain on earth and considered the premier guided climbing challenge, Mount Everest was first summited by Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmond Hillary in 1953. At 29,035 feet Mount Everest is one of the fourteen eight thousand-meter peaks and is known by the Sherpa as Sagarmatha “Head of the Sky”, or the Tibetans as Chomolungma “Mother Goddess of the Universe “. The mountain is approached from the South Side via the infamous Khumbu Icefall, Western CWM and South Col. Mount Everest, while not posing substantial technical climbing difficulty, does require a high level of climbing proficiency on steep and exposed terrain at high altitude. For those that stand on the summit of Mount Everest it is one of the greatest achievements in mountain climbing.
Mountain Gurus proudly offers a fully supported Mount Everest climb. Our team of experienced Sherpa guides will handle all the logistics during the expedition. As IFMGA/UIAGM trained mountain guides, they take great pride in managing our ground operations, working with our team of climbing Sherpa, and expedition staff to ensure safety and success on the mountain. Each of our mountain guides have extensive experience on Mount Everest with multiple summit climbs.
Our Southside expedition begins in the historic city of Kathmandu, known for its fascinating Nepalese culture and ancient temples. We fly to Lukla and trek along the Dudh Koshi River until arriving in legendary village of Namche Bazaar, the main trading center of the Sherpa people and gateway to the Khumbu Valley. Over the next week we are rewarded with amazing views of the Himalaya before arriving in Everest Base Camp at 17,700 feet. The climb ascends through the Khumbu Icefall with its seracs and crevasses, using fixed ropes and ladders prepared by our Sherpa climbing team. The classic South Side route climbs to Camp 2 via the Western CWM, then to Camp 3 high on the Lhotse Face, and finally to the wind swept South Col where we place our final Camp 4. Summit day starts early climbing the Southeast Ridge assisted by oxygen to the Balcony at 27,500 feet. We then continue to the South Summit at 28,500 feet. From here we traverse the exposed final ridge for a few hundred feet before reaching the Hillary Step and then to the summit of Mount Everest at 29,035 feet.
Mountain Gurus offers a fully supported world-class Mount Everest climbing experience. We have a dedicated expedition coordinator in Kathmandu who handles all logistics and ground operations for our Mount Everest climb. Our logistics manager works closely with all our expedition staff and Sherpa guides, all of which have summited Mount Everest multiple times.
While in basecamp you will enjoy hot showers, comfortable tented accommodations, and regularly scheduled hot meals provided by our excellent cook in our heated dining tent. Premium group climbing gear, tents, porters, and yak service assure you will be comfortable while enjoying your Mount Everest adventure.
Are you ready for the ultimate adventure? Climbing Mount Everest is not for the faint of heart. This is an expedition that requires two months of your time in Nepal, as well as prior training. It takes more than a few months to develop the climbing experience and skills needed to make this formidable journey. Summiting Mount Everest is a culmination of years of preparation and training, both mental and physical.
Before you consider participating in a Mount Everest summit expedition, you should have four to five significant climbing expeditions under your belt. These may include Denali, Aconcagua, Mount Vinson, or other Himalayan peaks such as Cho Oyu, Island Peak. Only seasoned climbers will be accepted for the expedition group so if you are just starting out, please consider taking one of our mountaineering courses or Seven Summits climbs.
Peak physical conditioning with advanced technical skills are required to be eligible for this climb. A brief roster of the skills you must have include: extensive high altitude climbing experience, advanced mountaineering and technical skills, crampon techniques, glacier travel, fixed line use, ice axe skills, experience with ice axe self-arrest, crevasse rescue, rope knowledge including knots and anchors, and extreme weather camping. Read our The Four-Legged Stool blog post for a better understanding of what skills are required to climb Mount Everest.
If you aspire to climb the heights of Mount Everest and are new to climbing, check out our Northwest climbs and courses to get you started developing the basics. From there, we can recommend incrementally challenging expeditions to set you on a road toward developing the skills you will need to summit Mount Everest with the understanding that this is a journey that takes years to prepare for and months to physically accomplish!
Summiting Mount Everest is quite literally a walk in Sagarmartha National Park, but it is a rigorous adventure that will challenge your body and mind. The expedition should be considered in two distinct sections – first the trek to Everest Base Camp, and the second is the time we spend at Base Camp and in higher altitudes as we work our way up to the final summit attempt.
Journey to Base Camp: Once arriving in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, we will hop a twin-engine flight into Lukla where we get our first glimpse of the mountain. We will spend 12 days working our way up to Everest Base Camp at 17,600 feet.
Along the way we will enjoy trekking through farming villages, local bazaars, a historic monastery, and a memorable walk across an amazing suspension bridge high above the Milk River. We will cross glacial streams, see herds of yaks, and a memorial to lost climbers as we make our way to the foot of the Khumbu Icefall and Everest Base Camp.
Everest Base Camp: We will settle in at base camp and spend the next few days acclimatizing, getting gear organized, and settling into the expedition mindset. The next few weeks will focus on establishing four camps at increasingly higher altitudes, acclimatization, equipment carries, and rest periods as we prepare to summit the “Mother Goddess of the Universe.”
Progressive Camps: At 19,500 feet, we establish Camp 1 a short distance above the Khumbu Icefall. Camp 2 will take us to 21,000 feet along a moraine below the spectacular Southwest face of Everest. At 23,500 feet, we establish Camp 3 on a perch near the south face of Lhotse. A night or two at Camp 3 and then it is back to base camp for a rest, before making our summit push.
Summiting Everest: We start our summit attempt at Camp 2, then head up to Camp 3 where we begin sleeping with oxygen to prepare for the rigorous final climb. We will establish Camp 4 on windswept South Col. From there we climb the Southeast Ridge with supplemental oxygen up to the Balcony at 27,500, and then to the South Summit at 28,500 feet. A few hundred feet more and we reach the Hillary Step before continuing to the main summit. After time to appreciate the view at the top of the world and take photos to document your epic achievement, we head back down to Camp 4.
For those that succeed, they will have achieved the greatest of the Seven Summits and one of the most challenging climbs on earth. As we descend from the exhaustive climb, we take care to descend at safe intervals with supplemental oxygen to allow time to decompress while minimizing risk of altitude and mountain sickness.
As with any high altitude adventure, there are risks involved. Some can be mitigated by proper preparation and many will be mitigated by our professional guide staff. Even if you are in top physical condition and have many climbs under your belt, the mountain will dictate the outcome. Altitude sickness is one of the major roadblocks to hitting your goal. One of the best ways to have a successful expedition is to make a wise choice on which guide service you use!
Any issues, physical or altitude related, are best dealt with early to ensure a safe and successful trip. All of Mountain Gurus staff are well versed in wilderness first aid and have extensive experience working at altitude. Our staff is trained to keep you safe and enjoy your experience.
In addition to your program fees, which covers most of your expenses, you will need to arrange your round-trip international airfare to and from Kathmandu. You will also be responsible for any non-scheduled meals, snacks on the climb, personal climbing gear, trip cancellation insurance, any required medical or evacuation coverage/expenses, and gratuities to local staff and Sherpa guides.
You are also responsible for your own physical conditioning and training prior to the expedition. Mount Everest is a physical and mental challenge that requires extensive training, prior climbing experience, and glacier skills. This is a highly technical climb so proper preparation is key to seeing you safely through your adventure and achieving the summit.
Day 1 • Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 • Kathmandu Orientation
Day 3 • Flight to Lukla • Phakding
Day 4 • Namche Bazaar • 11,300 ft
Day 5 • Namche Bazaar
Day 6 • Tengboche • 12,850 ft
Day 7 • Tengboche
Day 8 • Pheriche • 13,950 ft
Day 9 • Pheriche
Day 10 • Lobuche Base Camp
Day 11 • Lobuche Base Camp
Day 12 • Lobuche High Camp
Day 13 • Rest Day
Day 14 • Lobuche Peak • 20,075 ft
Day 15 • Everest Base Camp • 17,600 ft
Day 16-30 • First and Second Rotation
– Khumbu Icefall to Camp I • 19,500 ft
– Western Cwm to Camp II • 21,000 ft
– South Face to Camp III • 23,500 ft
Day 31-34 • Everest Base Camp
Day 35-42 • Summit Rotation
– Camp III to South Col • 26,300 ft
– South Col to the Summit • 29,035 ft
Day 43 – 45 • Pheriche • Lukla
Day 46 • Flight to Kathmandu
Day 47 • Depart
Day 48-58 • Contingency Days
“The end-to-end logistics of planning an 8000-meter climb can be very daunting. I really have Mountain Gurus to thank for coordinating all aspects of my successful Everest expedition.” Spring 2011 Brian D
“As I sit here and wait to board on my flight to attempt my 4th of the 7 Summits I can’t help but think about how I got here. Having my ‘perfect’ life turn a complete 180 and at the darkest of moments in my life I had found a calling and a core group of climbers who I am honored to call my friends. Dennis Broadwell and Mountain Gurus, if it wasn’t for you taking me under your wing and both pushing and teaching the ways of the mountain while accepting my disability…I probably would still be lost with no life mission. It was the start of something that would become amazing.” Spring 2015 Benjamin B
Our Mount Everest itinerary remains flexible. We seek to gain adequate acclimatization managing our exposure on Everest and within the Khumbu icefall. The team also has the option of utilizing helicopter service during the trekking phase of the trip.
Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal (KTM). Mountain Gurus representatives will transfer you to the hotel. Our trek begins in the historic city of Kathmandu, known for its fascinating Nepalese culture and ancient temples. The hotel is located near the popular Thamel district jammed with restaurants and shops selling Nepali handicrafts.
We have an expedition orientation, equipment check and welcome dinner.
We transfer to Kathmandu’s domestic airport for our morning flight to Lukla. The views from the twin-engine Otter are nothing less than remarkable, providing amazing scenes of the terraced Nepalese hillside and Himalayan giants including the crown jewel Mount Everest towering in the distance. Once in Lukla, we are welcomed with a cup of tea and meet our Sherpa staff. The trek into the Khumbu region begins with a few hours walk until we reach a long suspension bridge connecting the two sides of Phakding.
The trek continues along the banks of the Dudh Koshi crossing the “Milky River“many times as we pass small Sherpa farming villages laden with prayer flags and carved prayer stones known as “Mani Stones“. We carry light packs as porters carry all our heavy expedition gear. After entering Sagarmatha National Park, the trail climbs steeply through the forest giving us a chance of seeing our first glimpse of Mount Everest before arriving in Namche Bazaar the main trading center of the Sherpa people and gateway to the Khumbu Valley.
We begin our day with an acclimatization trek above Namche Bazaar to Sunrise Point and the Everest View Hotel. Here we are rewarded with a spectacular view of Mount Everest rising above the massive Nuptse face, with Lhotse and the distinctive Ama Dablam in sight. On the way down, we explore the lively village of Namche with its interesting trekking shops and street merchants selling an assortment of Tibetan wares. As we walk the stone paved streets one cannot resist stopping by the local bakery for a cup of coffee and slice of pie. We spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the fresh mountain atmosphere. On Saturday mornings, a local market is held in the center of the village which allows for interesting people watching.
As we leave Namche Bazaar our trekking route follows the steep hillside high above the Imja Khola. Magnificent views of Ama Dablam, Kantega, and Thamserku increase with every step. We descend to the river, crossing it and begin the steep climb to Tengboche, regarded by many as the hardest day of the approach trek. The afternoon is spent touring the historic monastery considered the spiritual heart of the Khumbu region and residence of the famous Rinpoche revered by Buddhist’s. The route drops to Deboche a quite village situated among conifer and rhododendron forest where we spend the night. Rest and acclimatization day.
The next morning, we continue trekking through rhododendron forest until crossing another suspension bridge high above the Imja Khola. The route climbs the sheer valley to Pangboche, traditionally known as the last year-round settlement in the Khumbu Valley. Our uphill trek enters the alpine climate zone and our route forks to Pheriche.
Rest and acclimatization day. In the morning we can climb the ridge above Dingboche to 17,000 ft for views of Makalu, the world’s fifth highest peak. In the afternoon you can visit the HRA (Himalayan Rescue Association) for an acclimatization lecture.
After breakfast we cross the Khumbu valley towards Lobuche Peaks East Face. We climb to base camp situated on the edge of Hidden Lake. The next day we hike to high camp continuing our acclimatization. We return to basecamp, rest and prepare for our summit day.
We climb to high camp. Rest and acclimatization for tomorrow’s summit climb. From here views of Ama Dablam and other Himalayan peaks are remarkable.
The day starts early. The Southeast Ridge route starts at the glaciers edge and soon begins climbing the narrow ridge on 45-50 degree alpine ice. As we gain the summit ridge; we are rewarded with increasingly stunning views of Everest and Lhotse to the east. The final stretch of climbing involves traversing the 30 degree ridge to the summit plateau where we are met with a 360° panorama of the Himalayas with five of the fourteen 8000 meter peaks in the world visible in the distance. We descend the route to high camp where we break camp and continue on to Lobuche.
We continue our trek to Everest base camp, located at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall. We trek across the glacier passing yak trains carrying supplies for climbing expeditions. During the spring climbing season base camp is crammed with activity as a small village of expedition tents arises at the edge Khumbu Icefall.
We settle into Base Camp and spend the next few days acclimatizing, organizing gear and getting acquainted with expedition life. We also include two days of fixed rope and ladder training in the lower Khumbu glacier. We usually do an additional hike to Pumori Camp 1 for acclimatization before heading into the icefall. We participate in the expedition Puja ceremony important to our Sherpa staff before beginning our climbing rotations. Over the next three to four weeks our ascent of Mount Everest follows a logical acclimatization schedule of equipment carries and alternate rest days as our climbing team establishes a series of four camps on the upper flanks of the mountain.
We climb through the icefall with its seracs and crevasses while using fixed ropes and ladders prepared by our Sherpa climbing team. Camp 1 is located at short distance above the icefall.
Camp 2 is located on a moraine below Mount Everest’s spectacular Southwest Face.
Camp 3 is perched high on the Lhotse South Face. We sleep at Camp 3 for one or two nights before heading down to Base Camp to rest before our summit attempt.
We spend the next week resting and preparing for our summit attempt. We may opt to descend to a lower elevation within the Khumbu Valley to assist in preparing ourselves for the challenge of climbing the world’s highest mountain.
We make our summit attempt before the summer monsoon weather arrives. The climbing window is typically between May 10-20th. Depending on the climbing season extra time is scheduled for a possible second summit attempt.
We climb to Camp 2, then to Camp 3 where we begin sleeping on oxygen and finally to the wind swept South Col where we place our final Camp 4.
We leave Camp 4 early, climbing the Southeast Ridge with oxygen to the Balcony (27,500 ft). We continue to the South Summit (28,500 ft). From here we traverse the exposed ridge for a few hundred meters before reaching the Hillary Step and then onto the main summit. Once at the top of the world we share in the excitement of our accomplishment. We have enough time for summit photos and then make our way down the mountain and back to Camp 4 at the South Col.
Over the next three days we descend to Dingboche, Namche and Lukla.
After saying farewell to our Sherpa staff we depart to Kathmandu on an early morning flight. We spend the afternoon resting and exploring the Thamel District. The day remains flexible depending on the desires of the group. There are many opportunities to tour Kathmandu’s world heritage sites. Pashupatinath Temple one of the most famous Hindu temples in Nepal, the Buddhist temples of Boudhanath and the temples in the city of Patan south of Kathmandu are recommended. Some in the group may simply want to relax and shop in Thamel.
Transport to Tribhuvan International Airport for flights home.
Additional days are scheduled for weather or acclimatization as needed.
Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
IFMGA Certified Sherpa Guided Team: $46,000
Western “American” Guided Team: $62,000
Personal Sherpa / Personal IFMGA Certified Sherpa: $48,000 / $55,000
Personal Western Guide: $118,000
$10,000.00 deposit includes reservation fee, due with application.
$10,000.00 due 120 days prior to departure.
Balance due 90 days prior to departure.
A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the PreClimb information upon reservation.
Note: Please read our Mountaineering Boot and Crampon guide for more information.
Begins and ends in Kathmandu, Nepal
Passport must have six months or more validity remaining at the time of entry. American citizens may obtain a visa prior to travel or upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. 90-day multiple-entry visa ($100)
Health & Immunizations:
Immunizations are not required for entry into Nepal
Flight Travel Information:
Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), Kathmandu, Nepal
Itineraries reflect the date and time you will need to arrive in country for a program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries destination city. When booking your flight, you will need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It is easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you will need to arrive.
Meals and Food:
All meals are provided as per meal schedule. See itinerary.
A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort, it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.
Climbing Grade: Advanced
As the highest point in the world, this climb requires significant physical, mental, and technical skills. Previous experience at altitude and expedition style climbing is a must. Be prepared to carry 40 lbs. packs at altitude, including supplemental oxygen tank. Experience with ladder crossing, fixed lines, and steep snow / ice climbing are essential to making this trip a safe and enjoyable climb.
Here’s a suggested progression of climbs before attempting Mount Everest.
The Mount Everest climbing permit cost and fixed route fees are included within the cost of the Mountain Gurus program fees. All foreign climbers are required to obtain an $11,000 permit which allows you to climb above Everest Base Camp to the summit of Mount Everest during the spring climbing season. Mountain Gurus will obtain the climbing permit for our expedition once we arrive in Kathmandu. Other fees included within the cost of the expedition are the Icefall Doctors (fixed route fee): $500, Garbage/waste deposit: $500.
Most cell phone providers will work in Nepal, check your provider for overseas rates before you leave. Beyond this wifi service is available at Everest Base Camp and along the trekking route ($100-$500 depending on usage). It is often best to purchase an unlocked cell phone and a local Ncell sim card if you intend do a lot of international calling. Cell phone and wifi service is not available above Everest basecamp. Thuraya satellite phone service is more reliable at basecamp and above at higher camps.