Climbing Mount Everest does not only give you a single option for a route but several ones that you can choose at your convenience. This 8848 m tall mountain’s summit is the dream of almost every mountaineer in the world. Mount Everest has many routes whose difficulty levels vary from one another. The routes include the South Col Route (Nepal side), the North Route (Tibet side), and the Southeast Ridge Route. Hence, you can climb the mountain from both Nepali as well as the Tibetan side. The mountain, however, does not serve the same convenience from all its sides as it does from the best ones. One has to choose the best possible route that is not only convenient but also has proper acclimatization and through which one can easily climb the mountain with success.
In this article, we have come up with the best routes to climb Mount Everest. Reading till the end of this article will surely help you in making a decision to come up with the choice of the best route for your Everest expedition!
Mt. Everest South Col Route
The South Col. route is the route that you can take from the Nepali side of Mount Everest. This route is not only the easiest route out of all the other ones but also the one that has been considered the most for climbing to the summit throughout the years. This route is edged by two of the world’s most prestigious mountains, Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse, which are the first and fourth tallest peaks on Earth, respectively. The expeditions since 1950 have been most commonly held through this route because the Northern route, or the Tibetan route, had been closed and restricted for climbs.
The South Col route or the Southern route, when taken, will make the South Col, Camp IV. One can come up with the decision whether to climb Mount Everest or Mount Lhotse first when they are in the South Col. Hence, many climbers have been able to make the expedition of both these mountains in a single go when they have taken the South Col route. The first expedition team to ever climb the Mount Everest from the South Col was the Swiss Mount Everest Expedition Team, who began their climb on 12 May 1952 by Aubert, Lambert, and Flory of Edouard Wyss-Dunant. Unfortunately, the team was not able to make it to the summit then. Right after this year, Wilfrid Noyce and the Sherpa Annullu succeeded in summiting the mountain from the South Col Route and became the first people to summit from the Southern Route.
Difficulties associated with the South Col Route
Though there are many factors that will make you want to choose the South Col Route for your Mount Everest climb, there are many other factors that are going to hold you back from choosing this route. It is important, whatsoever, to recognize the fact that no matter which route is taken, difficulty on its own level is guaranteed. The following difficulties make the South Col route inconvenient;
- Altitude sickness: Once you have climbed a certain height, it is impossible to avoid altitude sickness. Despite the acclimatization, when you are proceeding to summit the tallest mountain in the world, you are likely to face altitude sickness. The lack of oxygen as you peak higher will suffocate you. Almost no amount of oxygen might be plentiful for an expedition team if they suffer from any respiratory problems as they are high up in the mountain. Not only should one be able to get enough oxygen cylinders, but also keep one’s faith very high after crossing the Death Zone, which is at 8000 meters. The altitude sickness, to a lot of mountaineers, is almost unavoidable.
- Fatality and likelihood of accident: When you are up in the highest mountain in the world from the South Col, you never know what kind of accident awaits you. The weather, as well as the conditions on Mount Everest, is unpredictable. Hence, when you are at the top of either of the mountains, Lhotse or Everest, you might be the victim of some fatal and unforeseen accident.
Mt. Everest North Ridge Route (Tibet)
The North route that is taken from the Tibetan side of China has not been as much considered as the Southern route. This route had been restricted for quite many years after 1950. There have been several reasons why mountaineers have not considered climbing from the northern route, one of them being the stricter authorities of the Chinese government. However, the North route also has been deemed the toughest route to climb from. In the words of an author who climbed Mount Everest from the North route, “A simple slip would mean death.” When the mountain is climbed from this route.
Furthermore, the North face of Everest is colder than the Southern face. A more experienced and professional team of mountaineers can climb the mountain from this face.
Difficulties associated with the North Route
The difficulties associated with the North route are almost the same as the South Col route but with some more added difficulty creating factors as below;
- No plentiful time for acclimatization: When you climb Mount Everest from the North route, you get almost no time necessarily required for acclimatization; despite the mountain already creating difficulties with high altitude and respiratory problems associated with it, when you get no time acclimatization, the suffocation, as well as chances of fatality, increases.
- Unforgiving trails: The road up to Mount Everest from the North route is not an easy one. It is unforgiving and very steep. The technicality of the mountain is higher from this route, and a little mistake in one’s foot placement could lead to death.
Mt. Everest Southeast Ridge Route
The southeast ridge route starts at the base camp in the southern part of Everest. This route is more direct than the North route. Therefore, you cannot expect to get enough acclimatization when you are on this route. On top of this, the Southeast ridge route has steeper trails than any other routes mentioned above. While the northern route has been considered the most difficult, the Southeast ridge route has equal chances of avalanches, weather conditions worsening, and steep roads. But, since the route is almost always commercially guided, people tend to consider going through this trail the most at the same time. Despite the difficulties that come along, the Southeast ridge route is one of the well considered ones. The other routes aren’t quite well guided or commercially ahead in comparison to this one.
The southeast ridge route also has some difficulties, which we are;
- Unpredictable fatality: While many mountaineers are almost always assured that they will be safer when they climb the mountain from the Southeast Ridge route, the fatality is still unpredictable. When one is least considering an accident or even death, an unforeseen event might mess things up for them. Furthermore, feeling too safe is just not the norm when you are anywhere around Mount Everest.
- Steep trails: The climb is not an easy one. The steepness that comes with taking the Southeast ridge route will leave a person sweating. A small mistake might cost a mountaineer his life.
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Frequently Asked Question
Which route up Everest is easiest?
The South route of the Everest is the easiest.
Which is the hardest route up Everest?
The North route has been considered the hardest to reach the Everest summit.
Which side is safer to climb Everest?
The South side is safer to climb Everest.
Which side of Everest is more popular for summit attempts?
The South side and north side have 6,847 attempts and 3,865 summits and 2,723 attempts and 1,652 summits, respectively.
Is it easier to climb Everest from Tibet or Nepal?
It is easier to climb Everest from Nepal, though it takes a longer time.