What it takes to climb Mount

Mount Everest climb


Everest South Col

Mount Everest, rising 8, 850m (29, 035ft) above sea level reigns as the highest mountain on Earth. Since the first ascent in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, reaching the summit of Everest has been considered one of the greatest achievements in Mountaineering. Every Spring Alpine Ascents International embraces this challenge, taking a group of qualified climbers to climb Mt. Everest via the South Col route in Nepal

With over 20 years of guiding experience on Everest, Alpine Ascents is in an elite category in our ability to present qualified climbers with a truly rewarding experience on Everest. As you read through our Everest web pages, you will find a wealth of information, rationale for decisions, and why after two decades, we stand behind the Alpine Ascents method more than ever. We can surmise by stating quality, safety and summit success are our three primary goals each and every time we launch an Everest expedition.

Everest Camp II

Alpine Ascents pioneered guiding on Everest 20 years ago and today we remain the leader in offering high quality expeditions. An ascent to Camp II is a unique opportunity to experience climbing through the Khumbu Icefall and the Western CWM to our Advanced Base Camp at the base of the South West Face of Everest. (21, 500 ft). One must have strong skills and be in very good physical condition to take on our Camp II expedition.

Team members experience climbing through some very challenging & notable.phpects of Everest, and get first hand experience of what it takes to climb this great peak, as you are traveling much of the same route as our Everest summit team. This is an excellent opportunity to see if a future Everest climb is right for you or simply a chance to climb part of this legendary peak.

As always, Alpine Ascent teams will be led by Veteran Everest guides and our legendary Sherpa climbing staff while providing the foremost in logistics and base camp facilities. Our unique team approach to climbing the mountain has allowed us to continually operate successful expeditions while maintaining an excellent safety record.


Climbing Skill Level: Climbers prepared to take on Everest Camp II should have completed at least a week long training course and have completed climb of a glaciated peak. We will review each climbers bio on an individual basis to help develop climbers interested in attempting Everest Camp II.

Everest + Lhotse In 24 Hours

Over the last several a number of our climbers, when using our maximum oxygen flow system, have demonstrated the desire and strength to continue directly to Lhotse for a summit climb after summiting Everest. This approach to climbing Everest and Lhotse in the same season allows you to climb two 8, 000-meter peaks (the highest and fourth-highest mountains in the world) in as little as 24 hours, summit to summit. While it’s no easy feat, our acclimatization program – combined with our rest day at South Col, max oxygen usage, and expert team of guides and Sherpa – make this a real possibility for our climbing members. In 2011, we set a historical precedent with our Everest-Lhotse climb – the first three climbers to summit two 8, 000m peaks in less than 24 hours, the first guided climber to do so, and the first guide to accomplish the feat. In 2013, two guides, three climbers and two Sherpa repeated the achievement! Join us as we attempt to make history again.


You climb Everest first, using our maximum oxygen supply (four-liter flow per minute). In good conditions, we are back at the South Col between noon and 2 p.m. From here we have a variety of choices, depending on weather and strength of climbers. We can rest for a few hours at the South Col, then do the two-hour traverse to our Lhotse high camp. Or we can spend another night at the South Col, and move to Lhotse high camp the next day and summit the following day.

This is an amazing opportunity for the motivated climber to summit both these peaks with the best support available. No other company offers the expertise, logistical support and years of experience that Alpine Ascents provides. Our veteran Himalayan guides are with you at all times, along with the strength and support of the best Sherpa team on the mountain. Our rest day on the South Col (on oxygen) allows you to recuperate before the summit attempt and the max four-liter-per-minute oxygen flow gives you a much better chance of a fast and strong climb on the mountain.
Our Route up Lhotse from Camp IV. The route progresses up the central couloir in a direct line to the summit. Photo: Garrett Madison

Alpine Ascents has been guiding Everest for 27 years. Over this time we have fine-tuned our program by addressing important factors that affect the safety, success and the overall experience for the individual climber and the entire team. We also continue to incorporate new technology and evolving climbing methods as they develop. Below we discuss some of the most important aspects of our program as well as explain the differences between AAI and other companies.

Team Size and Team Building

We start with a strong group consisting of a maximum of 12 qualified climbers with 2 to 4 mountain guides, depending on the group size. Our average team size is usually between 8 and 10 climbers. We add our Sherpa team of 14 to 18 well-trained and experienced climbing Sherpa and 4 to 5 camp staff. Our Sherpa team is the strongest on the mountain, most have summited Everest between 5 and 20 times and have worked exclusively with us for many years.

Team building is instrumental in our philosophy. We believe that well-trained climbers working together with our guides and Sherpa in a team effort creates the most successful experience. Over the two plus decades we have been guiding Everest, the team effort always proves more enjoyable with greater summit success than the individual climber with Sherpa assistance or having only one guide to lead your group. Below are some examples why:

There is a big difference between making decisions on your own or with only one Sherpa as compared to being surrounded by veteran guides who know the route and a strong team of Sherpa ready to provide assistance. This is especially true during summit attempt or in challenging weather. It is difficult and very stressful for the less experienced climber to make serious decisions such as:

How far is it to the summit?
Can I make it back by nightfall?
Do I have enough oxygen to make the round trip safely?
Is the weather deteriorating to a point I should turn around?
Am I moving fast enough?

Having a team of experienced guides with you to address these issues reduces the likelihood of you turning around too early and missing the summit or continuing into harm’s way by climbing into what we call, “unreasonable risk”.

Other real concerns such as regulator failure, loss of equipment or becoming physically weak and cold are almost impossible to deal with safely on your own. A strong team carrying extra regulators, hot liquids and gear increase your safety and success.

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