South East Ridge Route of Mount Everest
One of the most daunting mountains you can ever attempt to climb is that of Mount Everest – the highest mountain in the world. There are several routes that one can take up Everest, but the most popular two are the South East Ridge, that starts off in Nepal, and the North East Ridge, which begins on the Tibetan side of the Mountain.
The South East Ridge climb begins on the Southern side of the mountain in Nepal. To get there requires that you first take a short plane trip to Lukia - a base camp that has a number of short landing strips - before you can carry on. It is suggested that you spend a few days here before you head over to the next base camp as a way of helping your body acclimatize. It is important you don't rush this process as it can cause problems later on, which you can ill afford when climbing Mount Everest. From Lukia you will take a trek up to the next base camp and again spend a couple of days adjusting before the real work begins.
The first stop in the climb up the southeast side of Mount Everest is the Khumbu Icefall which is well-known for its crevasses and unstable ice forms. One needs to be quite cautious here as things could go quite badly very soon into the climb up Everest. Once you pass Khumbu you will soon reach the first camping area called Camp I, which is approximately 6,065 meters high. After you have had a good rest and some warm food, your next camping site is at Camp II just over four hundred meters above Camp I.
Before you get to Camp II you will pass through a glacial valley, a relatively flat piece of land, called Western Cwm or ‘Valley of Silence’. This is an apt name as there is not much to see here. Interestingly, the Western Cwm can become quite hot when the sun is shining. This is due to the sun rays reflecting off the ice, which there is a lot of in this glacial valley. Camp III stands at 7,470 meters on an ice ledge, but first you need to climb up the Lhotse face before you can get there.
From Camp III you climb over the Yellow Band and Geneva Spur before you get to Camp IV at 7,920 meters. At 8,400 meters you will pass a platform called the Balcony that will take you up the eastern side of the mountain to the dome made of ice. This is officially the Summit of the Southern part of the climb. At this point you are standing at 8,750 meters high but you still have to climb up Kangshung face, pass over Hillary step and climb the slope before you reach the top.