Climbing to the top of the world’s highest mountain is an exciting and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for hikers. Besides the thrilling uphill climb itself, the 8,848 meters high summit offers grandly solitary environments and breathtaking scenery.
However, one should be aware of the physical and psychological challenges climbers may face when scaling Climbing Everest. The path to Mount Everest’s peak is full of hazards, some of which are weather-related, like avalanches, falling rocks, and hurricanes. Health issues such as Frostnip, Pneumonia, and tropical infections are all too common for Everest climbers.
In this article, we discuss five pro tips to overcome the challenges of climbing Mount Everest.
1. Bring The Proper Gear
The cost of climbing Everest is very high due to the permits and arrangements and because the climbers need to equip themselves with all the necessary travel gear to scale the massive mountain. Keep the following points in mind when you are preparing for the great ascend.
- Put on comfortable clothes. Wear layers of clothing so that you can remove them when needed.
- Pack rain-proof outerwear.
- Wear a hat and protective glasses to keep your eyes and hair protected from snow, wind, and rain.
- Wear shoes with good grip, stability, and ankle support.
- Apply sunscreen as the sun can be more intense as you move to higher altitudes.
- Carry a couple of walking poles to navigate bumpy Himalayan terrain.
- Carry easily digestible food and liquid that will last you at least double the time of the climb. You have to take into consideration the time lost in storms and avalanches.
2. Be Cautious Of Altitude-Related Ailments
Around 5% of Mount Everest climbers have died to date, and many of such tragedies are due to health issues related to the high altitudes. The most common health problem on Mount Everest is altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness. Be aware of the early symptoms of acute mountain sickness: severe headache, fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, and insomnia. You should also be prepared for other high-altitude health disorders, such as:
- high-altitude cerebral edema
- altitude throat
- high-altitude pulmonary edema
- peripheral edema
- altitude bronchitis
A climber may suffer from HAPE or high-altitude pulmonary edema if excess fluid gets stored in the lungs. HAPE may lead to breathing problems, shortness of breath, and hemoptysis.
HACE or high-altitude cerebral edema occurs when your brain stores excess fluid. It can cause severe headaches, drowsiness, vomiting, walking difficulty, confusion, and may even make you unconscious.
Here are some suggestions to prevent altitude sickness:
- Climb very slowly
- Drink sufficient water
- Avoid alcohol during the trip
- Stay calm
- Get proper sleep
- Consume more calories.
3. Get Acclimatized
The majority of climbing Everest and altitude-related health issues arise due to oxygen deficiency. The oxygen concentration in the air shrinks as you move higher. So if you can get accustomed to the new weather conditions, you can avoid common altitude-related ailments.
Here are some ways to adjust to the new climate:
- Take your time when reaching high-altitude areas. Try walking from a lower point on your trail instead of flying or driving to a starting point located up high.
- Do not scale more than 300 meters a day, especially when you have reached an altitude of 2500 meters.
- Your health has a direct bearing on how far you can climb safely. Check with your doctor if you suffered a recent stroke, heart attack, asthma attack, or blood clotting.
- The best way to quickly adjust to Mount Everest’s harsh weather is to keep yourself hydrated. Stop smoking for at least a month when you are attempting to climb the world’s highest mountain.
- It’s recommended to carry oxygen supplies with you even if you are sure about your stamina.
4. Know The Weather
Mount Everest is famous for extreme weather conditions throughout the year. Temperatures at Climbing Everest are consistently below freezing, and it drops below -50° C in winters. However, it is not the extreme cold that bothers climbers the most. Mount Everest’s infamous wind chills and hurricanes are nightmares for even the most seasoned mountaineers.
So here are few things you can do to tackle the severe weather standing between you and the summit of Mount Everest:
- Check the weather forecasts and hold back if there is any concerning update.
- The forceful winds of Mount Everest relax during May and June. Try to climb during this time.
- On Mount Everest, bad weather can strike out of nowhere. So, always keep a vigil and place tight ropes around you.
- Wear proper gear that can withstand winds up to 285 km/h.
5. Supplements And Medication
Necessary supplements, including medication, are going to be life saviors on the rugged Everest trail.
- If you have iron deficiency, take iron supplements through the course of the ascend.
- You need to consume Vitamin B supplements to replenish your energy.
- Acetazolamide is a helpful drug for preventing altitude-related diseases.
- Carry fresh fruits and fruit juices for Vitamin C. It is needed to take care of your skin and bones in a severe climate.
The Bottom Line
With the proper preparation and planning, climbing the earth’s highest mountain can be a truly inspiring and memorable experience. Always pay attention to your gear, supplements, and safety before setting out. Be patient with the weather, and feel free to ask a medical expert in case of any physical discomforts.