The north east ridge route begins from the north side of Everest in Tibet. Expeditions trek to the Rongbuk Glacier, setting up Base Camp at 5,180 m (16,990 ft) on a gravel plain just below the glacier. To reach Camp II, climbers ascend the medial moraine of the east Rongbuk Glacier up to the base of Changtse at around 6,100 m (20,000 ft). Camp III (ABC – Advanced Base Camp) is situated below the North Col at 6,500 m (21,300 ft). To reach Camp IV on the north col, climbers ascend the glacier to the foot of the col where fixed ropes are used to reach the North Col at 7,010 m (23,000 ft). From the North Col, climbers ascend the rocky north ridge to set up Camp V at around 7,775 m (25,500 ft). The route crosses the North Face in a diagonal climb to the base of the Yellow Band reaching the site of Camp VI at 8,230 m (27,000 ft). From Camp VI, climbers will make their final summit push. Climbers face a treacherous traverse from the base of the First Step: 27,890 feet (8,500 m) – 28,000 feet, to the crux of the climb, the Second Step: 28,140 feet (8,580 m) – 28,300 feet. (The Second Step includes a climbing aid called the “Chinese ladder”, a metal ladder placed semi-permanently in 1975 by a party of Chinese climbers. It has been almost continuously in place since, and ladders have been used by virtually all climbers on the route.) Once above the Second Step the inconsequential Third Step is clambered over: 28,510 feet (8,690 m) – 28,870 feet. Once above these steps, the summit pyramid is climbed by means of a snow slope of 50 degrees, to the final summit ridge along which the top is reached.
Willl be established on the Rongbuk glacier at 5200m.
The time spent at base camp is important both for acclimatisation and preparations. It is important to be able to practice the use of Oxygen, Gammo Bag HAPE/HACE and Communication Equipment at base camp so its all second nature to you before stepping foot on the mountain. Base camp will be fairly comfortable and we will be able to relax there; though it’s not a matter of over comfort you sometimes hear about in the press but a vital part of our provision. If you are rested and can recoup then you will be stronger for your summit bid. We will have heated mess tent, as well as a DVD player and TV to keep us entertained and a broadband satellite connection so we can to speak or e-mail family and friends. We also have a power shower to maintain friendships! Finally when it comes to food we have a chef and his team of kitchen porters who have experience cooking in the mountains for the last eight years, and who can produce some of the best food on the mountain.
In order to break the approach to advanced base camp in the initial stages we will use this camp which is at (5,800m). Once we have become fully acclimatised we will go directly from base camp to advanced base camp.
Advanced Base Camp:
Will be placed high on the moraine below the North Col at (6400m):
Camp 1: (7010m)
Established on the North Col and is probably the most important camp and offers the springboard for the remainder of the ascent.
Camp 2 (7500m) an extra camp we use to aid summit success
Camp 3: (7800m)
High on the North Ridge, often a wild and windy place but one that offers superb views. The climb is a straight forward snow slope. It is from here on we will start using oxygen in order to save our strength for the task ahead.
Camp 4: (8200m)
Established below the first step and the start of the technical difficulties. The ascent is over slightly steeper more broken ground. The final summit push will be made from this camp, the highest camp in the world.
Starts at around 2.00am with a summit target of 11.00am. The technical difficulties are the 1st and 2nd steps after which we will continue up the ridge to the summit.