What Are The Toughest Parts Of Everest?

Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, stands at an awe-inspiring height of 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) above sea level. Located in the Himalayas on the border between Nepal and Tibet, it has captivated the imagination of adventurers and mountaineers for decades.

Climbing Mount Everest is considered one of the greatest physical and mental challenges in the world. It requires extensive training, experience, and preparation, as well as a significant financial investment. In this guide, we will explore the toughest parts of Everest, from the extreme altitude and technical difficulties to the unpredictable weather and environmental concerns.

Whether you are an experienced mountaineer or simply curious about what it takes to climb the world’s tallest mountain, this guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the challenges and rewards of climbing Everest. We will delve into the physical demands of the climb, the technical skills required, and the logistical and environmental considerations that climbers must take into account.

By the end of this guide, you will have a better understanding of what it takes to climb Everest and the incredible determination and endurance required to achieve such a remarkable feat.

I. The Khumbu Icefall

The Khumbu Icefall is one of the most dangerous and technically challenging sections of the Everest. This section of the route is located between Base Camp and Camp 1, and is composed of massive chunks of ice that can shift and move without warning. This section of the climb is constantly changing and requires a great deal of skill and experience to navigate safely.

The Khumbu Icefall has been the site of many accidents over the years, including the 2014 avalanche that killed 16 Sherpas. The danger of the icefall lies in its instability and unpredictability. The route through the icefall changes every year as the ice shifts and moves, making it a challenging and constantly evolving section of the climb.

II. The Lhotse Face

The Lhotse Face is a steep, icy slope that climbs up to Camp 3. The face is named after the neighboring mountain Lhotse, and it’s a technical section of the climb that requires the use of fixed ropes to ascend. Climbers must be experienced in using crampons and ice axes to navigate this steep, icy terrain.

The Lhotse Face is notorious for its high winds, which can make the ascent even more challenging. The winds can whip up snow and ice, making it difficult to see and making it even more dangerous for climbers. Climbers must be in excellent physical condition to make it up this steep and challenging section of the climb.

III. The Hillary Step

The Hillary Step is a 40-foot (12-meter) high rock face located just below the summit of Everest. Climbers must use fixed ropes to climb the rock face, and the climb is very exposed and dangerous. The Hillary Step is named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first person to climb Everest along with Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

The Hillary Step has been the site of many accidents over the years, including the death of a climber in 2017. The Step has also been the subject of controversy in recent years, as some climbers have claimed that it was destroyed in the 2015 earthquake that struck Nepal. However, subsequent climbers have reported that the Step is still intact, although it may have changed slightly since the earthquake.

IV. The Summit Push

The summit push is the final ascent to the summit of Everest. Climbers must start their ascent from the highest camp, which is Camp 4, and must climb for several hours through the dark and cold night to reach the summit.

The summit push is a grueling and exhausting climb that requires a great deal of mental and physical stamina. The high altitude and low oxygen levels make it even more challenging, and climbers must be very careful to avoid altitude sickness and other health hazards.

V. Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is a common problem for climbers attempting to climb Everest. The high altitude and low oxygen levels can cause a range of symptoms, including headache, nausea, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, altitude sickness can be fatal.

Climbers must acclimate themselves to the altitude slowly by spending several weeks at base camp before attempting to climb higher. They must also be vigilant about their health and be prepared to turn back if they experience any symptoms of altitude sickness.

VI. Weather Conditions

The weather on Everest can be extremely unpredictable and can change rapidly. High winds, snow, and extreme cold are all common on the mountain and can make the climb even more challenging. Climbers must be prepared to face all kinds of weather conditions and be equipped with appropriate gear and clothing to stay warm and dry.

In addition to the physical challenges posed by the weather, the weather can also impact climbers’ safety. High winds can make it dangerous to climb certain sections of the mountain, and heavy snow can make it difficult to see and navigate.

VII. Crowds and Commercialization

In recent years, Everest has become increasingly crowded, with hundreds of climbers attempting to summit the mountain each year. This increased traffic can create bottlenecks on the mountain and make it more dangerous for climbers.

In addition to the safety concerns, the commercialization of Everest has also raised ethical concerns. Some climbers have criticized the use of paid guides and Sherpas to assist climbers in their ascent, arguing that it takes away from the spirit of adventure and achievement that the climb represents.

VIII. Environmental Concerns

Finally, Everest faces a number of environmental concerns. The increase in traffic on the mountain has led to a buildup of waste and pollution, which can have negative impacts on the mountain’s fragile ecosystem.

In recent years, efforts have been made to reduce the environmental impact of climbing on Everest. Climbers are required to carry out all their waste, and expeditions are encouraged to use alternative energy sources to reduce their carbon footprint.

Related: How Do Climbers Drink Water On Everest?

FAQ about Climbing Everest

Q: How long does it take to climb Everest?

The entire climb typically takes around two months, including acclimatization periods and the summit push.

Q: How much does it cost to climb Everest?

Climbing Everest is an expensive endeavor, with costs ranging from $30,000 to $100,000 or more depending on the type of expedition.

Q: How many people have died climbing Everest?

Since 1953, over 300 people have died attempting to climb Everest.

Q: Do I need climbing experience to climb Everest?

Yes, climbing Everest requires a great deal of climbing experience, technical skills, and physical fitness.

Q: What gear do I need to climb Everest?

Climbers will need a wide range of gear, including a high-quality down jacket, climbing boots, crampons, ice axe, and other technical climbing equipment.

Q: Is it safe to climb Everest?

Climbing Everest is a dangerous endeavor that carries a lot of risks. However, with proper training and preparation, climbers can minimize these risks and increase their chances of a successful ascent.

Q: What is the best time of year to climb Everest?

The best time to climb Everest is typically in the spring, between March and May, when the weather is most favorable.


In conclusion, climbing Mount Everest is a monumental feat that presents a range of physical, mental, and logistical challenges. From the extreme altitude and unpredictable weather to the technical skills required and environmental concerns, there are many factors that make Everest one of the toughest mountains to climb in the world.

However, for those who are up for the challenge, the rewards can be immense. Standing on the summit of Everest is a life-changing experience that few people have had the opportunity to enjoy.

While climbing Everest is not for everyone, for those who are willing to put in the time, effort, and resources required, it can be an unforgettable adventure and a true test of human endurance and determination.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: