Getting to the summit of Mt. Everest was the goal of many mountain climbers during the first half of the 20th century. Many died in their attempt to climb the highest mountain in the world. Everest, known as Chomolangma (or Qomolangma) in Tibetan, was first scaled by the team of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953. Since then, the mountain has been summited nearly 4000 times. The top of Everest sits at 8848m / 29,028 feet. The base camp of Everest on the Tibet side sits at 5200m / 17,060 feet. The picture above is taken from Rongbuk monastery at 5000m.
I have been fortunate enough to go to Base Camp many times over the past few years. While the coldest time of year to go to Everest is the winter, it also is the best time to get clear pictures. I have been at Base Camp in the winter when it has been -25C (-40C with wind chill) and I have been there when it has been -5C. If the sun is shining, it will probably feel much warmer than what it actually is. The sun at 5200m is quite intense. Sunburns can happen very quickly if you aren't prepared.
Most people who travel to Everest take 5 to 7 days to make the journey from Lhasa to Everest and back. The most popular stops along the way are at Yamdrok Lake, Gyantse, Shigatse and Sakya Monastery before arriving at Base Camp. This is one of the most popular routes that travelers take in Tibet. While this route is on the well worn tourist path, it is a great one to take. The views of the Himalaya are stunning. There is no public transportation going to Mt. Everest. All travel to the area must be arranged through a travel agency. During the high season, the furthest you can go to base camp is to the "tent city", which is 3kms before base camp. From "tent city" you need to take a bus the remaining distance. The bus costs Y25 per person for the round trip ride. Another option is to hike the remaining distance. During the low season, the bus stops running so your vehicle can drive all the way to base camp.
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