Four climbers sitting on the summit of Everest, on a perpetually snowy base. (photo credit: High Adventure Expeditions).

Reaching the summit of Mount Everest is no simple walk up a straight path. Though the distance from Base Camp to the peak is approximately 8.8 kilometers (5.5 miles) as the crow flies, the route taken by climbers is anything but direct. Depending on the chosen climbing route and the placement of camps, the actual distance and path can vary considerably.

route to Summit of Mount Everest
route to Summit of Mount Everest

As they ascend the mountain, climbers typically follow a series of camps and acclimatization rotations, establishing resting points and shelters at various elevations like Camp 1, Camp 2, and so on up to Camp 4. The distance traveled and the time it takes to reach the summit are influenced by the individual climber’s pace, weather conditions, and overall climbing strategy.

Distance from Everest Base Camp to Summit

Everest, the crown jewel of the Himalayas, beckons adventurers with its daunting yet majestic peak. But the climb is no walk in the park. The total distance from Everest Base Camp to the summit is approximately 68.7 kilometers (42.7 miles), and that includes acclimatization treks that are crucial for success.

Battling the Khumbu Icefall

The first challenge awaits after a scenic trek to Base Camp. The path to Camp I winds through snow and rocks, leading you right into the heart of the Khumbu Icefall. This treacherous landscape, perched at 5,486 meters (17,999 feet), is a constantly moving glacier riddled with crevasses and precarious ice formations called seracs. Crossing this icy labyrinth requires nerves of steel – climbers rely on aluminum ladders to bridge the crevasses and crampons to navigate the slick ice slopes. Camp I sits atop the Khumbu Icefall, a well-earned rest stop before pushing further.

Khumbu Icefall, Everest
Khumbu Icefall, Everest

Western Cwm: A Breathtaking Base

The journey continues to the Western Cwm, a flat, U-shaped valley nestled at the foot of Lhotse, the world’s fourth-highest mountain. With its panoramic views, this glacial basin provides the perfect location for Camp II. The ascent from Camp I is a steady climb of 795 meters (2,608 feet) along a snowy trail.

Acclimatization and Beyond

Camp II serves as a base for acclimatization, allowing climbers to adjust to the thin air and harsh conditions at high altitudes. The climb to Camp III is not as technically challenging, but the presence of ice walls demands constant vigilance. The route traverses the western flank towards the Lhotse Face, a steep rock wall coated in hard-packed ice, where Camp III finds its precarious perch.

The Final Push: Camp IV and the Summit

Both Camp II and Camp III are ascended twice for proper acclimatization, adding a total of 32 kilometers (19.9 miles) to the journey. The final leg from Camp III to Camp IV, though short at 1.2 miles, is a brutal climb on hard ice with steep inclines. Here, safety is paramount – climbers clip into fixed lines and wear harnesses for the entire ascent to Camp IV, the last stop before the summit. Camp IV itself sits on a precarious rock face at 8,316 meters (27,270 feet), a hair’s breadth away from Everest’s peak.

Is the trek to Summit from Everest Base Camp difficult?

The trek from Everest Base Camp to the summit is incredibly difficult, for several reasons:

  • Altitude: The biggest challenge is altitude. Everest Base Camp itself sits at 5,364 meters (17,598 feet), which is already high enough to cause altitude sickness. The summit is at a staggering 8,848 meters (29,029 feet), where the air is extremely thin and breathing is difficult.
  • Khumbu Icefall: The path to higher camps goes through the Khumbu Icefall, a constantly moving glacier filled with crevasses and unstable ice formations. Crossing this requires climbing skills and specialized equipment.
  • Technical Difficulty: While not a technical climb in the mountaineering sense, the route does involve sections with steep climbs on hard snow and ice. Climbers use fixed ropes and wear harnesses for safety.
  • Weather: The Himalayas are known for unpredictable and harsh weather conditions. High winds, blizzards, and extreme cold can strike at any time, posing a serious threat to climbers.
  • Stamina and Fitness: The entire climb is a long and demanding trek. It typically takes weeks, with acclimatization rotations built in to allow the body to adjust to the altitude. Excellent physical fitness and strong endurance are essential.

Scaling the Cost of the Everest Summit

Pemba Sherpa with supplemental oxygen at Everest Camp 4 (while climbing the tank will be in his backpack). Photo credit Hugo Searle & Pemba Sherpa
Pemba Sherpa with supplemental oxygen at Everest Camp 4 (while climbing the tank will be in his backpack). Photo credit Hugo Searle & Pemba Sherpa

Conquering Everest is a dream for many adventurers, but the price tag can be as daunting as the climb itself. The cost varies depending on several factors: your chosen climbing route, the level of support you require, the expedition duration, and the guiding company you select.

Budget-Conscious Climbers: Opting for local Nepali operators typically keeps costs between $25,000 and $40,000. This usually includes essentials like permits, Sherpa support, base camp facilities, transportation, meals, and logistical assistance. You’ll also need to factor in the Nepalese government’s $11,000 royalty fee per climber.

Premium Expeditions: Western guiding companies with experienced non-native guides often come with a steeper price tag, ranging from $65,000 and upwards. These companies may offer additional perks like pre-expedition training and more comprehensive logistical support throughout the climb.

Beyond the Base Price: It’s important to remember that these costs don’t cover everything. You’ll need to budget for personal climbing gear, travel to and from Nepal, medical expenses, insurance, and other incidental costs.

Choosing Your Guide: Before committing, thoroughly research and compare the services offered by different guiding agencies. Consider their reputation, safety record, and guide experience to ensure you’re making the best decision for your Everest adventure.

Read the complete cost breakdown to Climb Mount Everest.

How High is Mount Everest?

Mount Everest stands at a staggering 8,848 meters (29,031 feet) tall. This is the most widely accepted and officially recognized height, established through various surveys and technologies like GPS and laser measurements. It’s worth noting that there was a historical disagreement between China and Nepal, but they finally reached an agreement in 2010 on this measurement.

Also, read 8848.86 meters. That’s the height of Mt Everest now

  1. How long does it take to climb from Base Camp to the summit of Everest?

    Reaching Everest’s peak is a 7-10 week journey. Climbers spend days acclimatizing at camps along the way, with the most dangerous section (Khumbu Icefall & Lhotse Face) taking up to a week to cross. Summit night itself requires 2-3 grueling days. Expect variations based on climber skill and weather conditions.

  2. What is the distance from Base Camp to the summit of Everest?

    Straight shot to Everest’s peak? 8.8km (5.5 mi). Actual climb with camps? Roughly 68.7km (42.7 mi). Climbers don’t go straight up!

Where is Mount Everest? What does it look like?

Mount Everest is located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas, on the border between Nepal and China (Tibet Autonomous Region). It is situated in the Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal and the Qomolangma National Nature Reserve in China.

Mount Everest is known for its majestic and awe-inspiring appearance. It features a towering peak covered in snow and ice, surrounded by rugged and rocky terrain. The summit itself is a small, rounded snow dome, often referred to as the “roof of the world”. However, reaching the summit is extremely challenging and dangerous, requiring mountaineers to overcome treacherous conditions, extreme cold, and high altitude. The summit area is relatively small, and only a limited number of climbers can be on the summit at the same time.

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Sailendra Bhatta

An adventurer, writer, and Founder of Nepal Travel Vibes.

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  1. Very informative,helpful and well articulated

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback.

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