Everest climb via North (Tibetan) side is the least expensive way to climb it. The trip begins in the ancient and colorful city of Kathmandu. On the Friendship Bridge, border Crossing between Nepal and Tibet. Upon entering Tibet, the clocks immediately go forward by 2 hours. Our secondary government liaison officer will meet us in Zhangmu. After clearing Tibetan customs and immigration, a Chinese bus takes us up the windy road through the rolling hills to Nyalam town at 3,750 meters, and a basic “hotel”. The smaller towns in Tibet are generally simple and rustic places, and this one is no exception. The topography here is quite interesting in that we are perched in the transitional zone where the Tibetan plateau rams into the Himalaya, then drops into the forested valleys and jungles of Nepal, and finally out into the Gangetic plain of the Terai and India. We stay over one extra night in Nyalam, to help adjust to the altitude, and during our “rest-day” in Nyalam, we take advantage of the interesting surroundings to walk to the top of local hills and savor the first glimpses of the Himalayan Giants.
Everest North or South?
Aarohi Holiday run expeditions to both sides of the Everest – to the North Ridge and to the South Col route. We run an expedition to the South Col because this remains the most popular choice for first-time “Everest climber,” as it gives the most assured means of reaching the top. Simply, the time spent at over 8,000 meters on the South side is less, as the summit is attempted from the South Col (just under 8,000 meters) in one push. On the North Ridge, the top camp is located at 8,400 meters, which means you will be exposed to the extremes of altitude for appreciably longer, spending at least one night there during the summit attempt. The south side has a good record of success, not least because a lot of people go that way, but also because of the momentum that these people generate, especially once the route to the top is opened by each year’s first ascentionists.
However, the North Ridge has become more accessible in recent years, and for those able to cope with the tougher physical demands imposed by the route, it gives a more cost-effective means of getting to the top. It also avoids the Hilary Step, which can become an insurmountable obstacle purely because of the number of people trying to negotiate it on summit day. However, technical interest is similar, if not more sustained on the North Ridge, as longer passages are on rock, with a series of “Steps” to be negotiated on the way to the summit.