Not me. I mean, I’d love to. I want to. I just don’t think I would be capable. Of course I say this six months before my first alpine climb, but I simply don’t see myself ever reaching the point of being skilled and trained enough to conquer Everest.
That being said, it being the highest mountain in the world (above sea level…see my previous post), I am fascinated by Everest. Luckily much of the world is as well, both the climbing world and the non-climbing world. With that, where does one start with Everest? First, I would start with this absolutely stellar post on Alan Arnette’s blog: Everest 2012: The Summit Routes. Alan goes into exqusite detail on the mountain itself, the different routes to tackle it, the different camps, and even more interestingly, the different stats for the companies that guide up the mountain. This is calculated by how many people reach the summit, i.e. company X leads 10 expeditions in one season up Everest, and each expedition has 10 people. If all ten reach the summit, then they have a 100% success rate. Each guide service does things a little different, so how they approach their work has a direct effect on the summit rate. Of course, this isn’t a scientific study- every climber is different and there are some variables that the guide service can’t control. Nonetheless, here is the fruit of Alan’s research showing a few of the major guide services and their numbers for 2011:
International Mountain Guides (IMG) 2011: 17 of 28 clients/guides reached summit. 288 total summits (clients, Sherpas, guides) since 1991. 66% from 2006
Himalayan Experience (Himex) 2011: 8 of 12 clients summited, 3 of 4 guides and 15 of 13 Sherpas (2 with multiple summits). 338 total summits (clients, Sherpas, guides) since 1994, 0 – 96% success
Listed only summits from beginning, not % success rate (I found total 2011 clients embedded on their site)
Adventure Consultants 2011: 6 of 6 clients, 2 guides, 14 Sherpas. 203 total summits (clients, Sherpas, guides) since 1990
Alpine Ascents International 2011: 7 of 7 clients, 2 guides, 6 Sherpas. 213 total summits (clients, Sherpas, guides) since 1992.
Listed summits in Blogs, not showing overall success rate over time (I found total 2011 clients embedded on their site):
Peak Freaks 2011: 3 of 13 clients, 1 of 2 guide, 7 Sherpas.
Jagged Globe:2011: 1o of 10 clients, 2 guides, 9 Sherpas
Mountain Trip: 2011: 5 of 5 clients, 3 guides, unknown number of Sherpas
The climbing season starts around April- so just a few months away. It will be fun to watch the different teams, climbers, and charity climbs make their way to base camp at 17,000ft or so (depending on which route they take), and then make their way through the intricate system of camps up the mountain, with the ultimate goal of reaching the 29,035ft summit. According to Ms. Elizabeth Hawley, 3,448 individuals have reached the summit. I’m pretty sure I will never be do it…though it’s fun to imagine it.