Everest South Side
This is the most popular route for those wishing to summit Everest – something that is regarded as one of the greatest achievement in mountaineering around the world.
Duration65 Days Door to Door
Activity Level Extreme
Elevation8848m | 29,028 ft.
This is the most popular route for those wishing to summit Everest, with a beautiful trek en route to Base Camp, easy access to villages, helicopter rescue from as high as Camp 2, and slightly warmer weather.
That being said, following this route necessitates navigating the Khumbu Icefall, as well as crowds on summit night. But you will be following in the footsteps of mountaineering giants – Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmond Hillary – which alone makes it worth considering.
This is the most popular route for those wishing to summit Everest – something that is regarded as one of the greatest achievement in mountaineering. The weather tends to be more forgiving, there is less time spent over 8000m than on the North Side route, and as a result, the route has a higher percentage of successful summit attempts.
The South Side route is more direct than it’s North Side counterpart – the downside is that it is also steeper! Helicopter rescue is available up to Camp 2, making this a popular choice for those attempting to summit for the first time.
This trip requires technical mountain experience (crampons, ice axe, abseiling), superb fitness and high levels of mental tenacity. The fact that it takes over 60 days to complete means that you will need to have emotional strength to be able to cope with being away from family and your day-to-day comfort levels.
We insist on a 1:1 Sherpa-to-climber ratio on summit day and do everything in our power to make your time on the mountain as safe and enjoyable as possible (including the provision of surprisingly good food!)
- All logistics up to the summit and back
- Flights to and from Lukla
- Trekking costs into and out of Base Camp
- 4 hotel nights in Kathmandu
- Customs clearances as required
- Everest climbing permit
- Liaison Officer
- Khumbu Icefall charges
- Route fixing charges
- Sirdar climbing Sherpa
- Personal climbing Sherpa
- Unlimited O2 per climber
- Mask and regulator set
- Sufficient O2 for each of the climbing Sherpas
- Porters and yaks for load carrying to Base Camp
- Excess baggage on the domestic flight to Lukla
- Experienced cooks and kitchen boys
- High quality single tent in Base Camp with mattress
- High quality dining tent in Base Camp with heating and carpeting
- All kitchen and camping gear above Base Camp
- Comfortable toilet facilities in Base Camp
- Shower facilities in Base Camp
- High quality high altitude tents above Base Camp
- All group climbing gear
- A permanent Advanced Base Camp with kitchen staff and dining tent
- Good quality food in Base Camp and Advanced Base Camp
- Hot drinks and other beverages available all day
- Imported high altitude freeze dried food for camps above Advanced Base Camp
- Gas and burners for the camps above Advanced Base Camp
- Walkie-talkie set for each climber with a radio base station and all accessories
- Satellite phone for emergency purposes
- Solar panels and generator in Base Camp for recharging batteries
- Internet facilities
- Gamow bag in Base Camp for emergency purposes
- Oxygen with mask and regulator in Base Camp for medical purposes
- Insurance for all local staff
- All transport to and from airports
- Welcome dinner and celebration meal at the end
- Half day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
- International travel
- All personal climbing gear
- Emergency evacuation
- Personal expenses
- Tips and summit bonus. (Please check with the office regarding our recommended gratuity.)
- Personal medical expenses, medical and evacuation insurance
Arrive in Kathmandu
You’ll be met at Kathmandu’s Tribubhan Airport by an Adventures Global representative and transferred to our charming hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. After a short briefing you can explore this mystical city with its multitude of trekking and souvenir shops, internet cafes, hotels, restaurants and bars, bakeries, moneychangers, vegetable and spice markets, temples and stupas. Wander through the maze of narrow, cobbled streets filled with vendors, touts, eccentrically clad backpackers and ubiquitous rickshaws with their persistent drivers offering you their services.
This morning we will enjoy a half-day tour of Kathmandu, visiting some wonderful cultural sights in the company of a knowledgeable local guide.
Climb the many steps to Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple), with its commanding views of Kathmandu (at 1420 m), its whitewashed stupas and its unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism.
We then move on to the striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa that attracts pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. In the midst of traditional gompas, and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, Boudhanath attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations of the stupa.
We then visit the Hindu Pashupatinath and its sacred temple complex on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating – when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees.
In the afternoon, we will do a gear check to ensure that you have all the necessary items for the trek. You will have the opportunity to do some last minute shopping in Thamel should you need to replace or augment any gear.
Fly to Lukla & Trek to Phakding (2800m)
We fly on a twin-engine Otter to the Himalayan foothills where we begin our trek into the Khumbu region. The views from the plane are amazing, providing dramatic vistas of terraced hills and the distant Himalayan giants.
After landing in the village of Lukla (2800m), we meet the rest of our staff and porters and trek for about three hours to Phakding.
Trekking Time: 3 hours
Overnight: Sunrise Lodge
Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m)
We continue trekking along the banks of the Dudh Kosi, crossing this majestic river many times on exciting suspension bridges laden with prayer flags. After entering Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo, the trail climbs steeply with breathtaking views to Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the Khumbu region.
Namche Bazaar is a colourful panoply of lodges, houses and restaurants and is nestled in a u-shaped bowl amphitheatre surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides and opening out to the Bhote Khosi on the other. Namche Bazaar is a prosperous trading town and many Tibetans cross the nearby border via the Nangpa La to trade their wares.
Trekking Time: 5 hours
Overnight: Kyamde Base Lodge.
Today is a rest and acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar.
Optional activities include an early hike above town, before the clouds move in, rewarding trekkers with a spectacular Himalayan sunrise and views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse (the 4th highest peak in the world), and the beautiful Ama Dablam.
Visit the Sherpa Museum with all kinds of information regarding the history of the Himalayas, its geography, culture, mountaineering history and information of flora and fauna of this region.
Acclimatization is important before proceeding higher and taking a day hike to Khunde or Khumjung will be beneficial in this regard. Explore the wonderful and interesting shops and vendors, or indulge in the delights of the local bakeries.
Overnight: Kyamde Base Lodge.
Trek to Tengboche (3870m)
The trek continues along the rushing glacial waters of the Dudh Kosi with magnificent views of the mountains. We pass through Sanasa, which is inhabited primarily by Tibetans, after which the trail drops to Phunki Thanga (3250m).
It’s a 2-hour climb from here to Tengboche, through forests and around mani stones up to the saddle where the monastery sits, in a clearing surrounded by dwarf firs and rhododendrons. Views from here of the Himalayan giants are deemed to be the most magnificent in the world.
Inside the monastery are incredibly ornate wall hangings, a 6m sculpture of Buddha, and the musical instruments and robes of the Lamas. If our group is fortunate, we will see the resident Lama perform a ceremony and hear the mystical Buddhist chanting and music.
Trekking Time: 6 hours
Overnight: Gompa Lodge
Trek to Dingboche (4410m)
It is a short, steep and muddy descent through a forest of birches, conifers and rhododendrons to Debuche. Look out for Nepal’s national bird, the impeyan pheasant. After crossing the Imja Khola on a swaying suspension bridge high above a spot where the river rushes through a narrow cleft, the trail climbs past some magnificently carved mani stones to Pangboche at 3860m.
Beyond Pangboche, the route enters alpine meadows above the tree line. The vegetation is predominantly scrub juniper and tundra. Our uphill trek continues, taking us to the quaint traditional Sherpa village of Dingboche with its exquisite views of Lhotse, Island Peak, and Ama Dablam (“Mother’s Charm Box”).
Dingboche is a beautiful patchwork of fields enclosed by stone walls protecting the crops of barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold wind and grazing animals.
Trekking Time: 6 hours
Overnight: Everest Resort
Today is an important acclimatization day, prior to venturing into the upper reaches of the Khumbu valley. The day can be spent visiting the monastery in Dingboche, famous for its Yeti scalp and hand, and exploring the Imja Khola. There are also some breathtaking views of the north face of Ama Dablam and the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge as you explore this beautiful valley that leads up to Island Peak.
Today’s walk is short allowing for an opportunity to relax in the afternoon and either do some laundry, reading, writing, photography etc. or just laze in the sun.
Overnight: Everest Resort.
Trek to Lobuche (4930m)
From Dingboche, the trail traverses through farmlands and meadows before continuing along the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass through the small village of Duglha (4620m), before climbing up to a viewpoint with stone memorials for climbers who have perished on nearby summits. The trail drops a bit and follows the western side of the valley to Lobuche. The sunset on Nuptse, seen from Lobuche, is a memorable sight.
Trekking Time: 6 hours
Overnight: Alpine Lodge.
Trek to Gorak Shep (5160m)
The trail initially follows the western side of the broad Khumbu Valley and ascends gently through meadows beside the glacial moraine. The ascent becomes steeper and rougher and the trail is constantly changing.
En-route to Gorak Shep, the conical peak of Pumori comes into view – on its lower slopes, a ridge extending to the south terminates in a small peak. This peak is called Kala Pattar (meaning ‘black rock’) and at 5545m high provides the best vantage point for viewing Mt Everest.
The trail makes a short descent onto the sandy, flat expanse of Gorak Shep.
Trekking Time: 3 hours
Overnight: Buddha Lodge.
Trek to EBC (5310m)
Today we also continue our trek to Everest Base Camp, located at the foot of the Khumbu icefall. The route follows the Khumbu Glacier, sometimes on the moraine and sometimes on the glacier itself.
Base Camp is spread over a wide area and resembles a tented town with expeditions from all over the world vying for a favourable location and ensconcing themselves as comfortably as possible.
Trekking Time: 4 hours
Expedition preparation in Base Camp.
Day 13 - 58
Climbing period on Everest.
Climbing period on Everest.
Trek to Pheriche
Overnight: Local lodge
Trek to Tengboche
Overnight: Local lodge
Trek to Monjo
Overnight: Local lodge
Trek to Lukla
Overnight: Local lodge
Fly to Kathmandu
Transfer to the hotel and relax.
A free day catching up on any sights we missed during our first few days in Kathmandu, shopping, lounging at the pool, strolling to Durbar Square or perhaps a trip to the medieval city of Patan.
Tonight we will enjoy a final Celebration Dinner!
Sadly, we leave the kingdom of Nepal behind, as we make our way home after a life-changing experience.
The emphasis on equipment necessary for mountain travel follows two simple tenets: lightweight and functional. The items you choose to take should be lightweight, dependable, and adaptable to a variety of extreme conditions. The quality of the equipment you choose has a lot to do with how warm, dry, and safe you will remain, so be critical of quality and the proper fit of clothing. Comfort lends itself to a more enjoyable experience!
The layering system outlined below is usually sufficient for most people, but if you tend to be colder, bring one extra medium layer (such as a vest), which will be ideal for extra warmth around camp. When making the final decision as to what goes into your pack, remember that it’s a fine art of taking just enough clothes and accessories to do the job, while not over-burdening yourself with items you probably will not use.
Cotton clothing must be avoided because it dries very slowly and is a poor insulator when wet. Instead, choose wool or synthetic fabrics that “wick” the sweat and moisture away from your skin to keep you much warmer.
- Jumar – one right or left
- Climbing Harness
- Ice axe with leash
- Anti-balling plates
- Crampon rubber protectors
- Walking sticks
- Prussic loops
- 3 Screwgate Carabiners
- 3 Regular Carabiners
- 3 Slings x3
- Figure of 8 / rappel device
- Double-layered boots – Millets / La Sportiva
- Trekking boots
- Running shoes
- Thongs / Sandals
- Spare boot laces for trekking boots
- 4 Expedition socks
- 4 Trekking socks
- 4 Liner socks
- Toe warmers
- Down jacket
- Gortex longs
- Gortex shell
- 2 Trekking pants
- 3 Thermal underwear – tops & bottoms
- Normal underwear
- 3 Long-sleeved trekking shirts
- Thermal suit – optional
- 3 Short-sleeved technical shirts
- Soft shell jacket
- Hard shell jacket
- 2 Polartec longs
- 2 Polartec long-sleeved tops
- 2 Mitts
- 2 Polartec gloves
- 2 Silk glove liners
- Hand warmers
- Balaclava – heavyweight
- Balaclava – lightweight
- Neoprene facemask – optional
- Woollen hat / beanie
- Woollen scarf
- 2 Head torches – plus spare batteries
- Sun hat
- Goggles – 100% UV & IR
- Sunglasses – with side covers
- Expedition backpack – 80 litre
- Trekking backpack – 50 litre
- Sleeping bag – minus 40˚C
- Sleeping bag – minus 15˚C
- 2 Sleeping bag liners
- 3 Compression bags
- Self-inflatable mattress
- Closed cell foam pad
- Pillow / cushion
- 2 Thermos flask
- Thermos mug
- Knife, fork, spoon
- Nalgene bowl
- Leatherman multi-tool
- 2 Water bottles with insulation
- 2 Large karrimor plastic bags
- 4 Medium karrimor plastic bags
- Pee bottle / funnel
- Duct tape
- Baby wipes
- 10 Zip-lock bags
- Sunscreen – maximum SPF
- Protective cream for lips – maximum SPF
- Ear plugs
- Hand sanitizer
- 3 Large waterproof duffel bags
- Shorts & t-shirts
- Mobile phone & charger
- Passport & travel documents
- 8 Passport photos for visas
- Certified copies of all travel documentation
- Currency / credit cards
- Pens & pencils
- Journal (optional)
- Reading glasses (optional)
- Camera equipment
- Battery chargers
- International adaptors
- Binoculars (optional)
- Playing cards (optional)
- Clean clothes for travelling home
- Personal First Aid Kit
- Medication / Prescriptions
- Energy drinks
Tourist entry visas can be obtained at Tribuvhan International Airport on your arrival in Kathmandu for US$100. You need 2 colour photos for your entry visa (bring 5 in total as you will need additional colour photos for trekking permits etc.) You will notice a higher visa fee due to the longer length of stay in Nepal.
The following vaccinations are suggested:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Tetanus-Diphtheria- Revaccination recommended every 10 years
This training information is intended as a guideline and should be used as such. If you are unsure about anything, please chat to us!
Most importantly, before you embark on any exercise program, please consult your doctor or exercise physiologist to make sure that you are ready for the increased workload.
A focused training program should begin 3 – 4 months before the trip, but working on your base fitness before that is important as it lays a good foundation for the harder work that will follow.
Climbing big mountains requires cardiovascular endurance (via aerobic training), strength endurance (through strength conditioning) and climbing-specific training (i.e. hiking with a pack).
Being in strong physical shape is one of the most important aspects for a successful trek. You should be planning to progressively increase your aerobic training and speed of weekly training hikes to give you climbing-specific conditioning that cannot be matched by any other sort of training.
Suggested activities include running, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, walking on an inclined treadmill, doing stair stepping or stepmill training, trail running, walking up and down hills, or participating in step aerobic classes.
When first beginning a cardiovascular training program, begin with three workouts (i.e. Monday, Wednesday and Friday) of 30 minutes of sustained activity at a moderate intensity, and build up to 4-5 aerobic sessions of sustained effort for at least 45 – 60 minutes (taking Wednesday and Sunday as rest days, for example).
Be sure to include a 5-10 minute gentle warm-up before working at your target heart rate for the day. For most workouts, choose a level of exertion that allows you to connect a few words together in a phrase, but leaves you feeling comfortably tired at the end of the workout.
Remember to cool down with 5-10 minutes of appropriate stretching of the muscles you used most in your activity, including lower back, calves, hamstrings, hips and quadriceps.
Training with weights, backpacks and gym machines will help you build overall strength, particularly in the lower back, abdominals, upper back, shoulders and legs. Developing strength in your upper back and shoulders will help with carrying a pack and using trekking poles.
The calves, hips, quads, hamstrings and glutes are all involved in ascending and descending steep sections and scree slopes, which will be encountered on Everest.
Before embarking on any weight training, please consult with a qualified gym instructor so that you are well briefed in terms of using the equipment. Most important in strength training is to be sure that you maintain proper form at all times in order to prevent injury or strain.
This involves hiking steep outdoor trails, going up and down stairs or training on an inclined treadmill. In the months leading up to the expedition, it is important to do some long walks in the mountains. Remember that out summit push is likely to be 15 – 18 hours long, involving steep ascents and descents. On our summit push, we will ascend about 900 vertical metres and descend about 900 vertical metres on the same day!
Remember: All of your training is geared towards giving you the strength and endurance to stand on the roof of the world and successfully get back down again.
The entire expedition takes six to nine weeks, door to door. The first week involves trekking from Lukla airport to Everest Base Camp. Thereafter, you will spend approximately four weeks going up and down the mountain to establish camps with food, fuel and oxygen. Many of the climbs will be in order to acclimatize to the high altitude – this is a process that cannot be rushed. The summit push takes about one week, before you head back to Base Camp, trek to Lukla, fly to Kathmandu and return home.