There are two main “classical” routes on Everest: Southeast Ridge that is approached via Nepal, and the Northeast Ridge via Tibet. Short statistics about these two routes are:

ImageSoutheast Ridge:
  • First Ascent: 29 May 1953 - Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (New Zealand) and Tenzing Norgay (Indıa)
  • Ascents:1140
  • Deaths: 80
  • Death rate: 7%

Northeast Ridge:
  • First Ascent: 25 May 1960 - Wang Fu-chou (China), Chu Yin-hua (China) and Gongbu (Tibet)
  • Ascents: 655
  • Deaths: 62
  • Death rate: 9%

The most dangerous part of the Southeast Ridge is Khumbu İcefall. In the remaining part of the climb, Lhotse face constitutes another risk on the route.

Along the North side of Everest, North Col hold the highest risk in terms of avalanches. Another risk on this route is to fall from the ridge due to strong winds and altitude affect as it might have happened to Mallory and Irvine.

Northeast Ridge

It was the British reconnaissance expedition of 1921 that determined the only feasible route to the summit was via the North Col to the Northeast Ridge. Prior to 1938, this route was made famous by seven unsuccessful British attempts, but it was during the 1924 expedition that George Leigh Mallory and his young climbing partner Andrew Irvine would disappear into the history books. It would be another 40 years before a very large Chinese team successfully climbed this route in 1960. And it wasn’t until the 1990s that this route became more popular with the commercial expeditions. Even to this day the North Col Route sees far less climbers than the traditional Southeast Ridge Route that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbed in 1953.
The ascent via the southeast ridge begins with a trek to Base Camp at 5,380 m on the south side of Everest in Nepal. Expeditions usually fly into Lukla (2,860m) from Kathmandu and then hike to Base Camp, which usually takes six to eight days, allowing for proper altitude acclimatization in order to prevent altitude sickness. Climbing equipment and supplies are carried by yaks, dzopkyos and porters to Base Camp on the Khumbu Glacier. When Hillary and Tenzing climbed Everest in 1953, they started from Jiri which, nowadays, takes five to eight days to reach Lukla.

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