Nestled among the mighty mountains of the Nepali Himalayas, the Khumbu Icefall is a place to set your inner adventurer free. Popularly known as one of the most dangerous routes to the Everest summit, the ice-fall is situated at an astounding 18,000 feet above mean sea level!
Plenty of guided treks are available to climb the Khumbu Icefall, and to reach Camp 2 of the Everest. The nearest available airport is at Kathmandu, following which, treks from the foothills of the Himalayas lead you through lush valleys and meadows, native villages, vast farmlands and buzzing markets. The expedition begins from the Everest basecamp, situated just south of the Khumbu Icefall. It leads climbers through steep slopes, large seracs (tall towers of ice) and wide crevasses that open without any warning. The journey is extremely rough and tough, including risks of sudden avalanches and falling ice blocks. Sherpas regularly try fixing the route using ladders and ropes, but these measures are not completely foolproof, as one shift in the glacier can send everything tumbling down.
While frequent climbers can ascend the icefall within a few hours, new or inexperienced climbers could take up to 12 hours to complete the journey. If you’re up for the challenge, climbing the icefall can lead you to observing spectacular snowcapped peaks and breathtaking views of the south-western Himalayas. Whereas, for first timers, the expedition through the icefall is a tad bit extreme. The trek through Khumbu Icefall may be an adventure of a lifetime, and definitely something to boast about, but due to the increasing number of deaths at this site, you must wonder whether it is worth the risk!
THINGS TO KNOW
Nepali, Tibetan and English