Mount Everest isn’t somewhere we’ve ever been near, but we’ve got a vague idea of how to get up the thing. All you need is some stiff upper lip stoic British reserve, a bottle of whiskey, a bobble hat or two, a bar of Kendal Mint Cake, and some half decent slippers. Additionally, with our handy amateur guide to mountaineering, you’ll scale the summit and be back down again before you can say, “Holy ****, my feet have frostbite!”.
Of course, Everest isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a tall mountain with a few steep, if not vertical, inclines and lots of chilly weather. This does mean a tent will be necessary, along with a sleeping bag, plus if you like creature comforts such as free WiFi access and Starbucks, you’re going to be left disappointed. On the plus side, at the summit you’ll get the world’s best iPhone signal! Onwards, then, to discover what awaits you, intrepid explorer.
With a Western mountain climbing agency, it’ll cost you about $45,000 (£33,000) to scale Everest. Obviously, as it’s just so bloody essential you climb this thing for no reason, you should probably sell your home and any other valuables in order to facilitate your stroll in the mountainous region. Cars, jewellery, wedding ring, family heirlooms etc., get them sold on eBay as you’re probably gonna die anyway, so why not make the most of the trip, eh?
For your money you’ll be “guaranteed” the peak (unless you die hideously beforehand), which you can add to your CV and boast about to your friends back home. With this conquest on your CV (or résumé, if you will), you’ll be the talk of the town and businesses such as Apple, Google, and Coca-Cola will flock to you in order to give you a job. Awesome! So, how do you secure this life changing outcome? Start with the basics!
Everest is about 29,000 feet tall, which is roughly 5.5 miles, which you could usually walk in about four hours (if you get a move on). However, it’ll take a bit longer than four hours to get up Everest due to a mixture of snow, ice, gusts of wind averaging over five mph, and mortifying vertical drops that would result in bone crunching death.
This means you need some half decent equipment to get up, and back down, the thing in one piece. You’ll need some crampons (that’s crampons, not tampons), bobble hats (more on this below), some sort of axe, a chainsaw, one medium sized tent, a sleeping bag without any holes in it, some whipped cream (explained in Frostbite below) and some comedic oversized slippers for you and your beleaguered team to joke about in the evenings (to drown out the screams of anyone with a shattered limb).
You can experiment, of course, as some overly privileged peo… sorry, mountaineers like to take an array of items. Usually, oxygen cylinders are essential in order to avoid certain death. Take at least two of those, but feel free to just dump them on the mountain when you’re done (i.e. when you survive your ordeal, or topple over dead). After all, it’s only Everest – what’s wrong with turning it into the world’s tallest rubbish tip?!
Bobble hats are the key to success on Mount Everest. We recommend taking a second rucksack crammed full of them in order to fight off the chill. That extra weight will be totally worth it if/when one of your fellow climbers is borderline unconscious after a 50 ft plunge onto some jagged rocks. Whip out a bobble hat and they’ll smile happily through the agony, helped along enormously as a shot of morphine surges through their system.
If you’re unsure what a bobble hat is, incidentally, you can find one pictured above. They’re available from most half decent shops at a half decent price. If you fancy something a bit more extravagant for Everest, then a balaclava would be ideal – we recommend our flamboyant balaclava baklava to positively radiate on the world’s tallest catwalk.
In the event of frostbite, ensure you have your pre-packed whipped cream handy. It’s best to think of this hideous occurrence as if your limb is ready to be frosted with icing (i.e. like cakes are). Thusly, when you’re informed with the terrible news one of your big toes is doomed, out comes the whipped cream and, all of a sudden, your toe will be as pretty as a French fancy!
Naturally, you’ll still have to lop the thing off with a meat cleaver later on, but you’ll probably be hallucinating wildly due to dehydration by that point anyway. In other words, you’ll have no idea what’s going on and you’ll probably think it’s a great idea to get rid of all your big toes. They’re rubbish anyway.
Reaching the Summit
The bit at the top, in layperson speak, is what you’re aiming for. To be ironic (i.e. if you’re a Hipster), you could climb 99.9% of Everest and then return to basecamp even after being within sight of the peak, saying: “It would be too postmodern of me to make it all the way. I don’t sabotage my own personal values, except with tautological diction!” etc.
For non-Hipsters, making it the final 0.1% is why you’re there in the first place, so it’s sort of encouraged. Upon reaching the summit, it’s up to you how you celebrate. Cheering loudly and taking a picture of your half frozen face is traditional, but you may also want to:
- Strip naked and do a funny dance
- Crack open a bottle of bubbly and get wasted
- Call your mother/wife/husband/bestie and explain to them where you are and, yes, you’ll be back in time for tea
- Go to the toilet (you’ll probably be bursting by that point)
- Ring for a helicopter (if you can’t be bothered walking all the way back down)
- Whip out your iPhone and surf some pornography (or just settle for a game of Angry Birds)
- Exclaim “This is boring!” and walk off
Congratulations, though, you’ve made it to the top! All the time and money was totally worth it and you’ve entered the annals of history. Just be careful on the way back down not to fall into an icy ravine, otherwise it’ll all have been a bit of a wasted trip.
As you may have gathered from reading this post, scaling Mount Everest carries with it a certain danger factor. Indeed, since Mount Everest was launched as a theme park ride over 100 years ago, hundreds of people have succumbed to death on its icy slopes. The most common cause of death on Everest is death by Everest, which is caused by attempting to climb Mount Everest.
Should you still be determined in your goal to scale this beautiful peak, remember to print off a copy of this guide before setting off on your journey. Should you then find yourself dangling from your safety harness over a 500ft drop, please refer to this guide in order to remember you’ll need to don a bobble hat, which may or may not assist your survival in the event the rope gets cut and you take a bit of tumble. Enjoy your trip!