What it's really like to climb Everest, according to 10 people who've done it
Courtesy of Shaunna Burke
- Only 5,000 people have summited Mount Everest since the first climbers made it to the top in 1953.
- The climb generally follows months of preparation, time spent acclimatizing to the low-oxygen environment at high altitudes, and many shorter treks up the mountain from Base Camp.
- This year at least 11 people died trying to reach the summit. Climbers face especially dangerous conditions in the "death zone" above 26,000 feet.
- Here's what climbing Everest is really like, according to 10 people who've done it.
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Reaching the top of Mount Everest - the highest point on the planet at 29,028 feet - is a feat only about 5,000 people have accomplished. The trek to the summit takes months of physical preparation and weeks of acclimatization to get climbers used to the mountain's oxygen-starved altitudes.
Last month, tragedy struck on the peak. At least 11 people died, 10 of whom were on their way down from the summit. Some expedition companies and officials blamed lines near the summit, which caused climbers to spend more time in the mountain's "death zone": altitudes above 26,000 feet, where the body cannot get enough oxygen. But other experienced climbers said most problems arise when climbers don't leave themselves enough energy to get back down the mountain.
"There seems to be a disaster mystique around Everest that seems to only serve to heighten the allure of the place," filmmaker and director Jennifer Peedom, who has climbed Everest four times, previously told Business Insider.
Here's what it's like to climb the world's highest peak, according to 10 people who've experienced Everest.