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'Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.'

T. S. Eliot

Everest 2006 Route and Itinerary

Rob and James are pleased to be climbing with Adventure Peaks. They have organised five Everest expeditions and summitted with Jake Meyer last year. More information is available on their website, where expedition news will also be posted.

Rob and James will in addition be personally in contact with their support team in England as often as possible using their own solar-powered satellite equipment, such that frequent news will appear on this website and on the email lists.

They will be climbing the North Ridge route, famously pioneered by Mallory and Irvine, and which was finally climbed in 1960. It is now an increasingly popular expedition route, and this year it seems to be more popular with British expeditions. The track up the Rongbuk glacier enables expeditions to drive to the first base camp, such that expedition costs are generally cheaper, and more time is usually spent acclimatising on the North side. This route also avoids the dangerous Khumbu Icefall on the South side.


Sun 2ndDepart Heathrow 10am
Time in Kathmandu for meeting the expedition group and other preparations
Wed 5thLeave Kathmandu for Tibet (crossing in vehicles over the Friendship Bridge)
Overnight in Zangmu, Tibet
Thu 6thDrive to Nylam
Fri 7thAcclimatisation day
Sat 8thDrive to Tingri
Sun 9thAcclimatisation day
Mon 10thArrive Base Camp (BC), Rongbuk GlacierBase Camp is at about 5300m on a gravel plain below the Rongbuk Glacier
Acclimatisation for five days
Sun 16thMove to intermediate campIntermediate Camp is at about 6100m, located at the base of Changste. To reach it Rob and James will climb through the medial moraine and ice towers of the East Rongbuk Glacier
Mon 17thMove to Advance Base Camp (ABC)ABC is at about 6500m, on the the rocky and broken lateral moraine of the East Rongbuk Glacier, from where the North Col is visible
Acclimatisation for two days
Wed 19thJames' 19th birthday!
Thu 20thClimb to North ColThe North Col at about 7000m is a saddle at the bottom end of the North ridge (one of the three main ridges that comes off Everest) is two to three hours further from ABC, using an ascender on fixed ropes and with crampons.
Reserve days for North Col climb for three days
Mon 24thRest day at ABC
Tue 25thOvernight at North Col
Wed 26thOvernight at North Col
Thu 27thOvernight at 7500m
Fri 28thReturn to ABC
Sat 29thReturn to BC
Rest period for seven days
Sun 7thReturn to ABC
Two days of resting and final preparations
Wed 10thMove to North Col. Rob's 19th birthday!
Thu 11thCamp 1 (7500m)The route from the North Col to Camp 1 on is on moderately steep snow and ice, often battered by severe cross-winds, and emarging onto more rocky ground in the latter stages
Fri 12thCamp 2 (7800m)Camp 2 is no one site, but extends for a few hundred metres up the North ridge. It is very windy, and with views all the way to ABC. Rob and James will start to use oxygen here.
Sat 13thCamp 3 (8200m)Camp 3 is reached via small gullies on the North ridge, more sheltered from the wind. It consists of a few small sites for high altitude tents dug from the shale debris.
Sixteen day window for summit daysFrom Camp 3 Rob and James must find a route through the gullies and cliffs of the Yellow Band, before regaining the North-East Ridge and encountering the First step
The First step at about 8500m is a horizontal and exposed traverse over a collection of ledges and steep slabs to avoid a snow crest that bars the route
Completion of this traverse will land Rob and James at the base of the Second step, a rocky vertical slab at about 8530m, now climbed using a 5m high vertical ladder left by the Chinese in 1975. On top of the second step the exposure is enormous, with the entire North Face falling 3000m away below.
The Third Step at 8650m is about 35m of blocky rock on the boulder-strewn plateau above the Second Step, and can either be traversed in a similar way or climbed by a series of chimneys
The Summit Pyramid in the last 200m of vertical height involves a 50 degree snow slope, bypassing the crowning rock tower by three rock steps before arriving on the shallower summit ridge. On the hugely exposed summit ridge there are 3000m drops either side, and Rob and James will stay on the north side to avoid the cornices overhanging the Kangshung (East) face.
Summit 8850m
Tue 30thDescent
Wed 31stTwo days clearing the mountain
Fri 2ndClear ABC
Sat 3rdReturn to BC
Sun 4thClear BC
Mon 5thDrive to Nylam
Tue 6thDrive to Kathmandu
Wed 7thRob and James fly home, arriving Heathrow 6:30pm
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