Team EVEREST 2019: The Khumbu Icefall

Published Monday, 22nd April 2019

Immediately following the Puja Ceremony the team prepared their kit for a 4 hour trek through the Khumbu Icefall.

The icefall is famous for the use of ladders to cross open crevasses and vertical ice and, the route through it, is maintained by a small team of Sherpas aptly called the 'Icefall Doctors'.

As with all glaciers, the Khumbu Icefall can move up to several feet a day, creating the deep crevasses and towering ice seracs that the team will have to navigate their way through to reach Camp 1.

It was an opportunity for everyone to sharpen their skills in order to prevent spending more time than necessary in this unstable, and constantly changing, environment.

The team climbed around 200m, taking them to an altitude close to 5600m (18370 ft)

It was tough going, every step at this altitude leaves the heart pounding and lungs begging for more air!

The heat of the mid-day sun was also intensified by the deep white snow and beautiful blue ice.

The team were all in really high spirits as they headed back towards Base Camp where they enjoyed a hearty lunch and afternoon of rest and recovery.

The next time Team Everest experience the Khumbu Icefall will potentially be in the dark when they attempt their first rotation.


"I was fortunate enough to accompany the guys through the icefall as far as I could possibly go without the need to rope-up and wear crampons. It was really tough-going but the breathtaking beauty of the scenery definitely rewards you for all the effort.

My body felt strong but the lack of oxygen is not a nice feeling... the sense of not being able to breathe can be overwhelming at times!

The guys asked me if I was disappointed that I couldn't go higher with them, my immediate response was a wide-eyed "NO!"

I had been more than content to sit and wait for them, snapping away on my camera and watching them climb higher!

I asked them what makes them want to put their bodies through so much hardship and without missing a heartbeat Scott replied: "it's all about having a goal to focus on, and the epic sense of achievement afterwards" ... and I completely get that!

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