Thats okay, failure is a part of mountaineering and of life. There are many small factors that can lead to a successful or failed attempt on Everest. The south side of Everest, however, has many more factors that lend themselves to failure than the North Side.
The lack of regulation on the South side means that there are an increasing number of budget operators that are allowing unqualified clients onto their teams. People who are unprepared for Everest cause traffic jams all over the mountain, move slowly in consequential terrain, and add another degree of random risk to your attempt on Everest. Imagine not being able to reach the summit because you ran out of oxygen waiting for inexperienced climbers to work their way through the Hilary step. You can have chosen a quality operator who had good prerequisite requirements and still lose out on your chance to summit because of another inexperienced team. Years of hard work, tens of thousands of dollars, and a lifetime of dreaming not realized because of someone else’s lack of preparation.
The sheer number of foreign climbing permits that are issued in Nepal means that until there is added regulation, the south side of Everest and lines in Khumbu Ice fall & at the Hilary step will always go hand in hand. The last few seasons the summit weather windows have been great in the Himalaya, but that isn’t always the case. Some seasons, there are only a few days where the conditions line up for a summit bid. This causes every team on the entire mountain to shoot for summit in the same window. There were 450+ foreign climbing permits issued in 2023, meaning that there were over 1000 people climbing on the mountain last year. Thats a lot of people that all need to climb the same route at the same time.
The North side can still be busy, but the number of permits available is regulated and you won’t see the queue’s of people above 8,000m that you see on the south side. If you’ve made an attempt on Everest in the past few years and weren’t able to reach the summit, give it another go from the north side. When it comes to Everest, you should stack the cards in your favor. The best way to do that is to climb it from the north side.
We’re incredibly excited to return to the north side of Everest in 2024 for the first time since 2019. Our team is starting to shape up, don’t miss your chance at climbing Everest from its safer, better side.