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The Difference of Mt. Everest in Nepal and Tibet

August,28 2018 BY Kham Sang 0 COMMENTS

Mount Everest is the highest peak of the Himalaya, located on the border of China and Nepal, is the tallest Mountain Range of the world. In Tibet, Mt. Everest is known as “Qomolangma”, the third goddess; whereas in Nepal, Mt. Everest is referred to as “Sagarmatha”, the forehead of sky. Touring Mt.Everest at Everest Base Camp in both Nepal and Tibet has long been the hottest destination for global tourists. 

mount everest in tibet
Clients took photos at EBC against the backdrop of imposing Mt. Everest.

Facts about Mt. Everest in Nepal and Tibet

The north slope of Mt. Everest is situated in the Tingri County of Tibet, China, while its south slope is located in Nepal. According to the statistics published by China's State Bureau of Surveying and mapping in 2005, the actual elevation of Mount Everest is 8844.43 meters (29017.2 feet)in Tibet, but Nepal still insist on using 8848 meters (29029 feet) as its official height data. Since 2010, both countries officially recognized each other's measurement data.

location of nepal tibet and mount everestMap of Mt. Everest in Nepal and Tibet, China

Location of Mt. Everest in Nepal and Tibet

The latitude of Mt. Everest is 27 degree, 59'17" N while its longitude 86 degree, 55'31" E. Mt. Everest on China’s side, which accounts for 70% of entire mountain, is situated in Mt. Everest (or Qomolangma)National Nature Reserve in Tingri, Shigatse, Tibet. The national nature reserve covers an area of 3.381 million hectares and serves as one of the hottest tourist attractions in Tibet and an immeasurably valuable base for geological and climatic research.

The rest 30% of Mt. Everest stands in the north of Nepal, more exactly inside the Sagarmatha National Park, adjacent to Qomolangma National Nature Reserve to its north. Due to the proximity of these two National Nature Reserves in Nepal and China, the north part of Mt. Everest is universally referred to “North Slope” while south part of Mt. Everest in Nepal is taken as “South Slope”, Likewise, North Everest Base Camp (5200m) in Tibet and South Everest Base Camp (5364m) in Nepal.

Climate of Mt. Everest in Nepal and Tibet

The climate in Everest region and surrounding mountain range features changeable and unstable weather. Even in one single day, the weather is so unpredictable that dense fog, relentless gale and hail and heavy snowfall can occur at any time. Meanwhile, the climate in the south and North Slope varies a lot.

The south slope of Mount Everest is affected by the southwesterly winds from the Indian Ocean, so the rainfall is more and the air is relatively more humid and the natural band spectrum is more complex (such as leaved forest, coniferous broad-leaved mixed forest, alpine coniferous forest, alpine shrub land, alpine meadow zone, ice snow belt); while the north slope is less influenced by the ocean, so it is very dry, with very scarce plants and a little grass (and it only distributes alpine meadow zone, alpine desert zone, and ice snow belt)

mount everest climate Mt. Everest shrouded in dense fog 

In general, the best time to visit Mt. Everest in Tibet would be Apr, May, Sept, Oct, Nov, which roughly overlaps spring and autumn. From Mid-June to August, it’s the rainy season largely affected by the monsoon. If you prefer trekking, do visit Mt. Everest from Mid-September to May. For mountaineers, April to May and Sept. to Nov are the prime time for mountaineering in Everest on Tibet’s side.

While in Nepal, Octo to Nov is the best time to do trekking and mountaineering around Mt. Everest. Since climbing the south slope of Mt. Everest on Nepal’s side is less challenging, be prepared for the large crowds in Everest Region.

Everest Base Camp Tour in Nepal and Tibet

Everest Base Camp tour on both sides of majestic Himalayas has remained the most popular destination in Nepal and Tibet. Each year, numerous tourists flock to travel from Tibet to Nepal and vice versa to enjoy the jaw-dropping natural wonders of the world’s summit. Geographically, the view of Mt. Everest on Tibet’s side is superior to Nepal’s side, since there is no visual obstruction of neighboring mountains. Tourists can easily enjoy the top 5 soaring mountains ,i.e. Makalu (8463m), Lhotse(8516m), Mt. Everest (8844.43m) and Cho Oyu (8201m) andShishapangma(8012m), along imposing Himalayas at famous Gawu La Pass(5198m) in Tingri, Shigatse.

map of nepal everest 

trek routeClassic trekking route from Lukla all the way to EBC in Nepal

In Nepal, trekking is the only way to reach EBC (5364m). You embark your journey from Kathmandu. Taking flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airport, the trekking officially begins. The 12-day trekking will take you to visit the legendary Sherpa village and diverse flora and fauna in Nepal, and many awe-inspiring mountains such as Everest(8844.43m),Lhotse(8516m),Makalu (8463m),Cho Oyo(8201m,),Nuptse (7879m )Khumbila (5761m),Ama Dablam(6856m), etc.

map of lhasa to mount everest base campClassic travel route from Lhasa to EBC in Tibet

If you travel from Nepal to Tibet, you can take Kathmandu-Lhasa flight to reach Tibet. Then you move southwest from Lhasa to historic Gyantse City and Shigatse, Dingri, and finally to Everest Base Camp (5200m). Unlike Nepal, tourists in Tibet can both take tour bus and trek to reach EBC.

The 4-day trekking begins from Old Tingri to Lungthang, Lamna La and Zommug and Rongbuk Monastery and eventually ends up in EBC. In Tibet, the unique topography promises grander mountain scenery than that of Nepal’s. The highlight would be at Gawu La Pass and Rongbu Monastery and EBC itself. You can enjoy the incredible vista of Himalayan Range. Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu and Shishapangma can be seen clearly.

Note: before travelling to EBC, there are many preparationns that merit your attention. Check the travel tips for EBC tour.

Climbing Mt. Everest in Nepal and Tibet

As to Everest mountaineering, North east ridge of Mt. Everest in Tibet is far more challenging than South Col in Nepal.

Climb the Everest
An expedition team was trying to summit Mt. Everest.

For beginners, they prefer to choose the route from Nepal to the Everest for several reasons. First of all, the slope of North is steeper than the south slope. Secondly, the policy of climbing the Everest of China and Nepal is different. Thirdly, Nepal side has developed a more mature commercial mountaineering and so like. People call the two routes as the North ridge route and Southeast ridge route.

The ascent via the southeast ridge begins with a trek to Base Camp at 5,364 m on the south side of Everest in Nepal. Climbers spend a couple of weeks in Base Camp, acclimatizing to the altitude. Then they will pass the Camp II (6500 m), Camp III (7470 m), and Camp IV (7920 m). Then from Camp IV, climbers begin their summit push around midnight with hopes of reaching the summit (still another 1000 metres above) within 10 to 12 hours.

south col route in nepal to climb mount everestClimb Mt. Everest via South Col Route in Nepal

They will firstly reach “The balcony” at 8400 m, then they face a series of imposing rock steps, after that, they come to a small table- sized dome of ice and snow marks the south summit at 8750 m. Passing that, they could finally summit the Everest.

Note: As to accommodation to EBC, the Nepal gains the edge. Since the trekking and mountaineering are more developed than Tibet’s side, as you move from Phakding all the way to EBC, cozy tea house lodges can be found easily along the trekking route. Whereas in Tibet, tourists can find 3-star hotels in Shigatse City and before entering EBC, you may also stay in the basic guesthouse inside Rongubuk Monastery (8km away from EBC). At EBC, the only accommodation is the yak tents ran by locals.

The North ridge route begins from  Everest Base Camp  in Tibet. Expeditions climb to the Rongbuk Glacier, setting up base camp at 5,180 m (16,990 ft) on a gravel plain just below the glacier. Then they will arrive in the Camp II (6,100 m), Camp III (ABC—Advanced Base Camp, 6,500 m), Camp IV (7,010 m), Camp V (7,775 m), Camp VI (8,230 m), one by one.. From Camp VI, climbers make their final summit push.

climb mount everest from its north face or northeast ridge in 

tibetAscend to the summit of Mt. Everest from its North Face or Northeast Ridge in Tibet

Climbers face a treacherous traverse from the base of the First Step: ascending from 8,501 to 8,534 m (27,890 to 28,000 ft), to the crux of the climb, the Second Step: ascending from 8,577 to 8,626 m (28,140 to 28,300 ft). Once above the Second Step the inconsequential Third Step is clambered over: ascending from 8,690 to 8,800 m (28,510 to 28,870 ft). Once above these steps, the summit pyramid is climbed by a snow slope of 50 degrees, to the final summit ridge along which the top is reached.

For professional mountaineers, the northeast ridge in Tibet is the true challenge that allures a great number of adventure-minded mountaineers to reach the summit of their career as well.

Kham Sang

About the Author - Kham Sang

Kham Sang is responsible and honest with more than six years of guide experience in Tibet.She has strong interpersonal skills and can communicate effectively with tourists.

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