If you are reading this post, then you’re interested in learning what it takes to get to the base of Mt. Everest or maybe even a climb up the Khumbu Icefall to higher camps.
I’d like to start by saying that I’m not a doctor, like Dr. Stephen Simko, who could tell you if I was making medically inaccurate statements. However, I will make some generalizations below.
In general, you don’t have to be in amazing physical condition to make it to Everest Base Camp. You do have to be medically sound, i.e. no major lung diseases, no broken bones, etc. You have to be able to walk a few hours a day, handle some steep hills for short distances, and able to handle hot and cold climates. Otherwise, don’t try the trip.
For a normal person, training may include some jogging for half an hour, hiking on hills with a pack, if you’re really motivated then maybe some interval training. Really anything to build some muscle and your endurance. These will be the most important things to consider when getting ready.
If you plan to go higher than EBC, I recommend that you do much more. I would plan on a muscle and cardio plan that will train your legs and heart for the challenge of low oxygen environments. A good program for this climb would not be much different than P90X (or P90X2), Crossfit, etc. You’ll want to make sure you work and build all your muscles to a good strength, shed some weight, and work cardio into the routine. Using multiple muscle groups per exercise is your best training program.
Because I plan to lose 75 lbs in training, I am planning on P90X and some weights/cardio time at a gym. I know for many of you this would be too much of a time commitment, but remember I’m aiming to attempt Camp 3, which is 23,500 ft (7163m) above sea level. To make it from 17,500 ft (approx. 5400m) up to 23,500 requires an effort more than I can describe easily.
For many of you, nothing will have to change to enjoy your trip. For others, you’ll have to put in some work, but overall anyone can do it. Look at the kinds of people who have summited. Blind, asthmatics, etc. have all summited. We’re only going to base camp! Just remember, the better shape you can be in for the trip, the more you can enjoy what is around you and less energy will be focused on getting from point to point.
Before you go, see the Youtube video below for a video showing the acclimatization routine for high altitude climbs up Everest. Pretty amazing how well the body adapts given the strenuous nature of the climb.
Time to get off the computer and start moving!
In case you missed the link, we’re planning a trip to Everest. Wanna come?
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