The crown jewel of any climbing career, Everest is a transformative peak that is guaranteed to not just challenge you, but to change you.
- Discover what you are truly capable of
- Stand on the highest point of our planet
- Be humbled climbing amongst the giants of the Himalaya
- Enjoy lifelong friendships with your Sherpa and fellow climbers alike
- Climb through the famous and rugged Khumbu icefall
- See the sunrise over the Himalaya from the highest point on earth!
- High degree of autonomy and independence
- Highly affordable
- Recognises past skillset and qualifications as a mountaineer
- Gives access to CTSS logistics but maintains independence as a climber
- Personal Sherpa assistance only above Camp 2 on the summit bid
- No Professional Guidance and therefore higher risk
- Less comradery as climbing mostly alone
- Lack of Everest specific knowledge (unless you have climbed high on Everest previously)
- Possible language/cultural barriers
- Personal Sherpa have less qualification than IFMGA, Western Guide or Private Guides
- No refresher training
The Sherpa Supported Climb is designed for the highly experienced mountaineer. These are climbers who are qualified to, and prefer, climbing autonomously but are looking for logistical support and expedition oversight.
This option will see you climbing fully independently until the summit rotation when you will be partnered with a personal Sherpa above Camp 2.
Throughout the expedition, you will have full access to CTSS logistics, the support of our Everest Expedition Leader in advising you, support from our Sherpa team throughout the expedition to assist you with your load carries.
This is a sample itinerary only. Your actual daily schedule will be strategically planned to account for the best weather and summit windows etc. We begin our expedition in Kathmandu, Nepal, where we obtain our climbing permits before flying to Lukla in the Khumbu Valley to trek to Everest base camp. Our climb ends in Kathmandu. We suggest you book a flexible return airfare.
- Apr 3 Team Arrives
- Apr 4 KTM Day
- Apr 5 Fly to Lukla/Phakding
- Apr 6 Trek to Namche
- Apr 7 Rest
- Apr 8 Trek to Tengboche
- Apr 9 Rest
- Apr 10 Trek to Pheriche
- Apr 11 Rest
- Apr 12 Trek to Lobuche base camp
- Apr 13 Trek to Lobuche High Camp
- Apr 14 Move to Lobuche High Camp
- Apr 15 Acclimatize
- Apr 16 Summit and descend Lobuche BC
- Apr 17 Trek to EBC
- Apr 18 Rest
- Apr 19 Rest
- Apr 20 Train/acclimatise
- Apr 21 Rest/Pack for first rotation
- Apr 22 Climb to C1
- Apr 23 Climb towards C2 rturn to C1
- Apr 24 Descend to base camp
- Apr 25 Rest
- Apr 26 Hike to Pumori
- Apr 27 Rest
- Apr 28 Climb to C1
- Apr 29 Climb to C2
- Apr 30 Climb above C2
- May 1 Climb to C3 and descend to C2
- May 2 Descend to base camp
- May 3 Rest
- May 4 Rest
- May 5 Rest
- May 6 Rest
- May 7 To C1
- May 8 To C2
- May 9 To C3
- May 10 To C4
- May 11 Summit and descend to C2
- May 12 Descend to base camp
- May 13 Rest
- May 14 Pack up base camp
- May 15 Trek to Pheriche
- May 16 Trek to Namche
- May 17 Trek to Lukla
- May 18 Fly to KTM
- May 19 Fly Home
- May 20 Contingency
- May 21 Contingency
- May 22 Contingency
- May 23 Contingency
- May 24 Contingency
- May 25 Contingency
- May 26 Contingency
- May 27 Contingency
- May 28 Contingency
- May 29 Contingency
- May 30 Contingency
- Leadership, strategy, climbing oversight by Everest Expedition Leader including full support for a summit attempt
- A personal climbing Sherpa above Camp 2 on the summit bid
- Climbing Sherpa to assist with carrying personal gear
- Full expedition logistics, weather forecasts, etc
- Everest climbing permit
- Domestic flights to and from Lukla
- In country transport associated with the program itinerary
- Airport transfers
- Accommodation in Nepal including hotels and teahouses
- Welcome dinner & meals throughout the expedition
- Oxygen system and oxygen
- Lobuche East peak training and acclimatization climb
- CTSS Base Camp setup and tent accommodation
- Access to medical and communications gear
- High mountain camps (Camp 1, Camp 2, Camp 3, Camp 4)
- On mountain meals
- International flights to Kathmandu, Nepal
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Associated travel expenses including: Visa, Passport, Reciprocity Fees, Vaccination Charges, Excess Baggage
- Optional excursions not included in the itinerary or additional days before or after the scheduled program
- Personal climbing equipment, clothing, toiletries etc Personal sundries including but not limited to; non-team meals while in Kathmandu, personal snacks, specialized high altitude climbing food, alcoholic beverages, laundry services, medical expenses, gratuities, 3rd party internet, email or phone charges, bottled water, specialty coffees
- Sherpa tip pool
- Guide tip (customary but optional)
- Costs incurred as a result of events beyond the control of CTSS above and beyond the normal expedition costs
- Required trip insurance policy (for trip cancellation, interruption, rescue & evacuation, medical treatment, repatriation, etc.)
- Unused Contingency Days at the end of your program: CTSS covers one night in the hotel in Kathmandu on your return. If you decide to stay longer in Kathmandu beyond this night, those costs are your responsibility. We highly recommend that while you should plan to be away from home for the entire duration of the expedition including contingencies days, you book a flexible return airfare so you can move your flight forward if you don’t use all of the contingency days or push it back as you need.
Will I need to purchase insurance?
Yes, trip insurance is required for this program and it needs to cover the entire cost of the trip and include trip cancellation, trip interruption, medical expenses, repatriation, and evacuation for the entire length of the expedition. Trekkers are required to have the same coverage. Unforeseen hiccups are part of adventure travel both before and during the expedition and it can be very expensive. Every effort should be taken to account for them in advance. Please forward a copy of your insurance for our records so that we can help you in the event that it need to be used during the expedition. Most insurers require us to contact them immediately. For more information on trip insurance please visit the “Trip Insurance” page on the website.
What’s the deal with Extra Oxygen?
We give you plenty of oxygen to run a comfortable oxygen flow (3L/min or so) throughout the climb. As standard we give you 10 bottles (7 for your and 3 for your Sherpa). If you would like extra oxygen we encourage your decision and are happy to arrange an additional 3 bottles. With the extra Os you can run high flow (4 – 5L/min) throughout summit day, start oxygen at Camp 2, and have a bit extra in case of delays at the South Col etc. Extra oxygen can help keep you warmer and moving faster so it’s a great safety margin. You certainly don’t need the extra oxygen but I’ve always seen it as a good on-mountain insurance policy as such.
What is the food like on the climb?
At Base Camp CTSS has the best chefs and food, hands down. Our teams are consistently blown away by the quality of food and hygiene at base camp considering where we are in the world. Our head chef trains at 5 star restaurants during the off season. Think lemon crepes, cheese omelettes, chicken cordon bleu, pizza, fresh fruit almost daily, fresh salads, steaks, apple pie, fresh croissants and cinnamon rolls, and moist chocolate cake. We get shipments of fresh meat, fruit, vegetable, and other supplies weekly. Dave Hahn, non-Sherpa Everest summit record holder with 15 summits said about our head chef Kumar, “A real pro. Kumar is the reason I kept climbing in the Himalayas as long as I did.”
Will I be sharing a tent?
No, for the majority of the climb you are not sharing a tent. We stay at the famous “Yak and Yeti” hotel in Kathmandu and in the finest teahouses while trekking to base camp. While at Everest base camp you will have your own tent to spread your gear out and call home. There will be times on the mountain where you will need to share a tent with another climber to reduce the number of dangerous loads the Sherpa need to carry through the treacherous Khumbu Ice fall. It’s also a lot warmer and safer when you can keep an eye on each other.
How heavy will my pack be?
In general, climbing packs on Mt. Everest are relatively light. You will likely be carrying 15lbs – 30lbs (7kg – 12kg) most of the time while climbing and less on the trek into base camp. While climbing you should be prepared to carry your gear for the day and some of your personal gear for the mountain. Sherpa will carry all of the group gear and help with personal gear where possible.
What program upgrades are available?
The main add-ons for the Everest programs are extra oxygen, the Everest Executive Option (upgraded tent accommodation, single supplement etc) single rooms upgrades and/or deluxe rooms in the trekking lodges. If you are climbing Everest you may choose to add on an ascent of Lhotse. Please discuss these add-ons with us and we can help you decide if they are right for you.
In the Khumbu, what's not included?
We cover almost everything in the cost of the trip once we fly into the Khumbu valley so there shouldn’t be too many other expenses that you need to worry about. The biggest expense is tips. The Sherpa tip pool is $600 and I will collect that at the beginning on the climb to disperse amongst the entire team at the end of the climb including cook staff and dining staff. People sometimes tip their individual summit Sherpa a bit more than this and it seems like people have been tipping their guide about 1k-2k on the Western Guided option. The other personal expenses people accrue are wifi (through third party operators) additional personal snacks, drinking, charging of devices & toilet paper. We suggest you bring a portable charger and pack a few additional rolls of toilet paper for the trek in.
How much gear can I bring?
Please stick to 2 X 20kg duffel bags. If you want to bring an extra duffel of gear then we will charge you $250 usd each way to and from base camp.
What's the best climb to prepare for Everest?
Hands down I think that Cho Oyu is the best, most specific Everest prep. You get an understanding of how your body does at altitudes over 8000m and get familiar with the oxygen system and climbing with the Sherpa.
It's a long time away from home - can my family and friends join me?
Yes, your family and friends are more than welcome to join us on the trek in to base camp and even climb Lobuche peak if they like. (Our standard treks stay a 2 nights in Base Camp before departing but we have had people stay longer and this can be arranged by chatting to us directly) Please let us know immediately if you have people who want to join us so that we can make arrangements for them. Space in hotels in Kathmandu and in the teahouses is limited during climbing season so we need to know final numbers asap!
How Much Cash Should I Bring?
It is better to have more money than you need than not enough, while most things are covered on the trip once you land in Kathmandu (check what’s included/what’s not included list for details) you will still need cash. The cash that you need to bring includes money for visas ($100 for 1 single entry 90 day), Sherpa tip pool ($600 for climbers and $300 for trekkers), money for staff tips (customary but optional) $200 for potential consultation and treatment by the doctors at base camp, $500 to cover expenses for a potential early departure (not often, but sometimes this occurs) and $1,500 – $5,000 if you think you’ll want a helicopter ride out, $300 for miscellaneous expenses like non-group meals, shopping, drinks around Kathmandu and while on the trip to base camp if you want wifi, sodas, specialty coffees, bottled water, charging of devices or snacks (meals are covered), Generally we recommend bringing $2,000 – $3,000 USD plus a credit card to cover all potential expenses including an early departure but it is unlikely that you will need all of this. Small denominations (1’s, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s) are better and although American dollars are accepted, you can change money into Nepali rupees at change houses when you arrive. Rates are generally about the same and I’ve never encountered one that isn’t legitimate. Also, there are now quite a few ATM’s around town where you can use your card to take out local cash at a good rate. It is much more difficult to change money, especially large sums, once in the Khumbu Valley. Please let your credit card company know you will be traveling so you can use your card (and not set off the fraud alert due to using the card in a foreign country)
How To Navigate Arrivals
Often just getting to Nepal can be the hardest part. Once you’re on the ground it’s time to relax. Upon exiting the plane walk to the left of the customs area and have your passport, photo, money, and visa form handy. You must pay for your visa first at the desk straight ahead and to the left before getting in the “Visa Upon Entry” line (far left of the large room). Purchase the $100, 90 day for Everest and Lhotse climbers or the $25, 30 day visa for trekkers and Lobuche climbers single entry Nepali visa.
How Should I Pack?
For the trip to base camp climbers will need to pack in two separate duffels: a base camp duffel and a trekking duffel. Climber’s base camp duffel will not be accessible while on the trek to Lobuche en route to base camp and should contain all of your climbing gear (crampons, axes, down suit etc) and items you won’t need until Lobuche. Your trekking duffel will contain everything you will need for the trip to base camp including your trekking gear, rain gear, street clothes, and a light sleeping bag. Trekkers will have everything with them in one duffel. Please keep everything you will need with you such as medications and medical supplies. What will go in your trekking and base camp duffels will be covered in more detail in Kathmandu. Pack an additional small lightweight duffel in your luggage to leave street, travel clothes and things you won’t need on the expedition at the hotel in Kathmandu
How safe is the food and water?
As in Kathmandu, once on the trail in to base camp it is highly recommended that you stick to treated rather than tap water. Properly boiled water is available in all the teahouses and bottled water is readily available in stores en route but to reduce the amount of trash and pollution in the valley we encourage you buying boiled or UV treated water from teahouses. You can also bring your own water treatment solution. We will provide some teas and coffees at meal times but if you want sodas, bottled waters, specialty coffees, or drinks outside of meal times we ask that you purchase them yourself. Nepal isn’t known for its cuisine. The food on the trek to base camp can become a bit monotonous but it’s energy dense and fufilling. Asian inspired, there is a lot of fried rice, rice based meals, soups, omlettes etc. Stick to meals where the food is obviously local and sourced from the valley. We stay in reputable teahouses who have a good understanding of food hygiene so our climbers and trekkers rarely get sick. It’s ok and somewhat expected to get a slightly upset tummy as you’ll be eating food that is different to what you are used to. At Base Camp, we have our own chefs who are incredible and take every precaution, in a full catering kitchen. They also cook Western foods, have fresh food including fruit, vegetables and meat resupplied regularly and serve a good variety. CTSS is known to have the best food on the mountain and given where in the world we are, that’s a remarkable feat.
CTSS and their logistics partner TAG Nepal put on an amazing expedition, all the way from the insulated basecamp tents to the calibre of the climbing Sherpas to the high end oxygen systems. Basecamp was extremely comfortable with padded dining chairs, carpet, and heating, thick mattresses in the personal tents, and then there was the huge chillout tent known as the Big House. For those with extra Dollars an upgrade to exec level tents was possible bringing the comfort level up another notch. Intermediate camp 2 facilities also provided that little bit of comfort, with an insulated dining tent, decent food and a great placement high up in the Western Cwm. The higher camps were as expected, the Sherpas making sure that we wanted for nothing. Accurate weather forecasting ensured we eventually made the summit and as usual the highly qualified Sherpa team were faultless throughout. In my case, requiring a helicopter evac, the guiding team did everything necessary to get me off the mountain and on to Kathmandu for treatment. Wouldn't hesitate to climb with Mike Hamill and CTSS in the future.