Should We Do It?

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Trying to predict the weather on Everest is like trying to predict how many steps you will take in a day. The weather is the single most influential factor on your Everest expedition. If you go too soon and the weather turns bad, you will have to turn around and go back down to base camp. This will only waste your energy and strength. On the other hand, if you wait when you could’ve gone then you may have wasted an ideal day. It is really a gamble either way.


The way that most climbers determine the weather is through customized weather forecasts. ExplorersWeb provides daily, detailed weather forecasts that are available through satellite phones. To properly read the weather forecasts, it is best to look at the week as a whole and see if there are any dramatic changes in the weather.

The Jet stream is the main weather condition that must be avoided. This occurs when the wind whips through the summit at very high speeds. The noise it creates is literally equivalent to a jet taking off. The best time to climb is during something called a “weather window.” This is a period of typically four to six days in which the weather is looking good. May 23 is when this period usually occurs and lasts for a week.

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All in all, the weather is an inevitable factor of any Everest expedition. It will influence your ability to reach the summit or not. It is crucial to be patient but not too patient. It all comes down to one question, should we do it?

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This page contains a single entry by published on October 12, 2008 10:30 PM.

Breathe In, Breathe Out was the previous entry in this blog.

Every Breath Counts is the next entry in this blog.

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