How long does it take to climb Mount Everest? Let’s explore the duration required to conquer the tallest mountain on Earth.

Mount Everest, the tallest peak on Earth, has fascinated adventurers and mountaineers for decades. But how long does it take to reach the summit of this 8,848-meter (29,029-feet) mountain?

The duration of a Mount Everest climb varies depending on factors such as the chosen route, weather conditions, individual fitness levels, and the need for acclimatization.

I’ve taken the photos featured in this article during my previous trips to Nepal. Overall, I’ve had the opportunity to visit Nepal three times, with one of those visits being a part of my mostly flightless two-year journey around the world.

How many days does it take to climb Mount Everest
A view of the Himalayas from Nagarkot, Nepal (2015)

How Long Does It Take to Climb Mount Everest?

How many days does it take to climb Mount Everest?

Typically, a full trip to the summit of Mount Everest and back takes approximately 8 weeks or 56 days on average. However, it’s important to note that the actual time can vary.

Let’s delve into the different stages of the journey in more detail.

How many days does it take to trek to Everest Base Camp?

Most climbers begin their journey by flying to Lukla, a small town in northeastern Nepal. From Lukla, it takes about a week to hike 40 miles (65 kilometers) to reach Everest Base Camp. After arriving at Base Camp, climbers usually spend around 2 weeks acclimatizing.

How long does it take to climb Mount Everest from Base Camp?

The ascent from Base Camp can be divided into two sections.

Initially, climbers spend several days climbing up and staying in different camps along the way. The final stretch from Camp IV to the summit usually takes approximately 6-10 hours or more, depending on various factors. Different sources provide varying estimates for the climbing times, ranging from weeks for the entire journey to 6 to 20 hours for the final stretch.

Notably, the world record for the fastest ascent of Mount Everest stands at 10 hours and 57 minutes.

How long does it take to climb down Mount Everest?

While most articles focus on the ascent, the descent from Mount Everest is generally faster. However, climbers need to exercise caution as they descend after the physically demanding climb. 

According to one source, climbing down from the summit of Mount Everest to Base Camp can take 1-2 days.

Himalayas panorama
A panorama of sunrise in Nagarkot, Nepal (2013)

The History of Conquering Mt Everest

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first individuals to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. They were part of a larger British Mount Everest expedition that involved 15 mountaineers, over 300 local porters, and numerous other individuals. The British expedition’s goal was to have one pair of climbers reach the summit.

After a near-miss by British climbers Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, Hillary and Norgay made their attempt the following day. Leaving their high-altitude camp at 6:30 am, they reached the peak of Mount Everest five hours later.

It took Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay a total of 39 days to climb from Everest South Base Camp to the summit.

Both Tenzing and I thought that once we’d climbed the mountain, it was unlikely anyone would ever make another attempt. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

Sir Edmund Hillary in 2003

The popularity of climbing Mount Everest has grown significantly over time. In the 1950s, only a few people reached the summit, but the number gradually increased. The rise of commercial expeditions offering guided climbs in the 1990s led to a surge in the number of ascents.

In the graph below, I’ve compiled the data for Mount Everest ascents by year. I collected the numbers from for the years 1953-2018 and from The Himalayan Database for 2019 onwards.

Mount Everest ascents by year updated graph. How many people have climbed Mt Everest?
Mount Everest ascents by year (1953-2022)
How many hours does it take to Climb Mount Everest from Base Camp
Climbing Mount Everest. Art created with the help of DALL-E AI

Additional Information about Climbing Mount Everest

Currently, hundreds of people climb Mount Everest each year, with over 11,000 successful ascents to date. In 2018, 821 people ascended to the peak of the mountain. On the most popular days in May, over a hundred people can reach the peak in one day.

The cost of a guided Mount Everest expedition is approximately $50,000, which includes a $11,000 climbing permit fee. Climbing Mount Everest is a monumental undertaking that requires thorough training, preparation, and a climbing permit from the Nepalese government.

In conclusion, the time it takes to climb Mount Everest can span approximately 8 weeks, encompassing the ascent, acclimatization periods, and descent. Aspiring climbers should approach this challenge with proper planning and respect for the mountain’s inherent risks, prioritizing safety and the preservation of this iconic peak.

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