Mt. Everest/Lhotse Expedition Spring, 2019
The American Climber Science Program will be working in Nepal at Mt. Everest and Lhotse in Spring, 2019. We will be collecting a variety of environmental data to compare with our on-going research in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru and past research on Mt. Everest.
The expedition will be carried out at high elevation, including ascents of Mt. Everest and Lhotse. Sherpa support will be in the form of climber and scientist, rather than porter, to build up East-West collaborations. Sherpas will be volunteering with the program in order to learn various science techniques and gather data critical for local people. This is not a traditional ‘guided’ expedition. We will all be working together to gather data, haul loads, and climb the mountain. Prior to the Mt. Everest climb, we will have the optional opportunity to visit two valleys for acclimatization and to collect research data. Non climbers are welcome to join this section of the expedition.
The leaders of this expedition are experienced climbers and scientists who have summited peaks around the world, including Mt. Everest, and have lived for significant amounts of time in Nepal and Tibet over 5000 meters.
Schedule and Costs
Makalu Barun Trekking and Mera Peak Climb March 20 - 30
$2750 trekking plus Mera peak climb
Gokyo Lakes to Cho La to Everest Basecamp trek April 2 - 14
Mt. Everest and Lhotse climbs April 15 - June 5
Lhotse $14,750 – full service (see below)
$12,950 – without oxygen, mask, regulator
Mt. Everest $34,500 – full service (see below)
$32,950 - without oxygen, mask, regulator
Note: partial student scholarships are available.
Research and Outreach
Ecology: We will collect vegetation data in the lower elevation areas early in the expedition, to link with satellite imagery and compare to past expeditions and published studies. We will work with Tribhuvan University to identify plants and to conduct interviews of local Sherpa residents to learn about recent changes in the area.
Hydrology: We will take water quality samples in all of the major streams and rivers on the approach and in the vicinity of the Khumbu glacier.
Air Quality: Once we are settled into base camp, we will sample snow on the glacier for particulates (black carbon and dust), and we will continue taking samples all the way to the summit on the normal Everest South Col Route and to the summit of Lhotse.
Meteorology: We monitor ambient CO2 levels and meteorological conditions in our sample locations and at base camp.
We will work with Sagarmatha National Park, Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, and others to disseminate our findings.
We will attempt to Skype with classrooms in the States, to involve them in our research, in near real-time.
The expedition cost includes all climbing expenses e.g. airfare to Lukla, food, oxygen, tents, cooks, fixed ropes, permits, etc. but does not include transportation to Kathmandu, visas, tips, alcohol drinks, and summit bonus for the climbing Sherpas. This is a barebones expedition (cost-wise), but is a very good deal for climbing an 8000-meter peak with the great history of this route. As a group, we will share tents, cooks, etc. and will work with other climbing expeditions for such tasks as fixing ropes. For base camp you will have your own tent and we will have two expedition-sized tents for cooking and lectures/science. We will share tents in the higher camps. A complete gear-list of shared and personal equipment is available.
Makalu Barun and Gokyo Trekking Itinerary
- Prior to the Mt. Everest climb, we will have the optional opportunity to visit two valleys for acclimatization and to collect research data. Non climbers are welcome to join this section of the expedition.
- March 20: Fly to Lukla.
- From March 20 - 30, we will trek up the Hinku valley with US and Nepali Graduate Students and examine the impact of the recent Nepali civil war on Makalu Barun National Park.
- We will summit Mt. Mera (6476 m, 21,247 ft) at the head of this valley and then return to Kathmandu.
April 2: Fly to Lukla.
Spend ~12 days trekking to Everest Basecamp (5300 m) via the Gokyo lakes trek and over Cho La ( >5000 m), camping each night or staying in teahouses along-route.
This trek will be with US and Nepali graduate students gathering environmental data and interviewing local Sherpas to investigate climate change impacts in the Himalaya.
Mt. Everest and Lhotse Itinerary
Meet in Kathmandu at the beginning of April.
Fly to Lukla.
Spend ~10 days trekking to Everest Basecamp (5300 m)
Base camp acclimatization and data collection for one week.
Climbing to ever higher camps while shuttling gear and collecting environmental data and snow samples. Descents for rest, recovery, and to process samples. This will span about 5 weeks.
Teams will summit Mt. Everest and Lhotse.
Process final samples at EBC for a few days. Rest and recovery.
Return to Lukla in early June.
Return to Kathmandu in early June.