At the height of around 24,900 feet, Khumbu Glacier is considered the world’s highest glacier, nestled between the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge and the great Mount Everest.
With Western Cwm as the beginning point, Khumbu Glacier plays a critical role for trekkers as it leads to Everest Base Camp and comprises the trail’s last section. One of the glacier’s primary features is the Khumbu Icefall, well-known among trekkers for being a significant barrier throughout the walk.
What is Glaciers ?
A glacier is a vast assemblage of ice and snow. A glacier structures in light of the fact that the snow in a region does not all soften in summer. Each winter, more snow is included. The heaviness of all the snow makes weight. This weight transforms the lower parts of the snow into ice. After this occurs for a long time, the glacier will begin becoming substantial.
What are the facts of glaciers?
-A glacier is a huge, streaming waterway of ice that more often than not moves exceptionally abating.
-At the point when a lump of ice severs glaciers, it is classified “calving”.
-At the point when that lump of ice skims in the water, it is called a chunk of ice.
-Most glaciers are found in the polar areas of the world.
-As the glaciers move over the ground they granulate against the earth and cuts out valleys.
-Substantial rocks can be solidified inside an icy mass or pushed along by a glacier and moved numerous miles previously it is dropped.
-Glaciers cover around six million square miles of the Earth’s surface, yet they are liquefying at a disturbing rate.
-Between 10,000 to 15,000 chunks of ice are calved every year.
-There are creatures, for example, polar bears, seals, and walruses that utilization glaciers as a place to rest and chase for sustenance.
Why visit Khumbu glaciers ?
Achieving Khumbu Icefall is a bold climbing bundle focused for those climbers to encounter Everest Expedition without a summit endeavor. Furthermore, this courageous visit additionally incorporates a visit to prominent Everest Base Camp trekking and move to the Everest Expedition. The move is particularly emotional for the Khumbu Glacier, which is commonly scarred with rocks and other aggregated debris. Shake warms more gradually than both ice and water, so the layer of flotsam and jetsam, for the most part, shields the ice waterway from the portion of the impacts that rising temperatures have on other “smooth” icy masses. In any case, the presence of pools on the surface of the ice mitigates those advantages.
In spite of the fact that the pools on the Khumbu are generally little, icy lakes somewhere else in the Himalayas offer an indicate what they may move toward becoming. Only west of Everest, the frosty lake Tsho Rolpa is two miles in length and contains about 100 million cubic meters of water. 50 years back, as per National Geographic, it broadened only a tenth of a mile. Achieving Khumbu Icefall is a genuine and hazardous climbing assignment, so you should be physically fit and strong aptitudes with climbing, crampons, settled ropes and so forth.
The Icefall Route
The route thru the Icefall to Camp 2 is put in and maintained by a small team of Sherpas aptly called the Icefall Doctors. After the fatalities in 2014, Everest veterans huddled on changing the route thru the Icefall.
In the past decade it had shifted more towards the West Shoulder because it was faster for the Icefall Doctors to create the route. But the danger was obvious with the serac looming overhead. Looking at old maps and pictures, long time veterans Pete Athens and David Breashears suggested the route should return towards Nuptse as it was in the 1950s..
In 2015, the Doctors did just that making it shorter and safer. The route was not fully tested as the earthquake ended that season early but in 2016 they used the same path with good results, albeit with some section being steep and difficult.
Safety in the Icefall
With all of this history, how do you protect yourself while climbing in the Khumbu Icefall?
For foreigners it may take over 6 hours to climb to Camp 1 on the first rotation. Once they are acclimatized, that time can be cut in half but most people still take four to five hours. This means leaving base camp no later than 6:00 am. However, most teams are on the ice by 4:00 am.
Sherpas will leave as early as 1:00 or 2:00 because they make a round trip. Impressively, they take the same time for a round trip as a foreigner does one way!