Expedition Mount Everest - Northside
The tallest peak on earth will never lose its magic
With Himalayan Guide Legend Kari Kobler.
Cultural Highlights in Tibet during journey to basecamp.
Basecamp at highest standard concerning comfort.
The normal North Col route is objectively the safest route to the top of the world.
Kobler & Partner has successfully organised Everest expeditions since 2000.
Maximum oxygen support.
Quality bonus: one sherpa per member.
Many routes lead to the top of Mount Everest. To this day, mountaineers from all over the world have reached the summit via twelve different routes. Lately, however, the motivation of Everest aspirants has become less about reaching the summit and more about outshining the achievements of other mountaineers, who have previously reached the top of the world. Climbers now strive to climb without bottled oxygen, do a solo ascent or reach the summit as quickly as possible. Our main goal is to leave such ambitions behind and climb the mountain our own way and as safely as possible.
We start our trip in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, which will not only get us in the right mood for our expedition, it will also serve our acclimatisation well.
Experience has shown that the North Col route in Tibet is the most favourable route regarding objective dangers on the mountain. Our excellent and longstanding cooperation with our well-organised local team adds to our safety on the mountain.
From a broad and barren mountain plateau streaked with craggy mountain ranges at an altitude of 4,000 metres, the Tibetans - who are certainly closer to heaven than any other people - can look down at the world right underneath their feet. Legend has it that Tibet was once covered by water until one fine day, five opalescent clouds appeared high above the ocean. The clouds are said to have turned into fairies who instructed the water to recede. During its retreat, the ocean left behind several lakes that are now part of the magnificent Tibetan landscape and sparkle in the sun like turquoise mirrors. After having worked their wonders, the fairies turned into the five highest mountains of the Himalaya.
The duality of fortress and place of pilgrimage that was formed throughout the history of Tibet is still surprising. The temples and monasteries where monks reside as mystics, magicians and naturopaths are scattered all over the “Country of the White Cloud”. It almost seems as if the Gods and Saints of Buddhism have established their eternal home in Tibet. At the same time, this auspicious country has been a fortress for warring tribes for centuries. For a long time, these warring tribes resisted the conquest of their powerful neighbour and even managed to take over large parts of China.
Day 1 - Day 2: Flight to Chongqing
Scheduled flight to Chongqing or, if available, to Chengdu
We arrive in Chongqing in the early morning hours. With a population of approx. 19 million each, Chongqing and Chengdu are two of China’s largest cities and important centres in west and southwest China. Hotel accommodation.
Day 3: Chongqing - Lhasa (3,600 m)
Short domestic flight to Lhasa. Arrival at Gonggar airport, about one hour’s drive from Lhasa.
After we have checked into a comfortable hotel in Lhasa, we have some time to relax.
It is incredibly important to take it easy at the beginning of an expedition - after all, we have to give our bodies time to acclimatise to the higher altitudes. Hotel accommodation.
Day 4: Lhasa (3,600 m)
We have plenty of time to properly explore this legendary city which lies in the valley of the Kyi Chu, a tributary of the Tsangpo river (Brahmaputra). The city lies on the river and extends for about 10 km towards the west. The history of Lhasa, which means the “Land of Gods” goes back to the seventh century. During that time, the Jokhang temple, which is still the religious centre of the city’s historic centre where many Tibetans gather, and the first Potala Palace were built. During the 15th century, the Buddhist Gelug school had three monasteries built in the area around Lhasa. During the 17th century, the Potala Palace was rebuilt on the “Red Hill” under the supervision of Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, the fifth Dalai Lama. The Jokhang temple was also extended during this time. Hotel accommodation.
Day 5: Lhasa - Gyantse (3,950 m)
Today’s drive takes us over two passes, the Kampala La (4,990 m) and Karo La (5,010 m). The Kampala La offers a wonderful view of the turquoise lakes of Yamdrok Tso and Ninchin Kangsa. From the Karo La, we drive down to the town of Gyantse (3,950 m).
We have plenty of time to stop and take photographs of the magnificent scenery which seems somewhat unreal. Gyantse also has a lot to offer, such as its unique Stupa as well as the fortress that encircles the monastery. The town is located on one of the most important trade routes between Sikkim in India and Tibet. In 1921, George Mallory used this trade route for his first exploration trip to Everest. Hotel accommodation.
Day 6: Gyantse - Xigatse (3,977 m)
Our journey takes us to Xigatse, the second most important city in Tibet. We visit the Thashilumpo Temple as well as the residence of the Panchen Lama, one of the most important authorities of Tibetan Buddhism. Originally, the Panchen Lama resided in the Samzhuzê fortress, which was built in 1363 and is now the oldest building in Xigatse. The fortress was destroyed in 1950. After its reconstruction, it was converted into a museum for the antique culture of the city. The Zhaxilhünbo monastery, the most important monastery of the Gelug Tradition in western Tibet, has been the residence of the Panchen Lamas since 1446.
With a population of 60,000, the administrative region of Xigatse in the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China has a surface area of 3,859 km2. Xigatse lies at an altitude of 3,977 m above sea level on the “Friendship Highway”, which links Kathmandu in Nepal with Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Hotel accommodation.
Day 7: Xigatse (3,977 m) - Xegar (4,300 m)
Another day’s drive through the incredibly varied landscape of Tibet, which changes from lush agricultural land to desert. We cross the 5,520m high Lhakpa La from where we get our first amazing view of Everest. We arrive in Xegar in the afternoon. Simple hotel accommodation.
Day 8: Xegar - Everest Base Camp (5,000 m)
Today, we leave the main Lhasa - Kathmandu highway. For a short while, we follow the Arun River until we reach the village of Rongbuk with its famous monastery. The view from here is breathtakingly beautiful and will get us even more excited about our upcoming climb of Mount Everest. From here, it’s another hour’s drive to the Chinese Base Camp of Everest.
Day 9 - Day 45: Base Camp - Advanced Base Camp (ABC; 6,400 m) - Ascent of Mount Everest (8,850 m)
Once at base camp, we start the most important part of our climb - the acclimatisation! Our experience has shown that ascending to the higher camps is incredibly important for summit success. As we would run out of space to explain the ascent in detail, Kobler & Partner offers its members the opportunity to discuss the procedure and challenges of the expedition during a pre-expedition briefing in Bern. This briefing also gives us the chance to meet you in person and find out more about what you expect from this expedition and accommodate any individual wishes, if possible.
Base Camp (5,050 m) - Advanced Base Camp (6,400 m)
This two-day walk takes us along the Rongbuk and East Rongbuk Glaciers that cut through the impressive mountain scenery of Tibet. The trek to ABC, which sits at the foot of the Chang La, is certainly one of the most spectacular walks in Tibet. Even though our loads are light as our gear is carried up by yaks, this 25km-walk should not be underestimated. For this reason, we stay an extra night in the intermediate camp which has a fixed kitchen.
Ascent of Mount Everest:
After we have finished our acclimatisation, we are finally ready to head for the summit in the coming weeks. Our Sherpas will have set up three high camps are at 7,000 m, 7,800 m, and 8,300 m in the previous weeks. The camps are equipped with tents, stoves, gas, sleeping mats and food. Oxygen* is available from Camp I at 7,000m or upon request already from ABC at 6,400 m. Meals and drinks are prepared by the Sherpas at all high camps.
*For the Express team, oxygen will be available from ABC.
The climb starts on a moderately steep flank leading to the North Col, from where we continue via the very long and extremely windswept, but safe, northeast ridge to Camp II at 7,800 m. After we have negotiated this first crux on the mountain, we cross the northwest flank. This part of the expedition is moderately difficult. In case of heavy snowfall, there is a possibility of some avalanche risk in the central part of this route. Reaching the northeast ridge is the next challenge on our way to the summit. Once we have gained the summit ridge, we soon reach the First Step, which is short, easy and can easily be secured with a short rope. The Second Step is secured with fixed ropes and a ladder. Even though it can be easily negotiated, it takes some strength to overcome this 30-metre-high wall at approximately 8,300 metres. Once you have managed to reach this point, you should be able to tackle the Third Step as well as the summit ridge with no problems.
Please note: An Everest expedition requires you to climb up to the high camps several times as this is an important part of your acclimatisation.
Day 46: Advanced Base Camp - Base Camp
Our Yaks will accompany us on our way back to BC. Lunch at intermediate camp.
Day 47 - Day 48: Base Camp - Kathmandu
Our drive takes us via the Kirong La. After the devastating earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, the Tibetan - Nepalese border crossing was moved from Zhangmu to a place farther west. After having crossed this new border, we drive past Dunche and Trisuli to Kathmandu. The old border crossing at Zhangmu/Kodari is likely to be closed until 2020, and properly beyond.
Day 49: Kathmandu
During our free day in Kathmandu, we plenty of time to visit the colourful markets and mystic temples. Those who have acquired some facial hair during the expedition should not miss the opportunity to visit a traditional Nepali barber shop. It’s often comes with a good head massage and is well worth the experience!
Day 50: Flight Back Home
The Profile Check is an integral part of our expedition. Please read it thoroughly and assess your skills and physical condition. Due to the score required for this expedition, your score will indicate whether or not your skills, fitness and mountaineering experience are sufficient to join this expedition. Your registration is a testimony of your physical and technical abilities to participate in this expedition.
Please take note of the following points concerning the procedure of this expedition:
This expedition is demanding and exhausting. The high altitude alone entails several risks.
Camaraderie and tolerance are of great importance to us.
You have to be able to recognise your own limits on the mountain and be prepared to, if necessary, abandon the attempt and turn back. You join this expedition at your own responsibility.
The leader of the expedition is responsible for the management of the entire group, and personal support is not one of his/her responsibilities. Nevertheless, every member has to prepared to follow the decisions made by the expedition leader. The decisions are always made in the group’s interest.
The climbing Sherpas support the members during the entire expedition, however, we cannot guarantee that individual wishes will be addressed as the climbing Sherpas are responsible for the well-being of the entire group.
Depending on the circumstances and conditions on the mountain, improvisations and changes to the itinerary might be necessary
Kobler & Partner does not take any liability for accidents, damages or loss of equipment.
Organisation of the entire expedition
All transfers, bus and jeep rides
Pre-expedition briefing at Bächli Bergsport, including a 10% voucher for equipment purchase
Tibet visa (will be obtained in China; the visa for China has to be organised ahead of time in your home country; the fee for the Chinese visa is not included in the expedition price)
Visa support China
Admission fees for all important sights in Lhasa (Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Sera Monastery
Full board during the entire trip
Drinks (non-alcoholic) during group dinners
Number of nights in hotels in double rooms (see itinerary)
1 tent per member at base camp and ABC (6,400 m)
1 tent per 2 members at intermediate camp
Tents for high camps
Excellent heated mess tent at base camp and ABC (6,400 m), toilet- and shower tents
Light sleeping mats for high camps
1 good sleeping bag per member for base camp
1 good sleeping bag for intermediate camp (5,800 m) and ABC (6,400 m)
Fixed ropes, climbing ropes, snow stakes, ice screws
High altitude stove (gas) and pots
Radios: 1 radio (9 volts) per member
Satellite phone, exclusive call charges
Internet and email at ABC
Daily weather forecast from Meteotest, Switzerland
Radio communication between BC and ABC (6,400 m) and high camps
Communication (radio) in the Base Camp (12 Volts)
Solar system for lighting in messtent at ABC
Electricity at BC and ABC
Yaks up to ABC
1 rescue sledge
Medical oxygen for emergencies on the mountain
Oxygen on the mountain: eight bottles (4 litres), 1 mask, 1 regulator per member
Large medical kit at BC and ABC
Medical kit at high camps
Medical kit for summit attempt
Kitchen: chef and kitchen boys at BC, Internediate Camp and ABC
1 climbing sherpa per member including insurance, provisions, fee and good equipment provided by Kobler & Partner
Costs for liaison officer
Costs for local tour guide and translator
Costs for obligatory garbage fee
Certified UIAGM mountain guides (Kari Kobler and Andreas Neuschmid)
Flight Europe - Chengdu or Chongqing - Lhasa - Kathmandu - Europe (upon request, K&P can book the flights for you. Please check your arrival times with our head office in Bern before you book the flight)
Your personal insurances
Visa fees for China (approx. USD 230)
Visa fee for Nepal (approx. USD 30 to be paid on arrival)
Summit bonus for the sherpa (USD 800.-)
Additional charges that may arise due to possible changes to the itinerary
With more than 100 successful ascents, Kobler & Partner has extensive experience in using bottled oxygen on Everest, and we would like to share this knowledge with you. The use of supplemental oxygen significantly reduces the risk of frostbite, loss of concentration as well as poor performance, however, it increases your chances of reaching the summit in good time.
For this reason, the expedition price includes the use of oxygen for the climb. We provide eight bottles (four litres), including one mask and one regulator per member. Experience has shown that this amount of oxygen is sufficient for the climb. However, additional oxygen is available, if necessary or desired.
Personal Climbing Sherpa
One climbing Sherpa per member is included in the expedition price. If required, an additional personal climbing Sherpa can be arranged for you. The climbing Sherpa will be with you from base camp all the way to the summit.
Personal Mountain Guide
In case you would like to hire your own personal mountain guide for the ascent, we are happy to arrange this for you. Price on request.
In 2000, Kobler & Partner was one of the first western operators to organise and manage expeditions on the north side of Mount Everest. We are now one of the most experienced Everest operators in Europe. Our comfortable and friendly base camp has become a popular meeting point on the North side of Mount Everest.
If you have further question, please check our section 16 Questions and Answers about the Everest Expedition.
Internet, Wi-Fi, satellite phones, email are available at base camp and ABC.
There is unlimited power (220 V) at base camp.
At ABC, you can charge your electronic devices such as radios, cameras, headlamps, smartphones, e-readers and heating socks. As the power is generated through our solar system, power at ABC is not unlimited.
At base camp, there is mobile phone reception provided by China Mobile. Please be advised to purchase a data package for China from your mobile phone provider before your departure.
At ABC, K&P provides a BGAN satellite terminal for internet, a laptop and an email address that can be used by all expedition members.
Our crew consists of Nepali Sherpas and a Nepali kitchen crew. Over the years, Kobler & Partner has established an amazing Sherpa team. For the best possible communication between local staff and members, Kobler & Partner organises English lessons for the Sherpas during the winter months. Preparations and recruitment of the local crew starts already in the autumn prior to the expedition.
In case the weather does not allow for an ascent within the given time of our itinerary, there is the option to extend the trip. The decision lies completely with the expedition leader. Please be prepared to be adaptable as we want to give you the best possible chance to reach the summit.
16 Questions and Answers concerning our Everest Expedition
Which organisation should I choose? A catalogue of questions:
K&P is a Swiss expedition operator set up in 1990 by the UIAGM Mountain Guide Kari Kobler. K&P specialises in organising and managing expeditions to the Seven Summits and other peaks of the big mountain ranges in the world.
Kobler & Partner has run Everest expeditions every year since 2000.
This is a tough question to answer. Kobler & Partner prefers the North Col route as it is considered the safer route to the top of the world. Furthermore, the permits in Tibet are limited which means it does not get as busy as the south side in Nepal.
K&P works with the Nepali agency Himalaya Vision. Kari Kobler is the co-owner of Himalaya Vision. In Tibet, K&P co-operates with the Tibet Mountaineering Association (TMA).
The K&P Mount Everest Expedition is led by UIAGM mountain guide Andreas Neuschmid.
The Classic team will fly to Lhasa. After spending two days in the capital of Tibet at an altitude of 3,600m, we start our drive to base camp. We spend a night in Gyantse (4,000m), Xigatse (4000 m) and Shegar (4200 m), which means we will reach base camp well acclimatised.
Our Express team will fly directly to Xigatse and drive to base camp from there. Thanks to their pre-acclimatisation, they will arrive at base camp fit and healthy.
The minimum number of members for us to run this expedition is two, the maximal number is 12.
We spend a week at Chinese base camp at 5,200 m from where we do acclimatisation walks going up to about 6,000 m. Once we are well acclimatised, we move to ABC at 6,400 m. Our last acclimatisation hike goes up to the North Col (Camp 1) at 7,000 m, where we spend one night.
The meals at the three high camps are prepared with the help of your personal Sherpa. At Camp I at 7,000 m, there is a chef.
ABC at 6,400 m is fully equipped. We have single tents for each member, a heated dome tent as mess tent, a kitchen tent which is run by a chef and kitchen boys, a shower and a toilet tent, Wi-Fi and a satellite phone.
We hire one climbing Sherpas per member. All our climbing Sherpas speak English.
All our Sherpas have climbed Everest before, some of them as often as 20 times.
From the North Col, we give each member eight oxygen bottles which is enough to run a comfortable oxygen flow. If you would like extra oxygen, we can arrange for additional bottles. K&P has developed its own state-of-the-art regulators which we check meticulously prior to the expedition. During our summit attempt, the Sherpas will carry spare masks and regulators.
Members of our Express team will get unlimited oxygen from ABC.
Every high camp is stocked with a high altitude medical kit while every mountain guide carries a medical kit that contains all relevant high altitude drugs. We will give every member their own emergency medical kit to carry and stock spare oxygen bottles at every high camp for emergencies.
Yes. Our base camp manager is in constant radio contact with the mountain guides and Sherpas and will be reachable round the clock during out summit attempt. The BC manager provides the team with the latest weather report and, in case of emergencies, coordinates any rescue mission.
K&P uses Meteotest Bern in Switzerland who provides us with a very reliable daily weather forecasts. Having done this for 20 years, Meteotest is the most experienced weather forecast provider for Mount Everest. A precise and reliable weather forecast is incredibly important for our summit success. During our summit attempt, the BC manager will be in contact with Meteotest around the clock.
Hotel and tent accommodation are indicated in the itinerary. Additional hotel stays not indicated in the itinerary are not included in the expedition price.
International flights are not included in the expedition price. Over the years, Kobler & Partner has built up a very good reputation that goes beyond Swiss borders and has attracted people from all corners of the world. For this reason, it’s best for everyone to arrange their own flights. On demand, however, we can look after your travel arrangements.
Kobler & Partner will organise the visa for China for Swiss nationals as well as C-permit holders in Switzerland and will bill the cost for the visa separately. Other nationals have to arrange for their own visa well ahead of time. K&P will provide all necessary documents in due course.
K&P will organise the Tibet visa for all members which is included in the expedition price. All necessary paperwork will be supplied in due time before the start of the expedition. Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your intended return date. We require our members to provide us with relevant personal information such as medical certificate, colour passport copy, etc.) at least 60 days before the start of the expedition.
The visa for Nepal can be acquired upon entering the country for about 30 USD and is not included in the expedition price.
Gearlist Expedition Everest
- 2 duffle bags, 110l (water-proof, available from K&P at a
discount for members)
Down jacket or down suit for expeditions
Primaloft jacket or light down jacket
Midlayer (fleece sweater or jacket)
Trekking pants, light and long
Softshell pants for mountaineering
Expedition down pants or down suit
Baselayers / T-shirts
Long-sleeved thermal top
Insolated shell gloves
Expedition down mittens
Liner gloves, thin, silk or fleece
Camp boots (non-technical winter boots or trainers)
High-altitude all in-one boots for 8000m
Heavyweight socks, thick and warm
-30°C down sleeping bag for base camp (available for rent from K&P)
-40°C down sleeping bag for high camps
Insulated inflatable sleeping pad
Down booties (nice to have!)
Pillow case (stuffed with your down jacket, it makes a nice pillow!)
Headgear, face and eye protection
Glacier goggles (with nose guard, if possible)
Ski goggles, high UV-protection (also protects from the wind)
Balaclava or face mask (wind-stopper or neoprene)
Sunscreen, SPF 50
Lipscreen, SPF 50
Backpack approximately 40 l
Raincover for backpack
Climbing harness, light
Ice axe, light
Crampons with anti-balling plates (customised to fit expedition boots)
2 Carabiners (light, wiregate)
3 HMS carabiners (light, screwgate)
Belay device (figure 8 recommended)
Cord, 5m, 7 mm (for the Jumar system)
Cord, 5m, 5 mm
Compression bags for down equipment
Food utensils, light, for high camps (bowl including cutlery)
Water bottle with large opening (Nalgene)
Pee bottle / Plastic bags
Headlamp (including spare batteries) and a small spare headlamp
Pocket knife or multi-tool/Leatherman
Hand and toe warmers
Departure letter from K&P (contains the final information)
Cash for personal use and tips
Credit card (MasterCard or Visa)
2 Passport photographs
Small personal first-aid kit (personal medication / compeed)
Microfibre travel towel
Hand sanitizer (50 ml)
Tissues, wet wipes
Your K&P mountain guide will provide well-stocked medical kits for base and high camps, radios, GPS, travel books and maps.
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