Unlike most expeditions we are not following the common Khumbu route in Nepal. Instead we’re climbing the classic northeast ridge route from Tibet.
During the last years the northern route has turned out to be safer. The main reason for that is that you don’t have to scramble through the dangerous Khumbu icefall. You also have less tourists around. On the other hand there is no other route on an 8000m peak where you spend more time and walk more distance above 8000m.
For us as a film team and less experienced climbers it is necessary that the route is not too technical and fixed with ropes so that we can do our job behind the camera. The northeast ridge route allows this.
There are six camps en-route to the summit. Arriving at Chinese Base Camp (5400m) after a three-day truck trip from Kathmandu, we will follow the trail via an intermediate camp at 6000m to the Advanced Base Camp at 6400m. This is the highest base camp in the world. From here we’ll climb up the steep slopes to North Col where we’ll pitch Camp I at around 7050m. After Camp I there are two more camps at 7800m and 8300m. The last camp is only used during the night before the final ascent.
The most difficult part of the climb is the part just before the summit where we have to face three rock steps. This might take a lot time due to traffic and thin air. After summiting we will descent as quickly as possible using the existing camps on the way, taking back down all our litter and gear.