Everest North Col
P6 - Extremely physically demanding. Heavy pack weights and long days combine to test you to the limit. Not for the faint hearted. Long days of 10 hours plus with pack weights up to 20-25kg means that sheer exhaustion is likely. When in Nepal pack weight is greatly reduced due to help from porters.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
T5 - Competent Alpine climbing ability. Should be comfortable on Scottish Winter III ground or Alpine AD. Complete understanding and confidence in use of your technical kit will be required.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
Date & Prices
Pics & Vids
Feeling like a naughty school boy Ed Hillary crept deep into Chinese territory to climb the mystical North Col of Mount Everest whilst on an expedition to the nearby Himalayan giant Cho Oyu in 1951. He wasn’t the first to reach this fabled spot however, decades before them another mountaineering legend George Mallory had discovered the Col and confirmed that this was indeed the key to reaching the summit of the world’s highest mountain from Tibet.
Move on a 100 years and now it is your turn to step into the footsteps of the and partake in an expedition to not only reach the North Col but to spend a night camping on this historic summit. This expedition brings every aspect of the past to vibrant life; retrace the route the explorers took from Lhasa, climb with an Mount Everest summit team on their all-important first rotation to the col, join a Yak caravan and climb to over 7000 meters on the great mountain itself.
This expedition does not require previous high altitude experience or excessive mountaineering techniques. This state of the art expedition is supported by modern climbing, kitchen and camping equipment and all skills needed to ascend the Col are taught to you by guides at advanced basecamp. Step into history today and discover a place unchanged from the time of legends.Find out more
Date & Prices
For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
Departure & Return
Price (excl. flight)
Price (incl. flight)
Start: 05 April 2020
End: 26 April 2020
Price without flights:
Price with flights: $11,380
05 April 2020
26 April 2020
- Price is based on group of 2 or more
- Sherpa support included
- Oxygen included with mask and regulator if needed
- All accommodation Kathmandu-Kathmandu (with 4 nights including breakfast in Kathmandu: 2 at the start and 2 at the end)
- 1 pre-expedition dinner + celebration meal at the Roadhouse
- All food whilst on expedition once departed from Lhasa
- Flight to Lhasa
- 2 nights in Lhasa with breakfast included
- Road transfer out
- All mountain related permits for climbers and Sherpas
- All Sherpa wages, insurance and associated costs (except tips)
- 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
- Monthly payment plan, on request
- Tips for ground support and western guides
- Additional meals in Kathmandu (2 lunches + 2 dinners ~ $100)
- Additional meals in Lhasa
- Personal equipment
- Medical and personal high-risk insurance
- Camp Wifi and satellite phone calls (charged at £3/ minute)
- Items of a personal nature; phone calls, laundry, room service, alcoholic beverages etc.
- Any additional costs set by the Chinese Mountaineering Association
Pics & Vids
DAY 1 : Depart UK (home country)
Our journey to the great mountain begins with a flight to the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu. Airport transfer. Night spent at Hotel.
DAY 2-3 : Expedition preparation and Tibet
We will spend a few days in Kathmandu for thorough expedition briefings, equipment checks, getting re-acquainted as a team and sorting out last minute logistical details before crossing the border to Tibet. Night spent at Hotel.
DAY 4 : Lhasa (3,650m)
Today we will fly into Lhasa. Transfer to hotel.
*There is a possibility we will be driving to Base Camp in lieu of flying, as dictated by the Chinese Authorities. Therefore a variation for days 4-9 will apply.
DAY 5 : Lhasa
Today we will spend the day in Lhasa. Lhasa is situated at 3,500m. A significant jump from Kathmandu at 1,300m. Today we will start our acclimatization regime and have an enjoyable day sight-seeing in the legendary Tibetan capital. Night spent at hotel.
DAY 6 : Drive to Shigatse (3,840m)
Following our sensible acclimatization plan we only gain 300m in altitude on today’s drive to Shigatse. The drive takes us over the Tibetan plateau
DAY 7 : Drive Tingri (4,350m)
We continue our journey across the Tibetan plateau. Night in hotel.
DAY 8 : Acclimatization day in Tingri
This bustling town is the cross roads for travellers and expeditions coming from Nepal and going to the giant mountains of Tibet.
Our day will be spent climbing to the top of a local hill (4,900m) from where we can get spectacular views of the town, its monasteries, Mount Everest and Cho Oyu. Night spent at hotel.
DAY 9 : Drive to Everest Base Camp (5,150m)
Today we will drive to Everest Base Camp. Night spent camping.
DAY 10-11 : Everest Base Camp
We will stay at our comfortable Base Camp (BC) for a total of 3 nights to allow our bodies to adjust to this altitude and to get a feel for the surroundings.
From BC we will do a short acclimatization walk up the spectacular East Rongbuk Glacier to explore the route to Advanced Base Camp (ABC) and to get a glimpse of the imposing north face of Mount Everest.
Time will also be spend learning essential glacier travel and jumaring techniques as well as a refresher course in the use of crampons and ice axes on a nearby icefield for those who need it.
We aim to make your stay at ABC a comfortable one. By assuring an individualized acclimatization strategy, individual sleeping tents, a high standard of living facilities, an innovative kitchen serving fresh and great tasting meals, proven new camping equipment, access to modern communication systems and our up to date weather forecasting services we significantly improve our climbing team’s comfort and ultimately our chances of success.
DAY 12-13 : Trek to Everest Advanced Base Camp (ABC)
ABC is situated at 6,492m and is 22km distance from BC. With Yak support it takes two days to reach ABC with a night at an intermediate camp on the Rongbuk Glacier.
The trek to ABC is nothing short of stunning. Enormous ice pinnacles, some as high as 80 meters, tower on both sides of us as we climb the central moraine wall which splits the Rongbuk glacier from the Changtse glacier. Around us several 7,000 meter peaks form enormous sentries along the glacier and clearly visible, getting more prominent with every kilometre we trek, the summit of Everest looms ever larger. Once we arrive at ABC the overwhelming size of the rarely seen East face of Mount Everest dominates the camp and as our eyes trace a logical route up to the summit we quickly understand why Mallory chose this route as his most obvious way to climb the mountain via the North Col.
From ABC the summit for this expedition is clearly visible. The North Col is the spectacular saddle which separates the 7,580 meter high Changtse on the right from the true summit of Mount Everest on the left.
DAY 14 : Rest day and ABC familiarization
Today we will have a rest day and familiarize ourselves with ABC and its incredible surroundings and to allow our bodies to adjust to this altitude.
DAY 15-16 : Ascend to the North Col (7,020 meters)
Today we climb up the legendary North Col of Mount Everest. From ABC we trek further up the Rongbuk glacier to the appropriately named crampon point where we don crampons. From here we follow the gentle gradient of the glacier to the steep headwall at 6,700 meters. The terrain quickly steepens to around 50 degrees as we ascend the fixed ropes put in place by a specialist Chinese team. Supporting your climb will be your western guide and a team of dedicated Climbing Sherpa.
If you would like to climb using supplementary oxygen then this is certainly possible.
The ascent from ABC to the summit of the North Col takes approximately 7-8 hours. Once we arrive we get welcomed into camp by our Sherpa team and enjoy the spectacular vista opening up around us. Far below we can see the route we traced from ABC and above us, still impossibly high is the summit of the world.
DAY 17 : Descend North Col to ABC
After spending the night camping on this lofty location, we will take a leisurely abseil descend and trek back to ABC.
DAY 18 : Descend to EBC
We will continue our descending to Everest base Camp.
DAY 19 : Transfer to Nepal border.
We will be picked up and driven back to the boarder.
DAY 20-21 : Arrive and free time in Kathmandu
A much-needed day to un-wind in the tropical hotel gardens or to experience the bustle of the Nepali capital. And of-course a great final night to celebrate our team and expedition success. Night spent in hotel.
DAY 22 : Fly home
Today we will depart Kathmandu and fly back home.
These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.
Bags & Packs
60L bag to carry all your belongings
Approximately 80L to take your kit to higher camps carrying up to 15kg
Nylon rolltop bags that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and iPods dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks.
Please note that many countries are now banning plastic bags. We would always advise buying re-usable nylon rolltop bags for keeping your kit dry (and sustainability).
Small kit bag or light bag
This is for any kit you intend to leave at the hotel and could even simply be a heavy duty plastic bag
For use on your kit bag for travel and on the expedition plus your hotel bag
4 Season sleeping bag
You should get a sleeping bag rated to -5C and choose a sleeping bag that functions within the comfort rating of this temperature. A silk sleeping bag liner will enhance this rating on the coldest nights.
Sleeping bag liner
Silk is best for keeping the bag clean and you a little warmer
A full length self-inflating rather than ¾ length Thermarest
This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head
Wide brimmed hat
Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck
Category 4 minimum. Worth spending money on good UV filters. Julbo is our preferred supplier
Category 3 lenses incase there is bad weather on the mountain
Essential for protection from the sun
Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection
This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to draw (wick) moisture and sweat away from the skin. You can also get thermal base layers for use at higher altitudes that provide an additional insulative layer while still drawing sweat during times of high exertion
These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack
Optional – A great low volume additional layer to keep your core warm, whether down, primaloft or fleece
Light insulated jacket
A lighter jacket such as a Primaloft or lightweight down which can be worn at lower to mid altitudes is a great addition to your kit offering greater flexibility with layering
Soft Shell (optional)
Optional – These should be windproof (not all are) and insulative. They are mostly made of soft polyester and sometimes resemble a neoprene finish which makes them very mobile and comfortable to wear. While offering a degree of weather repellence, they are not waterproof
These jackets are thin, highly waterproof and windproof and worn over all other items of clothing. You’ll find these made of Gore-Tex or other proprietary waterproof yet breathable technology. Inexpensive hard shells that aren’t breathable will prevent evaporation, making you sweat intensely and are not recommended
These provide the best insulation and are worth every penny. Ask advice in the shop (or from us) when buying the jacket and mention you want it rated to -25C and the assistant will recommend the correct fill for you
Consider liners or a light polartec pair for lower altitudes and evenings, and a thicker waterproof pair like ski gloves for higher altitudes
Down mitts & waterproof mitts
Essential for higher altitudes and cold temperatures. To be worn with a liner glove underneath and waterproof & windproof layer over the top.
These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts
Windproof or thermal lined trekking trousers for higher altitudes and the summit phase. Thermal leggings can still be worn underneath if necessary
Thermal insulation for the lower body
A lightweight pair of Goretex/eVent trousers that will act as a great windproof too
Merino or wicking material, not cotton. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you
3-4 season walking boots
Well worn in 3-4 season waterproof boots with mid to high ankle support
High altitude boots
These boots are double or triple layered to offer the best insulation and the warmest feet up high. Either La Sportiva G2 SMs, Scarpa Phantom 6000s, La Sportiva Spantiks or 8,000m boots are suitable. Make sure you can fit 2 pairs of socks for added warmth with room to wiggle your toes.
High altitude socks
These are especially thick to provide maximum insulation. Bring three pairs, keep one pair clean for summit day, and wear with a thinner inner
Single layer or wearing 2 pairs is a personal choice and lighter weight merino wool is a good option
Just in case
For camp, saves stomping around in heavy boots for the entire day. You could also opt for walking sandals or Crocs.
We recommend Petzl harnesses. Try a variety on in a shop before you buy to ensure a good fit. Legs clips are a good option and avoids having to step into the harness to put it on
120cm slings. One to be used as a cows tail and the other as back up
Grivel ice axe. “Air Tech” recommended. The bottom of your axe should reach your shin when held in your hand standing upright
12 point mountaineering crampons with anti-balling plates that fit your specific boots (not ice climbing crampons)
A plastic helmet is more suitable rather than the expanded foam helmets available. Make sure you try it on in a shop with a woolly/fleece hat underneath
2x 1L water bottles
Although generally all water is boiled some prefer to double up and add purification tabs as well. Always good to have in your bag
Keep it simple on the mountain. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!
Travel towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect
Preferably biodegradable, these are great for washing when modern shower facilities become a thing of the past
A must have for good camp hygiene
For early stages and once back down
Provided on the mountain but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock between camps
Nappy sacks or dog poo bags
Only needed to bag your toilet paper if you are caught short in between lodges and for keeping your rubbish tidy
Personal first aid kit
The 360 med kits are designed to be used in emergencies and akin to an A&E rather than a pharmacy on Expeditions so please come prepared with useful meds for yourself such as painkillers (Ibuprofen if you can take it and a Paracetamol) plus blister plasters, plasters, antiseptic, rehydration sachets and any muscle rubs you wish to use.
Keep this in your daysack
We recommend Petzl head torches. Bring spare batteries.
Trekking poles with snow buckets
Trekking poles with snow buckets are recommended
Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards
Sewing kit (optional)
Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity. With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.
Copy of passport
Just in case
Dental check up
We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip. New fillings can be an issue at altitude if there is an air pocket left in the gap
Tips local guides (tipping your UK guide is optional!) plus extra for meals not included, extra drinks on the mountain such as coke and souvenirs.
Copy of own travel insurance details. And relevant contact numbers.
We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.