To get to Mount Everest, Ed Viesturs and the other First Ascent team members fly from Kathmandu to an airstrip in the village of Lukla. Recently paved, the airstrip is approximately 35 miles from Everest Base Camp, but climbers and trekkers usually take eight to ten days to make the famous walk through the Khumbu Valley: Lukla, Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Thyangboche, Pheriche, Lobuche, Gorak Shep, and finally Everest Base Camp. See the gallery of trek photos from Dave Hahn, 2008 GreatOutdoors.com Everest correspondent.
Climbers begin the six week process of climbing Everest by first acclimating to base camp, at 18,000 feet, then making forays gradually up the mountain. The deadly Khumbu Icefall separates the huge valley known as the Western Cwm (formed by Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse). Camp I at 20,000 feet is near the top of the Icefall, Camp II at 21,300 feet midway up the Western Cwm. Camp III at 24,000 feet is perched on the steep Lhotse Face, and the highest camp, Camp IV, is situated on the South Col itself at 26,000 feet. Summit day covers the final 3,035 feet to the topSee the gallery of Base Camp and Upper Mountain photos from Dave Hahn, 2008 GreatOutdoors.com Everest correspondent.