Everest South Side Summit Climb with International Mountain Guides
IMG's Everest programs are recognized worldwide as simply outstanding, with a reputation for our highly professional staff of leaders, climbers and Sherpas, first-rate logistics and our resulting safety and success record on the mountain. Since 1990, over 600 IMG team members have summited the world's classic 8,000-meter peaks, including over 380 on Everest.
Note from Eric Simonson
I've been organizing Everest expeditions for over 30 years, and each year I do my best to put together a strong team with compatible climbers and top notch western and sherpa guides and leaders. We fill our trips, and thus can be picky; we've turned away many climbers who I feel will not be a good fit with our program.
IMG has long been a leader in innovative climbing programs to the Himalayas. We were one of the very first companies to offer guided programs to Everest (1991), the first company to offer a stand-alone climb to the North Col (1994) and to 8000m (2001). We were one of the first companies to guide Shishapangma (1990) and Cho Oyu (1995), first to guide Khumbu Icefall as a stand-alone program (2000), first to offer the option of personal sherpa guides to climbers (2002), first successfully guided climb of Lhotse (2009), first with the Hybrid concept (2010), first to offer an Everest "Express" itinerary (2010), first to rappel alternate route around Hillary Step (2013).
With over 600 summits of 8000 meter peaks to our IMG credit, including over 380 of them on Mount Everest, I am still never satisfied and continue to look for ways to improve our IMG Everest program. For 2016 we continue our tradition of innovation and attention to the details. We put in place first class logistics and staffing. We don't cut corners. My goal is to conduct the very best program that we can, at a fair price. I don't think you will be disappointed.
If you would like to join a world-class team on Everest, please give this Everest 2016 PDF document a careful reading and then contact us if you would like further information!
Please let me know how I can be of further assistance.
IMG Himalayan Programs Director
The Everest climbers and trekkers will travel to Base Camp in three separate teams, each led by IMG guides and sherpas and composed of a nice mix of climbers and trekkers. This balances out the team and gives us lots of options. Here are some important details to note for our 2016 Everest programs:
Lobuche Base Camp
Our new Lobuche Base Camp strategy has been working great the last few years, and we will do it again for 2016. This means the climbers and trekkers skip the lodges of Lobuche village and Gorak Shep. Three nights of camping at Lobuche BC and gorgeous day hiking in the area provide excellent acclimatization. This means our climbers and trekkers will feel good when it's time for them to move up to the Everest Base Camp! We'll have our own sherpa cook team preparing meals at Lobuche BC to keep our team members healthy.
Everest Base Camps
In our ongoing effort to constantly improve our IMG program, for 2016 we will have two separate (adjacent) base camps, one for the Classic climbers and one for the Guided climbers. Each camp will have a separate dining, toilet, shower, and kitchen facilities. In between the camps we have our common meeting facility-the giant Eureka Military MGPTS tent, complete with 70,000 BTU military hazmat tent heater that runs outside the tent and pumps the heated air inside (so no danger of carbon monoxide). This is the place to be if you want to hang out in a carpeted and warmed environment, watch movies, read, work on the computer, make a phone call, or just socialize! We have good charging capacity with both 12v solar and backup generators. We have wireless internet now available at Base Camp (cost per person for the season is TBA). In our Command Center Jangbu and Greg have a VHF radio base station, large antennas that let us communicate well with the South Col and all the way down to Pheriche. We subscribe our climbers and Sherpas to the service provided by the HRA Base Camp Medical Clinic so you have available to you unlimited consultation to the doctors.
Nothing is more important to health and morale on a long trip than good food. We have very experienced Lobuche BC, Everest BC, and Everest Camp 2 Sherpa cook teams. At Base Camp they bake fresh bread, rolls, cakes, etc on a daily basis. We receive regular deliveries of fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat to Base Camp in addition to staples purchased in Kathmandu and "goodies" brought from USA. Most climbers will spend about two weeks at high altitude (over 6000m/20,000ft) during the course of the trip, when appetites really wane and life is truly miserable. We encourage climbers to choose their high altitude food items at Base Camp from our food supply tent, and bring the food up with you (the sherpa can assist), so you know exactly what you will be eating up high. For climbers, we also suggest that you bring from home about 10 pounds/5 kg of additional high altitude "lunch" snacks so you will have food for high altitude that you know you can eat up high, where many people's appetites become very finicky and it is hard to eat.
Note on 2016 Dates
Dates are listed starting with the arrival day to Kathmandu to the arrival day back to Kathmandu from Lukla at the end of the trip.
The ending dates for the Everest Base Camp Treks, and Lobuche Climb are FIXED, but you should add one contingency day in Kathmandu at the end, before flying home, in case of Lukla flight delay.
The ending dates for the C2, C3, Everest and Lhotse Climbs are FLEXIBLE, depending on weather and conditions. It would be prudent to add at least one week of contingency days to these itineraries. Normally climbers will reconfirm or change their homeward departure flights when you know exactly when the expedition is going to end for you (contact your travel agent from Everest BC). We plan to stay at Base Camp for climbing until approximately the end of May.
Classic Everest Climb with sherpa guide (1:1)
March 25 - May 19, 2016 (FULL)
March 28 - May 22, 2016 (FULL)
March 31 - May 25, 2016 (FULL)
This is the program which the majority of our IMG climbers have done over the years and is perfect for the climber with previous experience on big mountains. This is a complete expedition: no cutting corners, nothing less than the finest support on the mountain and offering you the ultimate in flexibility to tailor your schedule to your personal needs. This program is led by an IMG senior western guide and includes unlimited consultation with the IMG staff, consultation with the docs at the HRA BC Medical clinic, Icefall fees, all expedition food, communications, oxygen, Sherpa support, complete trek service, and total expedition logistics from Kathmandu to Kathmandu. We assign your personal sherpa guide to you at the beginning of the expedition, and you climb together over the acclimatization rotations, developing familiarity and friendship. IMG does not allow members to climb solo. Our itinerary includes staying at our custom Lobuche Peak base camp for great acclimatization hiking on the way to Everest BC at the beginning of the expedition, a subsequent ascent of Lobuche for further acclimatization and training prior to the first rotation on Everest, then two acclimatization rotations (one to C2 and one to C3) prior to the Everest summit bids. The goal is maximum practice and acclimatization before going high on Everest, for the best possible chance of success.
Classic Everest Climb with western guide (1:1)
March 25 - May 19, 2016 (FULL)
For the customer who is not cost sensitive, and who wants the optimum support, we assign one of our senior IMG guides, and for up high, we'll have an additional sherpa guide and provide extra oxygen for the summit bid. This is the Cadillac program for the discerning climber who wants the very best. The general itinerary is the same as the Classic Everest climb.
Hybrid Everest Climb
March 25 - May 19, 2016 (FULL)
Many of our customers have told us they want the oversight of a Western Guide in addition to the individual attention provided by a personal Sherpa Guide. Now we have what you are looking for! Join seasoned IMG Everest guides and great sherpas for a guided program that combines the best of both. The general itinerary is the same as the Classic Everest climb, but the Hybrid group will travel separately to Base Camp and will have a separate BC dining tent.
Lobuche Peak Summit Climb
March 25 - April 17, 2016 (FULL)
March 28 - April 20, 2016 (FULL)
March 31 - April 23, 2016 (FULL)
If you would like to visit Everest Base Camp, but stay longer and go higher, bring your crampons and ice axe and add a climb of Lobuche Peak, over 20,000 feet. Our itinerary includes staying in lodges between Lukla and Pheriche, then in our custom Lobuche Peak base camp (for fantastic acclimatization hiking) for several nights prior to moving on up to Everest BC at the beginning of the expedition. Then our Lobuche climbers, guides, and Sherpas will drop one day back down the valley to climb this beautiful peak, with world class views of Everest from the summit. Afterward, trek back out to Lukla with our crack Sherpa team for the flight to Kathmandu. From the beautiful Lobuche Base Camp tucked up a side valley from the EBC trek route, the route climbs to a high camp, then from there up rock scrambling to the glacier, which leads to the summit ridge. The steeper parts of the climb to the ridge, on the summit day, are normally fixed with about 500 meters of rope. Lobuche Peak is a perfect objective if you are fit and have Mt. Rainier type skills. (ice axe, crampons, roped glacier travel). We will review use of fixed ropes for climbers who have not done this before. Please see the Lobuche Expedition Pages for more info specifically on Lobuche Peak.
Please note that we go to the fore-summit of Lobuche. To get to the true summit requires rappelling down into a notch, then some steep alpine climbing, which is too sporty for most of our IMG customers. So we pull up a bit short, but still 20K. And the views are incredible!
Khumbu Icefall climbs to Camp 2 or 3
March 25 - April 27, 2016 (FULL)
March 28 - April 30, 2016 (FULL)
March 31 - May 3, 2016 (FULL)
Our Khumbu Icefall programs are for the climber who wants an up close and personal Everest experience without a summit attempt! All climbers join the Lobuche Peak itinerary with IMG western and sherpa guides, for instruction and evaluation. Then, you climb the famous Khumbu Icefall and beyond with your 1:1 sherpa guide. This is serious climbing, with some risk, so you need to be in good shape and have solid skills with crampons, fixed rope, etc. Camp 3 climbers will be provided oxygen for you to practice with as you climb the Lhotse Face to Camp 3. If you are thinking about coming back to climb Everest some day, this is great practice!
March 25 - May 19, 2016 (FULL)
March 28 - May 22, 2016 (FULL)
March 31 - May 25, 2016 (FULL)
Lhotse climbers accompany the Lobuche climbers to EBC, and for the acclimatization climb of that peak. After that, we have two rotations planned (same as for Everest climbers) to ensure that you are ready to ascent the world's 4th highest peak. The Lhotse route follows the Everest route to above the Yellow Band, then heads up the couloir. Lhotse is a stiff climb, more difficult than Cho Oyu. Our Sherpa team will fix the route all the way to the summit, but there is steep ice and rock in the Lhotse Couloir so you need to be very fit and capable. We figure you will use oxygen starting at C3 on the summit rotation, then from C3 to high camp, overnight there, and on summit day. The goal would be to descend to C2 after the summit. IMG has now done five Lhotse climbs, each successful ('09,'10,'11,'12,'13). Please see the Lhotse Expedition Pages for more info specifically on Lhotse.
To address a common question about Lhotse, please see IMG guide Greg Vernovage's perspective on Lhotse vs. Everest »
Express Everest Summit Climb
For very strong and experienced climbers, we provide the option of a shorter itinerary and a different acclimatization profile. Express climbers accompany the Lobuche and C2/C3/C4 climbers to EBC and then follow this with a single extended acclimatization rotation to Camp 2 and Camp 3 (overnight at C3). This means that you only do one Icefall rotation prior to the summit bids. This is a more aggressive schedule, suited to strong climbers who have demonstrated the ability to acclimatize well on past climbs and/or who can do some pre acclimatization before the expedition (e.g., additional trekking and climbing to altitude or using a hypobaric chamber). During the Lobuche and C2/C3 rotations you will be climbing with members of the C2/C3/C4/Lhotse teams. IMG does not allow members to climb solo. You will have a personal sherpa guide assigned to you for the summit bids.
Classic Nepal Everest Base Camp Trek
March 25 - April 13, 2016 (FULL) (Gokyo Ext end date April 19)
March 28 - April 16, 2016 (FULL) (Gokyo Ext end date April 22)
March 31 - April 19, 2016 (FULL) (Gokyo Ext end date April 25)
The trek to Everest BC is one of the world's classic human powered adventures! Accompany the IMG climbing team with sherpa and western guides and see all the famous sights on the way up the Khumbu Valley. Our itinerary includes staying in lodges between Lukla and Pheriche, then in our custom Lobuche Peak base camp (for fantastic acclimatization hiking) for several nights prior to moving on up to Everest BC at the beginning of the expedition. Rub shoulders with the climbers and see what a real expedition is like. Climb Kala Pattar, hike up to the base of the Khumbu Icefall and get some photos, then join in with the expedition puja ceremony at Base Camp. You stay overnight at Everest Base Camp as a guest of the expedition; only trekkers associated with expeditions are allowed to stay at EBC. Then, trek back out to Lukla with our crack Sherpa team for the flight to Kathmandu. What a classic! We have a limited number of positions available on these Classic EBC Treks, accompanying our three climbing teams.
Sherpa Led Nepal Everest Base Camp Trek
April 25 - May 12, 2016
Our Sherpa led Everest trek, with top notch support and logistics, this group also visits the team at Base Camp, near the end of the expedition, normally about the time of the summit bids. This is an exciting time to be there! After the Base Camp visit, trek back out to Lukla with our crack Sherpa team for the flight to Kathmandu. With a slightly accelerated itinerary, you can do this trip in 3 weeks of vacation!
Expedition Organization and Leadership
International Mountain Guides ("IMG")
IMG is the oldest and most respected high-altitude climbing service in the world and its three principals, Eric Simonson, Phil Ershler, and George Dunn, have led and organized hundreds of expeditions worldwide since 1975. Each is an AMGA Certified Alpine Guide with Himalayan expedition experience including Everest, K2, Kangchenjunga, Shishapangma, and Cho Oyu. IMG's Himalayan mountaineering programs are organized and directed by Eric Simonson, one of the world's premiere expedition organizers. Under his direction IMG has conducted over forty Himalayan expeditions. His teams include a group of professionals and Sherpas who are the best in the business. Since 1990, over 600 IMG team members have summited the world's classic 8,000-meter peaks, including Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Shishapangma.
Our goal is to minimize risk while helping as many team members as possible reach their goal, and we invest in the people and equipment that will make this happen. We value our reputation as the premiere international climbing company, and we only put programs in place that measure up to our own high standards. If you would like to join a world-class team, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your goals and qualifications and secure an exciting role for yourself on our expedition!
Ang Jangbu and the IMG Sherpa Team
A veteran of dozens of expeditions and an Everest summiter, Ang Jangbu has worked with Eric Simonson on every IMG Himalayan program since 1991 and is a very popular leader. Ang Jangbu Sherpa and his staff put together one of the very best Sherpa teams for IMG. We are proud to have a group of Sherpas working for us who are among the best paid, best led, best equipped, and best trained in the business.
Joining a high-altitude trek or expedition is a serious decision. You should be completely confident in the organization and leadership before you make that decision. Many of you have climbed with us before, and because your experience with us was good, you're considering another climb with us. For those of you who haven't climbed with us before, we strongly encourage you to interview us thoroughly and also talk to our past clients. When you're ready to make the decision, we'll be happy to provide you with a complete list of references. Please also browse comments online from our trekkers and climbers.