B. How Does Monitoring Weather Help the Everest 2000 Team?
Everest expeditions are only allowed during the spring and fall. These times have been chosen and regulated by the government because these are the safest times to climb according to the general climate trends for the region. For example, starting in May around the end of the spring climbing season, the monsoon season begins. And in approximately November, which is the end of the fall climbing season, the winter sets in with more storms and unpredictable weather making it a very difficult time to climb.

Climbers have to register their expeditions with the Nepalese government and receive permits for their permission to climb.

There is no guarantee, however, on any given day that the weather will be suited to climbing during the 'climbing season'. In fact, the Everest 2000 team has to pay close attention to the daily weather reports that are specifically designed for climbers in the region. The detailed and specific weather information found in the Bracknell Report is key for making decisions about the progress of their expedition.

Through daily weather reports and their own observations, the team may decide to wait before moving through the dangerous Khumbu Icefall, or may delay their summit attempt and wait out a potential storm at one of the camps. There is always a danger of avalanches that are often caused by variations in the weather that change the conditions of the snow.

Though you cannot access the Bracknell Report report directly since there is an expensive fee involved, the data will be posted on the Everest 2000 website. You can use this information to monitor the team's progress and provide your own predictions and advice about decision making.

Why is it colder on Mount Everest and other high elevations than at lower elevations?
Even though the 'climbing season' provides the best climbing weather, there is always plenty of snow in the Everest region because of the cold conditions at this altitude. The higher the team climbs towards Basecamp and the summit, the more severe and unpredictable the weather conditions will be. Along with the other factors related to high altitude climbing, this risky weather makes the summit attempt even more dangerous.

In the troposphere layer of the atmosphere, the temperature decreases the higher you go into its 10-kilometre altitude. The Everest 2000 expedition will be climbing to approximately 8,850 meters, or almost nine kilometers into the troposphere. This is almost 9/10 of the total altitude at which humans can breathe at all. In fact, anything past 7,904 meters is considered the Death Zone with high physical risk for even short periods of time.

At this altitude, not only is it colder than at lower altitudes, but the atmosphere is thinner than it is closer to Earth. This means that: (1) it provides less protection from the sun's harmful rays; and (2) there is less oxygen per volume of air breathed in as a result of the atmosphere being less dense per volume of air.
JUMP TO: Camp IV, where the team enters the Death Zone.

See the High Altitude and the Circulatory System section of the Energy & the Human Body Background Information for additional information on atmospheric conditions and effects on the Everest climbers.

Climate | Weather Watching | Avalanches | The Sun
Clouds and Precipitation | Wind