Mount Everest

At 29,035 feet (8,850 meters), Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world

At 29,035 feet (8,850 meters), Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. Inevitably, Mount Everest was the object of fascination long before Westerners began to climb the mountain.

The Tibetans call Everest “Chomolungma,” which translates to “mother goddess of the world,” and the Nepali word is “Sagarmatha,” meaning “churning stick in the sea of existence.” It was officially named after Sir George Everest (the British surveyor-general of India in 1859), and in 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay made history when they became the first known climbers to reach the summit.

In our expeditions, we bring together the best components of high altitude mountaineering. On a BBE expedition, you’ll benefit from our many years of experience, our world-class guides, and the most professional Sherpa team in the industry.

We also work hard to utilize new technology and equipment advancements, including the latest weather forecasting facilities, safety equipment, and communications systems. We can confidently say that our expedition offers you the most respected staff, resources, food, and base camp support available.

If you’d like to join us on the highest summit in the world, then you’ve come to the right place. We believe that the ascent should be made in the best style possible, a philosophy that has helped our expedition members achieve one of the highest rates of success on Mount Everest and secured our reputation as the best expedition on the mountain, year after year.


A Track Record of Consistent Success: BBE South Col Guided Expeditions, Spring 2010 - 2018

2018: 100% success! All guided climbers made the summit of both Everest and Lhotse.
2017: 100% success! All guided climbers who reached high camp made the summit.
2013: 100% success! All guided climbers who reached high camp made the summit.
2012: Another red-letter year for Benegas Brothers Expeditions, with six guided clients on the summit. Although we experienced very tough summit conditions, BBE was one of the few guide services to have large-scale summit success. Our experience and knowledge enabled us to choose an uncrowded summit day, and utilize our guides’ and Sherpas’ expertise. Furthermore, BBE was paramount to the entire overall success of the 2012 Everest season, after we opened a variation of the fixed route on the Lhotse Face without the danger of perilous rockfall affecting the planned route. This promptly opened up the upper face of Everest to all climbers who summited in 2012.

2011: 100% success! A number of climbers also reached the Lhotse summit shortly thereafter. In addition, BBE guides Damian and Matoco successfully made one of the most difficult high altitude rescues ever attempted, aiding a Spanish team on the Lhotse Face. They were later awarded multiple international awards for their efforts.
2010: 100% success! All guided climbers who reached high camp made the summit.

BBE's safety rate: 100%. We have never, ever, had an accident guiding on Everest.

These percentages are exceptionally high compared to other outfitters. We strongly encourage you to compare these statistics to our competitors, and happily provide further statistics on summit success ratios for Guided vs. Non-Guided expeditions

Choosing Your Guide Service
At BBE we believe there are five key points you must carefully consider when choosing a guide service:
  1.  Safety Record
  2.  Success Rate
  3.  Guides (IFMGA Professional International Mountain Guides and Sherpa Staff)
  4.  Pre-Trip Planning and Support
  5.  Logistics In-Country

Benegas Brothers ranks at the very top in each of these points; from impeccable safety record and quality of guides, to finely-tuned programs and unrivaled customer service. We hope this informs your understanding regarding non-guided vs guided climbs. Probably the MOST important decision you will make in your Everest planning process is who to climb with.

Guided vs. Non-Guided Expeditions: Making the Choice

Your Safety is Paramount
Of course, there are endless ways to achieve any goal. That’s why, in choosing your service, we want you to get all the important information, and to know how varying packages relate to summit success and safety. Here at BBE, we never cut corners. Your safety is Paramount. Because of this, we simply don’t offer Sherpa-only guided, hybrid-guided, or radio-contact-guided trips, or use inappropriately high climber-to-guide ratios. These are simply NOT the BBE style. We believe any limited-support approach strays from our cornerstone goal of providing the best and safest opportunity for you to reach the summit.

At BBE we have a 100% safety record, and firmly believe that it’s our guides that make all the difference.

Every day guiding on Everest, we are confronted with situations in which decisions must be made quickly and effectively. Something is wrong with the route, is it safe to go on? Is the anchor OK, can I fix it? It snowed last night, is it going to avalanche? The route is too crowded today, is it a long enough weather window to wait for a quieter summit day? A bad decision means life or death, and no resource – no matter how many bottles of oxygen you have, how good your weather forecast, or how quality your down suit - can take the place of being part of a team with expert judgment gained through years and years of tried and true experience. Few Climbing Sherpas in the Khumbu have the qualifications and years of accrued experience to pass BBE’s requirements for guiding on Everest.

Time and time again, we see non-guided climbers turn back due to variable weather conditions. Even those with Sherpa support frequently fail to summit due to lack of leadership from experienced guides (either Western or Sherpa); succumbing to poor decision-making and lack of planning. Even with the most generous of sponsors, few of these climbers are lucky enough to get a second chance. Furthermore, from a safety perspective, if you have just one Sherpa as your resource, the likelihood of a quick rescue with medical attention is limited. However, if your team is made up of professional Everest guides, both Western and Sherpa, and a strong support team, vital medical attention and a quick evacuation are possible. To the trauma victim, this can literally be the difference between life and death, and it’s harrowing to think of sick or injured climbers in these dangerous conditions.

The stakes are just too high to cut corners.

A paper published in the British Medical Journal states 80% of deaths on Everest occur on summit day, or shortly thereafter. Exhaustion, late summit times, and the tendency to fall behind companions are all common among non-survivors. Strong leadership skills are key when summiting Everest, and a cohesive climbing team increases safety margins on the mountain by a long, long way.

Before you climb non-guided or Sherpa-guided, ask yourself:

Do I have the experience to make flawless decisions in extreme circumstances? Only climbers with years of high altitude climbing and detailed knowledge of avalanches, route finding in bad weather, and medical and self-rescue skills have the self-care and self-management necessary to attempt a non-guided Everest summit.

This article from Outside Magazine gives some insight into guided climbs on Everest: Take A Number.

We encourage you to think carefully about your plans, and choose a service that has your best interests at heart. Here at BBE, we’re dedicated to your safety, and passionate about making your adventure an absolute success.

Your Experience: The BBE Difference…
As one of Everest’s most renowned guiding companies, BBE is not the cheapest deal, and we certainly don’t want to be. We spend more providing the very best leaders, the best guides, the best Base Camp, Base Camp Staff, equipment, logistics, and safety measures – provisions that many lower-cost outfitters simply cannot afford and do not have. We don’t cut corners - ever. Here, you benefit from the following factors, which increase the safety and success of your Everest Expedition...

Small Group Sizes: We’re absolutely committed to keeping group sizes small; no more than six to eight climbers on each climb. As you may know, there are many guide companies whose trips include 15 to 50 people, and some non-guided base camps have up to 40 climbers. These trips are hard to manage and offer little climber assistance. That’s why, at BBE, you get small, tight-knit group sizes that give you ultimate support and the very best experience possible.
Intimate Knowledge of the Mountain: This increases your summit success, and reduces likelihood of exhaustion and possibilities of an accident. 80% of the deaths on Everest happen on summit day or shortly after, and we’re committed to maintaining our flawless safety record from the beginning to the end of your journey.

Oxygen Supply: BBE gives you more oxygen than any other company on Everest. Furthermore, we use the lightest oxygen system (7lbs) to reduce fatigue and summit day times. For 2019, we also offer a 4-liters per minute (maximum) flow rate for summit day.

One to One Summit Day Sherpa Assistance: For a group size of 8, we have a team of 12 Climbing Sherpas carrying loads on the mountain. On summit day, one Climbing Sherpa is assigned to you; carrying extra oxygen for you the entire day. We also have a back up team at the South Col on summit day for comms and any support required for descending.

Gourmet Cuisine: You get a gourmet Base Camp menu designed and tested to keep you well-fed, strong, and healthy. Base Camp is fully stocked with huge, double wall dining tents equipped with carpets and heaters, comfortable chairs, and long, family-style tables. This is where climbers gather to chat, recharge, and truly experience the excitement of Everest. When we say we have the best food at base camp, we mean it!

Base Camp Support: BBE is renowned for its truly incredible Base Camp experience. We employ a full-time Base Camp Manager, and pride ourselves on giving you a comfortable, healthful, and friendly stay. In addition to our world-class dining tents and cuisine, we give you a propane heated shower, custom weather forecasting, and free, high-speed internet. You’ll stay in special tents with vestibules designed for both standing and sleeping, so you’ll feel right at home and be able to truly settle in. Solar power at Base Camp quietly supports our satellite communications, allowing us to maintain excellent emergency contact capabilities, and keep friends and family informed during the weeks away from home. Of course, BBE posts regular Internet dispatches all season. We do have a generator for backup on the inevitable snowy or cloudy days, though this is rarely used, as our solar setup is absolutely top notch. 110V power is used for charging electrical devices, with unlimited charging during sunny days.

World-Class Mountain Guides: BBE’s leaders are true professionals; exceptional teachers and strong climbers. Each guide has completed countless high-altitude expeditions, and are veterans of the Himalaya. Our clients benefit from the BBE core guide group; individuals who have climbed together extensively, creating a tight-knit team skilled in both communication and collaboration. Here at BBE, we are a family. You won’t find any other Himalayan climbing or trekking programs led or staffed by the kind of caliber we field for Everest each and every season. With a truly professional guide team, and outstanding Sherpa support; you get the leadership, guidance, and assistance you need for an awesome adventure, and a powerful bid for the summit.

Top Notch Climbing Sherpas: At BBE, we hire the same great climbing Sherpas every single year. These highly-trained individuals are treated with respect, paid above industry standard, and are passionate about working with our team. Most of these Sherpas have made a myriad of climbs with BBE over the years, and many have multiple Everest summits. Our cooks do a truly amazing job and our menus are the very best in base camp.

Expert Trek Itineraries: We create thorough, detailed, expertly planned trek itineraries for both trekkers and our climbing team. We know how to acclimatize properly, and dedicate plenty of time to this process. You’ll stay in the most comfortable lodges with the safest and most delicious food. Unlike most other teams, we actually take our trekkers to Base Camp, and invite you to stay as MEMBERS of the expedition team. If you want to trek to Everest Base Camp, go with a team like BBE; giving you the chance to fully experience the magic!

Result-Driven Planning: In order to give you a truly seamless and stress-free travel experience, we comply with all local, state, federal, and international regulations for the countries in which we climb. This includes proper visas and climbing permits, top of the line equipment, and Himalayan Rescue Association Membership (full “Everest ER” access) as well as the maximum level of insurance possible for all our employees and support teams. At BBE our commitment to the safety and the well-being of our local staff is paramount. And of course, complete adherence to all environmental regulations.


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