Everest on the web

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• www.mounteverest.net

Everest, Sagarmatha, Chomolungma, call it what you like, is, a popular place at the moment, much more popular than, say Rockall, and as such has a goodly number of websites dedicated to it.

However, many of them are, frankly, no good. mounteverest.net is slicker than most and astonishingly informative. If you want to know what's happening on the mountain, then this is as good a place as any to find out.

The design is simple and clear, and navigation doesn't throw up too many unexpected surprises.

Many of the links lead through to what appear to be external sites in an 'adventure' network. and the site is a little fond of opening up new windows on clicking links, but these are minor niggles. Ultimately, what makes a good site is content and this site has bags of it.

There's plenty of news on the countless expeditions on the mountain at anyone time, with updates on recent 'summitters', who turned back where and what's going on at basecamp.

If you want to climb the mountain yourself, the Everest Survival Kit site gives very detailed advice on how to go about it. Paperwork - how to deal with the local bureaucracy (apply for your permit at least six months in advance); food - bring lots of it and make sure you like it. It's not a time to be experimenting, apprently, so cup-a-soups, chocolate (lots of) and boiled eggs shuold go down well. Oxygen carries dangers too, such as the risk of buying fake bottles refilled in India.

Medical dangers are also highlighted. The fact that 175 climbers have died on Everest tells you that, despite the number of expeditions currently racing up or down, it is still a dangerous place. Hypothermia, frostbite, snow blindness and altitude sickness are all real dangers.

However, if you still fancy a jaunt in the heavens there are links to climbing equipment retailers, expedition organisers - and a forum to discuss your planned lunacy.

If you want to know anything about climbing Everest, then this should be the first place you look.

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