Everest Base Camp, AMA

In one of the Everest threads a while back someone requested that I make an AMA about Everest Base Camp, so here goes. A few years back a few of us flew to Nepal for a month to trek to EBC.

Ask away

Do you find it strange that everyone climbs up this moutain with such pride knowing some poor fucking local sherpa guide carried all their shit for them up the exact same moutain? 

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Josh - 

Do you find it strange that everyone climbs up this moutain with such pride knowing some poor fucking local sherpa guide carried all their shit for them up the exact same moutain? 

Base Camp and the mountain are different things and require different permits. Base camp permit was like $20 for the whole area. The mountain itself is super expensive.

That being said, I ran into professional climbers who have been climbing and guiding for 30 years and they aren’t able to summit Everest. Peoples bodies react in different ways to altitude and some can’t get past a certain altitude no matter what even though they are expects climbers in say, the Alps.

Josh - 

Do you find it strange that everyone climbs up this moutain with such pride knowing some poor fucking local sherpa guide carried all their shit for them up the exact same moutain? 

Also I would say the Sherpas are a privileged bunch. The real hard work is done by other ethnic groups from outside the EBC area. They are the ones going up and down from Lukla carrying huge boxes on their backs. They get paid almost nothing. And in the off-season most of the tea houses are staffed by non-Sherpas while the Sherpa vacation in more pleasant areas.

I wanna mountain climb just to hang out at basecamp. You grow a beard, you drink hot chocolate. "Hey, you goin' to the top?".. "Soon..."

 

M. Hedberg. 

What's involved in getting to base camp?  Is it 'just' a long walk in high altitude?  

My friend did it recently, but I haven't seen her yet. 

Passive Jay - 

I wanna mountain climb just to hang out at basecamp. You grow a beard, you drink hot chocolate. "Hey, you goin' to the top?".. "Soon..."

 

M. Hedberg. 

There is a season for climbing Everest. We went outside the season and we didn’t have the $ for the permit to climb Everest. It comes out to like $50,000 per person these days, if not more.

We actually climbed to Kala Patthar which is at 5,643 meters (18513 feet) which is higher than EBC. There isn’t much to see at EBC because you don’t even have a good view of the mountain from it.

ShortyMac -
Passive Jay - 

I wanna mountain climb just to hang out at basecamp. You grow a beard, you drink hot chocolate. "Hey, you goin' to the top?".. "Soon..."

 

M. Hedberg. 

There is a season for climbing Everest. We went outside the season and we didn’t have the $ for the permit to climb Everest. It comes out to like $50,000 per person these days, if not more.

We actually climbed to Kala Patthar which is at 5,643 meters (18513 feet) which is higher than EBC. There isn’t much to see at EBC because you don’t even have a good view of the mountain from it.

not judging my friend! I just saw the opportunity to quote my favorite comic!

Poop Doodle - 

What's involved in getting to base camp?  Is it 'just' a long walk in high altitude?  

My friend did it recently, but I haven't seen her yet. 

It’s a long walk with a few steep ascents.

There’s a pretty rough climb a few days after Lukla where a lot of people turn back.

You would be surprised at the number of people who turn back before reaching EBC.

Have you ever climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

cool hand Ed - 

Have you ever climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

No, but there are some guys on this forum who have. I considered climbing it until I read how expensive it is.

Did u see green boots?

ShortyMac - 
Josh - 

Do you find it strange that everyone climbs up this moutain with such pride knowing some poor fucking local sherpa guide carried all their shit for them up the exact same moutain? 

Also I would say the Sherpas are a privileged bunch. The real hard work is done by other ethnic groups from outside the EBC area. They are the ones going up and down from Lukla carrying huge boxes on their backs. They get paid almost nothing. And in the off-season most of the tea houses are staffed by non-Sherpas while the Sherpa vacation in more pleasant areas.

sorry I was not aware of the correct terminaology, thank you for the correction and the answer

ShortyMac -
cool hand Ed - 

Have you ever climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

No, but there are some guys on this forum who have. I considered climbing it until I read how expensive it is.

It’s expensive? My ex father in law climbed it and he didn’t give that impression at all. Plus “climb” seems like a misnomer, he said it was basically like an uphill hike with elderly folks and children doing it no problem, the only real issue is elevation. Very cool though and beautiful photos. The glacier at the top seems absolutely bizarre, damn shame it’s melting so fast. 

Sorry I didn't mean to derail with that post. 

 

Was EBC as filthy as recent articles have made it out to be? What were the temps like while you were there in the off season? What kind of gear was required and what did you have? What were your accommodations?

Did you see any gurkas or alpacas around the area?

kkmmnn - 
ShortyMac -
cool hand Ed - 

Have you ever climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

No, but there are some guys on this forum who have. I considered climbing it until I read how expensive it is.

It’s expensive? My ex father in law climbed it and he didn’t give that impression at all. Plus “climb” seems like a misnomer, he said it was basically like an uphill hike with elderly folks and children doing it no problem, the only real issue is elevation. Very cool though and beautiful photos. The glacier at the top seems absolutely bizarre, damn shame it’s melting so fast. 

To EBC is a trek not a climb but there are some steep parts (imagine climbing stairs). I was totally gassed at a few points (I was carrying my own backpack so perhaps it would have been easier if I hired someone to carry it).

From EBC to summit Everest it’s a climb. I don’t know much about the latter because I didn’t do it.

We did it in January/February and it was cheap. It’s one of the reasons I decided to go then, so as to save some money. The other reason was there are almost no other trekkers so you get the place to yourself. We asked at the government office where you buy your permit and they said there were about 500 foreigners in the area for the whole month of January compared to 11,000 in the peak month in the fall.

It was cheap but things got more and more expensive the higher you went. The last village (the one close to EBC and Kala Pathar) was expensive as shit. We carried as many things with us so we wouldn’t have to pay much towards the top.

kkmmnn - 

Sorry I didn't mean to derail with that post. 

 

Was EBC as filthy as recent articles have made it out to be? What were the temps like while you were there in the off season? What kind of gear was required and what did you have? What were your accommodations?

It was freezing at night and the tea-houses didn’t provide heat. Sometimes we were the only people in the whole tea-house because it was the off season so we were able to ask for extra blankets.

I rented a sleeping bag and a winter jacket for this purpose in Kathmandu. It came out to something like 50 cents a day each.

One thing I am glad we brought were these disposable heat pads that you crumble up and they slowly emit heat. We bought like 40 of them before we left for Nepal and we used every single one. I would open one up and put one on my back before I went into the sleeping bag at night.

ShortyMac -
Josh - 

Do you find it strange that everyone climbs up this moutain with such pride knowing some poor fucking local sherpa guide carried all their shit for them up the exact same moutain? 

Base Camp and the mountain are different things and require different permits. Base camp permit was like $20 for the whole area. The mountain itself is super expensive.

That being said, I ran into professional climbers who have been climbing and guiding for 30 years and they aren’t able to summit Everest. Peoples bodies react in different ways to altitude and some can’t get past a certain altitude no matter what even though they are expects climbers in say, the Alps.

This. Everyone's physiology is different. One of my good friends I served with was suffering hard by the time we reached the top of Sunlight Peak in Colorado. He was feeling the effects going up Engineers Mountain, 1100 feet shorter. At the time, he would've run circles around me at sea level. There are certain extremes where the body reacts in unexpected ways. The same thing happens in deep diving. The man's man is suffering from bad narcosis, and the beer gut old salt is as happy as a fish.