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Base Camp at Mount Everest – Critical Preparation for the Brave

Updated on August 20, 2010

Mighty Everest - the highest elevation in the world

Mighty Everest - the highest elevation in the world. Satellite navigation equipment estimates the peak to be 8,848 meters (29,028.8 feet). To seasoned climbers this altitude is called the “Death Zone”, and for good reason. There simply is not enough oxygen to support life.

Everest Base Camps

To prepare climbers for such inhospitable conditions a series of camps has been built by highly experienced mountaineers at carefully calculated heights. These camps allow climbers to train and acclimatize themselves to increasingly thin air as they work their way up the slope. In addition to oxygen, the camps also provide climbers with provisions, medical supplies and specialists. Without proper training a climber taken from sea level directly to thousands of feet would soon die from the sudden change of conditions. Unfortunately rescue attempts seldom are successful.

Everest Base Camp 2003

The North & South Base Camps

Situated at approximately 5,350 meters (17552.49 feet) the two base camps, north and south, allow for  safe levels of oxygen and a period of acclimatisation, the length of which depends on the preparedness of the climbers. The choice of base camp from which to begin the climb depends on the route a climber wants to take to reach the peak of Everest. Serious climbers usually start out from the north base camp. Often the south base camp is visited by tourists who want only to fly around the peak in the safety of a helicopter.

Nepal Everest Base Camp Trek

Climbing the Everest

The decision to scale Everest is a tough one, requiring months and even years of preparing the physical body for the arduous climb; securing and checking equipment and communication devices; building committed teams, and deciding who will follow through with the climb and who will remain part of a support effort in lower camps. Nepalese guides called Sherpas precede the climbers to ensure that all safety equipment is properly prepared and to carry supplies to higher camps.

Base camp is where friendships are made

Base camp is a place to meet members of other expeditions. This beginning stage is where resources such as medical help and guidance are shared and where climbers discuss the benefits of traveling together, particularly if one team is not as well prepared as it should be. In a few rare cases people from two or more expeditions have triumphantly reached the peak of Everest together.

Base camp is where friendships are made and trust is established. The knowledge that someone may not return from the climb is enough to cement the bond for life.

Everest Base Camp Trek 2007 - Nepal

DVDs on Mount Everest Base Camps

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  • amithak50 profile image


    6 years ago from India

    I have a goal set up that I will climb this great mountain one day but it requires extreme fitness level ,I am building that up ..

  • AfricaResource profile image


    7 years ago from Dorking, Surrey, United Kingdom

    Great hub, very useful information


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