Teams Settling into Base Camp

More teams arrived at base camp today. One of the early chores is to set up the electronics. This means solar panels, medicine deep cell batteries and generators. All this drives the never ending thirst for power. As is normal these days, many climbers have their own blogs. In 2009, I counted 25. I have 23 listed already for 2010!

Once plugged in and recharging, climbers often mill around BC meeting their neighbors and staring at the Icefall. They are thinking a lot about the days and weeks to come.

TA Loeffler shares her early days with this post:

It has been a heck of a day, a big arduous walk for many, got in about midday, got tents set up, got some lunch from our amazing kitchen crew. You should see our amazing Sherpa staff, they are absolutely amazing in all the work they have done to transform the glacier into our home for the next two months. Some of the stone work, they have leveled platforms, the kitchen tent is absolutely amazing, we are marveling at their work, and humbled by their strength. Pretty excited to be here, big smiles all round as people realized their goal of getting to base camp as trekkers or getting to base camp to begin the climb as climbers, so big day, exciting day.

The teams of Doctors at EverestER report an interesting :

And last but not least, introducing our mascot we’re calling Gimpy, at the moment.  An aging trail pooch showed up and bedded down near our tents a few days ago, but something was amiss and we quickly figured out that he has a broken leg.  The guy has never wimpered or complained but he obviously must be in pain.  Dog lovers that we are, he must be wondering how he got so lucky … hand delivered chicken and cookies and beans and blankets at night.  We hope he hangs out for the season and that we have a chance to get his leg mended for his next travels.

It is not unusual to have a few dogs around BC. I took the picture in this post in 2008. This guy met us at the base of the Icefall. Sometimes they follow the climbers higher even up to Camp 2 at 21,000′! Yes, that means they cross the ladders in the Icefall.

Over on the north, teams continue their move. It was reported that one European team has already arrived at the north base camp. This points out how unreliable the early information is on the Chinese side. Previously they said no teams were allowed to cross the boarder until April 10 and arrive at BC until April 15th. Keep in mind that information from Everest is always a bit sketchy and even more so from the north side.

The North SummitClimb team reports from Tingri that that have 168 yaks to ferry gear from BC to ABC! Also they comment that the roads in Tibet are almost empty showing that the boarder crossing is probably an issue for many. This is one of the primary roads between Lhasa and India.

Finally, here is a bit of trivia. How tall is Everest? First a bit of history.

In 1841 a British surveyor named Sir George Everest identified the location of the mountain. Fifteen years later using trigonometry and measurements from 12 different survey stations around the mountain ‘Peak XV’ was surveyed as the world’s highest mountain at 29,002 feet. In 1865 it was re-named Mt. Everest and is called Sagarmatha by the Nepalese and Chomolungma in Tibet. In 1955, the height was adjusted to 29,028′.

On May 5,1999 a National Geographic Society Expedition put a GPS receiver on the summit. Using a second Trimble GPS receiver at the 26,000′ South Col they could make an extremely accurate measurement by running the two receivers simultaneously. The new altitude was 29,035 feet or 8,850 meters.

However, the Nepalese still use 29,028′ (8847m) as the official altitude. And the Chinese use 29,015 (8844m). The difference being if you count the snow on top of the rock at the summit or not. I still don’t know how they measured the ever changing snow depth.

To further complicate things, Everest is still growing as the Indian plate continues it’s move north under Asia. This is what originally created the Himalayan Range. Everest is estimated to grow 1/4″ each year and is over a foot higher than when it was first summited in 1953. This according to Professor Roger Bilham.

OK, it appears a compromise has been reached and the official height of Mt. Everest is ….  both 29,015 and 29,028. Nepal and China agreed to accept each others measurement. Meanwhile most climbers use 29,035 or 8850 because it is higher. Glad we got that cleared up!

Climb On!


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7 thoughts on “Teams Settling into Base Camp

  1. Paul, probably a mix. There are a lot of Mastiffs in the area but much smaller than yours. Ian, have fun. Things will be in full swing by then!

  2. Thanks for the great coverage, I will be in base camp 4th May with a trekking team.

    1. It could be Paul but probably a mix of some type. There are many Mastiffs throughout the area but they are quite small, nothing like yours!

  3. Hey Alan, Thanks for the great coverage. I sit and wait for the next post wishing I was there. Maybe someday. Loving the iphone app. Thanks

  4. It must be really great for the early birds at the BC. Later I guess it gets too crowded. Whats the weather like in BC now?

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