Everest North Base Camp

Mt. Everest in the Sunset

WOW, we are at Everest North Base Camp (EBC) at an altitude of 5200 m (17,160 feet) – how cool is that?! If you imagine the base camp cramped with expedition tents and buzzing with climbers and tourists, you are wrong. Since a group of Americans protested there in May for a free Tibet, the base camp has been cleared and visitors can now only stay at a tented camp 4 km away. All that remains at Everest Base Camp is a military checkpoint with very drunken soldiers whose job it is to prevent people from venturing beyond the base camp’s viewpoint (who knows why…)

Thomas at Mt. Everest Base Camp

After we arrived at the visitors’ tented camp and picked a spacious Tibetan tent, we started hiking, very slowly, to EBC not really knowing what to expect because Mt. Everest was pretty much covered in clouds. We got there an hour later and climbed a small hill for better views. All we could see, though, was a wall of clouds. At this point, we were getting slightly desperate – we wouldn’t be the first people to have stayed at EBC for days and not have seen a thing. Luckily, three hours later, all of us frozen to the bone, Mt. Everest finally started clearing up, and we could see the outline of the gigantic North Face. Eventually, by early evening, the cold had become so unbearable that we had to break ourselves away from the view and head back to our camp.

Mount Everest

As we were staggering into camp, the sun was setting, turning the sky a bright orangish mauve – unreal! One Tibetan ran out of his tent watching in amazement and remarked how exceptional this was; this, of course, made us feel special. Excited, we headed for our tent ready to burn some yak dung and warm up. We passed the evening eating instant noodle soup and inhaling clouds of smoke from burning yak patties – but, at least, it was warm and cozy. By 10 o’clock we had all settled into our sleeping bags totally content with what we had seen.

Mt. Everest at Night

At 3:30 AM, I couldn’t wait any longer. Nature called. So, climbing out of my sleeping bag while silently cussing and slipping into my half-frozen clothes, I felt my way out of the tent without waking everybody up. When I stepped out of the tent, I forgot how miserably cold I was. It was absolutely beautiful. I was looking at a completely clear sky with the stars and the moon lighting up Mt. Everest mysteriously. I spent a good 15 minutes walking around, all by myself, completely happy despite the cold. When I went back to bed, I woke Tony up and whispered, “you’ve got to see this.” He lay there for another 20 minutes contemplating but then grabbed his camera and went for it. Unable to find his tripod in the dark tent, he took this beautiful night shot by balancing his camera on a pile of rocks while I was falling asleep in my wonderfully warm sleeping bag.

Tony and Thomas at Tented Camp, Mt. Everest

2 responses to “Everest North Base Camp”

  1. avatar hint says:

    That first picture is amazing! So unreal! All those pictures and stories make me wish to be out there too…

  2. avatar myeurop says:

    Hey guys! When reading about your emotional and almost poetic description of the mountains, I was reminded of how beautiful it was to grow up among the most beautiful mountains on earth, and how they made me feel, almost like a king on the top of the world. Glad you are now experiencing a similar high first hand on your trek through Tibet. Hugs Oscar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.