Everest base camps
There are two base camps on Mount Everest, on opposite sides of the mountains: South Base Camp is in Nepal at an altitude of 5,364 metres (17,598 ft) ( ), while North Base Camp is in Tibet, China at 5,150 metres (16,900 ft) ( ).
The base camps are rudimentary campsites at the base of Mount Everest that are used by mountain climbers during their ascent and descent; they are also visited by hikers. South Base Camp is used when climbing via the southeast ridge, while North Base Camp is used when climbing via the northeast ridge.
Supplies are shipped to the South Base Camp by porters, and with the help of animals, usually yaks. The North Base Camp is accessed by a paved road that branches from China National Highway 318. Climbers typically rest at base camp for several days for acclimatization, to reduce the risk of altitude sickness.
South Base Camp in Nepal
The Everest Base Camp trek on the south side, at an elevation of 5,364 m (17,598 ft), is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Himalayas and about 40,000 people per year make the trek there from Lukla airport. Trekkers usually fly from Kathmandu to Lukla to save time and energy before beginning the trek to the base camp. However, trekking to Lukla is possible. There are no roads from Kathmandu to Lukla and as a result, the only method of transporting large and heavy goods is by plane.
From Lukla, climbers trek upward to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar, 3,440 metres (11,290 ft), following the valley of the Dudh Kosi river. It takes about two days to reach the village, which is the central hub of the area. Typically at this point, climbers allow a day of rest for acclimatization. They then trek for another two days to Dingboche, 4,260 metres (13,980 ft) before resting for another day for further acclimatization. Most trekkers use the traditional trail via Tengboche monastery, but recently the high trail via Mong La and Phortse has gained popularity due to the impressive views it offers. Another two days takes them to Everest Base Camp via Gorakshep, the flat field below Kala Patthar, 5,545 metres (18,192 ft) and Mt. Pumori.
On 25 April 2015, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the moment magnitude scale, struck Nepal and triggered an avalanche on Pumori that swept through the South Base Camp. At least 19 people were said to have been killed as a result. Just over two weeks later, on May 12, a second quake struck measuring 7.3 on the Mw. Some of the trails leading to Everest Base Camp were damaged by these earthquakes and needed repairs.
North Base Camp in China
A visit to the North Base Camp requires a permit from the Chinese government, on top of the permit required to visit Tibet itself. Access to the North Base Camp has been closed to tourists since February 2019. Earlier, such permits could be arranged via travel companies in Lhasa as part of a package tour that included hiring a vehicle, driver, and guide. The North Base Camp is accessed by vehicle through a 100 km road branching to the South from the Friendship Highway near Shelkar, at the southern foot of the 5,220 metres (17,130 ft) high Gyatso La pass. The road leads to Rongbuk Monastery with dramatic views of the north face of Mount Everest. From the Rombuk guest house, all tourists were required to take the horse-drawn carriages or small buses managed by the government to limit the traffic in the last stretch of gravel road to a marked hill at 5,200 meters above sea level just before the climbers’ camp. It was also possible to trek up from the tourist camp, but only when properly acclimatized. The "tourist Base Camp" is located about halfway between Rongbuk Monastery; the actual climbers' Base Camp is at the foot of Rongbuk glacier.
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Everest base camp 5150 m.
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- "China closes its Everest base camp to tourists". BBC. 15 February 2019.
- "Which Everest Base Camp: Everest or Nepal?".
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