The Story Behind “Sixteen Nine”

Everest Base Camp

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It’s no surprise that I love the mountains, and am especially taken in by Mount Everest. There are two base camps, each on opposite sides the peak.

South Base Camp is in Nepal at an altitude of 5,364 meters (17,598 ft), and North Base Camp is in Tibet at 5,150 meters (16,900 ft).

Note the elevation of North Base Camp — sixteen thousand, nine hundred feet.

South Base Camp in Nepal

The Everest Base Camp trek on the south side is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Himalayas and is visited by thousands of trekkers each year.

Trekkers usually fly from Kathmandu to Lukla to save time and energy before beginning the morning trek to this base camp.

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. The village is a central hub of the area, and food, sundries and even mountain climbing equipment may be purchased here.

This takes about two days. Typically at this point, climbers allow a day of rest for acclimatization. They then trek another two days to Dingboche, 4,260 metres (13,980 ft) before resting for another day for further acclimatization.

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.

North Base Camp in Tibet

As of 2010, a visit to the North (China-side) Base Camp required a permit from the Chinese government, on top of the permit required to visit Tibet itself.

At this time such permits must be arranged via travel companies in Lhasa as part of a package tour that include 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.

The “tourists Base Camp” is located about half-way between Rongbuk Monastery and the actual climbers Base Camp at the foot of Rongbuk glacier.

Source: Everest Base Camp — Wikipedia

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