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Everest Base Camp facts for kids

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Climbers' tents at Mt. Everest Base Camp, Tibet
Climbers' tents at North Base Camp in Tibet.

Everest Base Camp is a campsite at the bottom of Mount Everest. There are two of them, located on opposite sides of the mountain. They are used as bases by mountain climbers. The climbers usually rest at base camp for several days to acclimatise. This lowers the risks and severity of altitude sickness. Climbing starts from one of these two camps.

  • South Base Camp is in Nepal at an altitude of 5,364 metres (17,598 ft) (28°0′26″N 86°51′34″E / 28.00722°N 86.85944°E / 28.00722; 86.85944). It is used when climbing via the southeast ridge.
  • North Base Camp is in Tibet at 5,150 metres (16,900 ft) (28°8′29″N 86°51′5″E / 28.14139°N 86.85139°E / 28.14139; 86.85139 (North Base Camp)). It is used when climbing via the northeast ridge.

Food and equipment are brought to the South Base Camp by sherpas or porters, with the help of animals like yaks. The North Base Camp has a track that vehicles can access, but usually only during summer.

South Base Camp in Nepal

Short Rest on Everest Base Trail
Short Rest on Everest Base Trail

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. 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.

In 2015, it was noted that about 40,000 people per year take the trek from the Lukla airport to the Nepal Everest 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. It takes about two days to reach the village, which is a central hub of the area. 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.

On 25 April 2015 an earthquake measuring 7.8 Mw 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 moment magnitude scale. Some of the trails leading to Everest Base Camp were damaged by these earthquakes and needed repairs.

Panorama of Gorak Shep to Pheriche
Panoramic view of Sagarmatha National Park from Kala Patthar

North Base Camp in Tibet

A visit to the North (China-side) Base Camp currently requires a permit from the Chinese government, on top of the permit required to visit Tibet itself. 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. From the Base Camp, all tourists must take the 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 is 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.

Looking south at the North face of Everest

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Campo Base del Everest para niños

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