Starting on a journey to a mountain climbing base camp is quite a thrilling experience. That’s because mountain climbing is a great expedition, whose memories last for a lifetime.
It’s a journey that subjects the body to extreme climatic changes, as well as intense workouts.
Thus, proper preparation is essential for successful mountain climbing expedition. Getting to a base camp is an incredible accomplishment. It makes the sacrifice, the discomfort and pain vanish as you experience breathtaking sights of worlds’ highest heights.
You now know what to expect if you are planning on setting out to a mountain climbing base camp.
Mountain climbing can be a dangerous sport because of all the risks and hazards involved when trying to conquer a certain peak. That is why prior to the actual climb, intense preparation is required.
Mapping out the route, checking weather conditions, purchasing and securing the necessary equipment (including goods), and other preparations are very important in the whole process of mountain climbing.
One of the most important preparations required is setting up a base camp just right before the climb. A base camp, aptly named because it is a camp that is set up at the base of the mountain, is usually the starting point of the climb.
It is needed for higher mountains that require two or more days, or even weeks, to conquer. The base camp is used to store supplies and other goods that may be carried to other smaller camps higher up the mountain.
Climbing a high mountain can be a difficult task. It can rate from difficult to life threatening if there is a lack of proper supplies. This is the reason why a correct set up and an abundance of supplies is highly recommended, even if the climber has to overstock.
The base camp setup for mountain climbing isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Remember, this is the rest area for the climber(s), prior to the ascent, and after going down the mountain.
It should contain a bed (even a makeshift one), cooking supplies for food, a stock area, an area for clothing, a communications setup (especially for team climbers), and other necessities. They can all be housed in a large tent.
The best example of the need for a base camp is when a group of climbers is trying to conquer the world’s tallest peak, Mt. Everest. It is imperative to properly do the set up because Mt. Everest is full of dangers. Usually, there is at least one member of the team that stays behind while the others do the actual climb.
This certain member is in charge of the supplies and communication, so that if any unforeseen incident happens, he/she can call for a rescue attempt.
Properly setting up a mountain climbing base camp ought to be considered an absolute must before the attempt and requires days or weeks to complete. In fact, it can mean life or death in certain situations, and all people are best to avoid that risk.
What you would find in a mountain climbing base camp?
A base camp is basically a campsite for climbers during ascents and descents. Food and other general supplies are normally kept in the camp. They are usually ferried to the camp by porters and sherpas.
In summary, these are some of the things you would find in a base camp:
- Accommodation (very comfy or just empty spots for you tent).
- Basic food.
- Basic medication (pertinent for mountain climbing).
- Acclimatization hikes.
- Climate accustomed guides.
- Supplies like gloves, walking poles, etc. (though the prices will be quite high).
- Basic communication equipment (radios, satellite phones,…)
What you won’t find in a base camp
At a base camp, you get to enjoy some of the world’s most spectacular sights. However, this great accomplishment comes with a pack of limitation. And that’s because at that point, you are miles away from basic infrastructures.
These are some of the basic things you won’t find at a base camp:
- Highly perishable food stuffs like meat, as ferrying takes long time, making it hard to retain their freshness.
- Regular showers. Temperatures are freezing cold making heating very expensive. Plus the water gets cold as soon as it leaves the heater.
Other Considerations for a Great Mountain Climbing Expedition
Before starting on the journey, proper prior planning is important. First of all, you need to make sure you are physically fit.
Though you may drive as far as the terrain can allow, mountain climbing is everything about trekking.
This may require doing rigorous exercises like stair and weight training to ensure you are in good shape.
Next, you need to plan your accommodation. This may require pre-booking rooms (if available) along the way to the base camp.
Alternatively, you may decide to carry a tent for your own accommodation. However, this may require making arrangements for more porter power, to help carry the extra weights.
For a stress free hiking experience, you need to get the gear right. This means warm clothes and proper mountaineering boots. Consider carrying waterproof jackets and pants to keep you protected, as rain tends to be a regular.
Get boots which are optimized for climate change to guarantee comfort all through. Likewise, perfectly fitting boots will ensure you have a blister-free experience. Nothing can mess your mountain climbing expedition like sore feet.
Remember to carry all the medication you might need, to relieve acute mountain sickness, among other infections that may occur. These include antibiotics, diamox, paracetamol, etc. You will also need to pack energy boosting snacks.
Some of these supplies are available along the way, but note that their cost increases the higher you go.
Final Thoughts for Mountain Climbing Base Camp
Nevertheless, it’s important to make your luggage as light as possible, because heavy luggage will require additional porters. In short, carry only the most basic necessities.
Once you reach the base camp, you may need to rest for acclimatization. This helps reduce the severity of altitude sickness and may take several days.