Relive The Adventure


Base Camp



After their acclimatisation period, the team set off for Everest. They walked through the villages of Pangboche and Pheriche and then climbed up past Duglha to the Khumbu Glacier. Today the glacier is virtually unrecognisable as it has greatly receded and most of the huge ice pinnacles, or seracs, have disappeared.

From Thyangboche the party only employed Sherpa Porters. This strong, sturdy race of people, originally from Tibet, who now inhabit Khumbu, were used to living in this altitude so are adapted to the low temperatures. Both men and women carried loads and entire families went with the team transporting the equipment and stores. While the team were on the mountain the Sherpas returned to their homes in the Namche Bazar district and when it was time they returned to carry the team’s equipment away.


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Base camp was established on the Khumbu Glacier at a height of about 17,900 feet, near the foot of the icefall. The site was chosen by Hillary, Lowe, Westmacott and Band on April 12th, this party having been sent ahead by John Hunt to work on the icefall whilst the rest of the team were finishing their acclimatization journeys and moving up the bulk of the expedition stores.

Surrounding the camp were enormous pinnacles of ice hiding the camp and making it quite difficult to see unless you knew exactly where it was. The camp was the base from where all the teams climbing started and, although it was not a very comfortable place, it was a very welcome sight to parties returning from the higher camps. For here was a greater choice of food and, during the earlier part of the ascent at least, the cook Thondup would spoil the team with his ‘delicacies’ including fresh mutton. There was also the bonus possibility that a runner may have arrived from Kathmandu with news from home.


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Base Camp 6"× 8"

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Base Camp Bourdillon & Evans 6"× 8"

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Base Camp

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