I’ve been in many base camps but I knew I was somewhere special when I was told “… and this is our garbage tent.” Welcome to Everest Base Camp, Russell Brice style. In 2011 while climbing Everest, I spent the afternoon with Brice getting to know this man and how he runs his expedition base camps. Let’s just say, it’s different.
Most expeditions will promote their excellent base camp facilities and talk of gourmet food, individual tents, and clean kitchens. Today, this is the ante to play the game and let me say from the start that many operators take great pride in their base camps, and rightfully so. With guided expeditions becoming more competitive along with soaring prices, climbers are starting to expect more, sometimes unrealistically so.
Everest Base Camp
A base camp is just that, the camp where you are based for an expedition. In this sense, you want it to be comfortable, clean and convenient. A place where you can recharge after a difficult acclimatization climb or regroup after a summit bid. A place you literally call your home away from home.
Ben Stiller says "night mountain biking" reminded him of Apocolypse Now. But for me his hysterical description—"one of the most frightening experiences of my life," complete with "a Lacross helmet with miner's lights" and that "CamelBak slurp thing"—is more reminiscent of Tom Cruise's climbing Vaudeville routine in Mission Impossible 2. Admittedly, first time night riding can be a challenge, especially if you don't frequent a bike. But can anyone even tell me what a "girl's mountain bike" is? Good stuff.
Alberto was late for dinner. It was quarter past seven at San Francisco's Café des Amis, and eight of us, including Specialized founder Mike Sinyard and a couple of other bigwigs from Contador's bike sponsor, were silently wondering if the biggest name in cycling was going to stand us up. Just then, Contador and his brother Fran walked in and greeted each of us with a firm handshake and an apology. The two had flown in from Spain in time for dinner, just a few hours earlier, but Alberto was required to hang around the hotel till 7 p.m. to fulfill the schedule he'd logged with the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA). Pro cyclists must submit a timetable of every day's agenda to WADA in advance, and if Contador isn't where he said he would be and an out-of-competition tester shows up, he could be sanctioned.
Minus his Saxo team kit and blaze yellow Terminator shades, it would be tough to peg Contador as a cyclist, much less one of the world's best. In trendy Euro jeans, a knit button-up with plaid collar, and gleaming white trainers, he looked like just another handsome kid from the Continent whom you wouldn't want to leave your girlfriend around alone for too long. He's thin but not withering like he sometimes appears in race footage. He didn't protest when someone poured him a glass of red wine; in fact, he seemed to savor it as he patiently entertained every cycling-related curiosity our table full of admirers could summon.
You can't always get what you want, but you can get a pair of limited edition Rolling Stones themed K2 Sideshow skis if you're fast. To mark their respective 50th anniversary celebrations, K2 and The Rolling Stones have collaborated on the ultimate rock and roll tribute skis: The K2 Rolling Stones Limited Edition Ski Collection. The all-terrain, 90-mm underfoot Sideshows, the first of four Rolling Stones skis, will be available starting November 15.