Gear Guy

These three items kept our senior editor sane while spending months at Base Camp.     Photo: Grayson Schaffer

Q:

What Do You Wear at Everest Base Camp?

There's been a lot of coverage of the this year's climbing season on Everest, and I'm curious as to what day-to-day life is like at the roof of the world. What are the basic necessities?

A:Many of you followed our man Grayson Schaffer’s excellent coverage of the climbing season on Mount Everest. For five weeks, he lived at Base Camp at 17,598 feet, filing reports on what proved to be an exciting, and tragic, climbing season.

The weather at Base Camp can vary wildly, from sub-zero at night, to rainy or snowy, from calm to wind, to warm and sunny. Grayson says Base Camp really wasn’t as cold as people might expect–and in fact, with the sun out it can be oppressively hot. But then the sun goes behind a cloud and the temperature drops 60 degrees. So having clothing that can readily adapt to those temperature differences is important. Grayson found that you need to layer up, so you can quickly change your clothing mix. And you'll want stuff that doesn’t need to be cleaned often, as doing laundry is out of the question.

I asked Grayson: What pieces of gear did you find indispensable at Base Camp? The answers might surprise you.

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