Base Camp at 17,900 ft.
Leaving Tengpoche Monastery behind, Hillary leads some of the team on a rigorous climb up the Khumbu Icefall to establish Base Camp. Climbing the icefall is hard work. What kind of training do you think the team did to prepare for difficult climbs like this one? Check the interview with Hillary to find out.

The bare landscape and jagged ice make it hard to pitch tents at Base Camp. This camp serves as home for the next seven weeks while the team carves a route in the ice and sets up eight relay camps with food and shelter to Everest's summit. The team moves back and forth between the camps as it prepares for the final trek up the summit.

Hope you're not too tired yet! Next stop, Camp IV.

Activity Pack

Letter Home
Check out NOVA's Web site to see Khumbu Icefall up close and to learn more about it. Then write a letter home to your family about your adventures up the Khumbu Icefall. How would you describe your trek up this slippery glacier? What does the glacier look like? What do you see and hear and smell?

Why does the expedition establish so many camps and who stays at which camp? Find out by exploring the interview with our host, Whitney Stewart.

Icefall- a cascade of ice that results when a glacier descends over a changing slope of ground beneath.

Base Camp- a central setup of tents where food, equipment, and medical supplies are stored; a relay site for climbers.

Photo: UPI/Bettman