Conquering Mount Everest is at the top of most adventurers’ wish-list. But now even the less adventurous are flying into the base camp on day trips and even enjoying champagne breakfasts there. Although there are actually two base camps at Everest, it has traditionally been the one situated in the south, on the Nepalese side, that climbers have used. This is because the other base camp, located on the Tibetan side, has historically been challenging for foreigners to reach. This is just about to change.
A helipad, a hotel, restaurants and a mountaineering museum
China has plans to develop the base camp at Gangkar, in the north, on the Tibetan side.
They are investing around aim $11.5 million to create a tourism attraction 5380 metres above sea level. Work on the camp started off in 2017 and it is scheduled to be open in 2019.
The Gangkar base camp will feature a helipad, a hotel, restaurants and a mountaineering museum, along with some other services. Speaking to the China Daily, the local sports bureau deputy director, Nyima Tsering, said, “There will also be a mountaineering museum; rental and repair centres for cars, motorbikes and bicycles; and restaurants and accommodation. Guaranteeing such services would be a major lift for the region’s mountaineering and outdoor sports industry.”
Everest on Instagram
2017 has been the busiest season for decades at the Nepalese Everest Base Camp. In fact the number of permits issued to foreigners hit the figure of 371, which is the most since 1953. Other developments recently at the base camp in the south include a pop-restaurant, which popped up at 17,600 feet above sea level, for two weeks in December 2016 and the announcement that soon the camp will have free Wi-Fi. So in the not too distant future we can expect to see it as an Instagram geo-tag.
The pull of Mount Everest
Although it may seem like stating the obvious, Mount Everest has a huge pull of many people. This includes the growing market of Chinese seeking adventure tourism. So in fact when Gangkar base camp opens, hopefully in 2019, it will be a magnet for these tourists travelling from Beijing or Lhasa. Transport options include a train that goes from Xining to Lhasa, as well as a tarmac road.
Perhaps a good team-building location?
For those of you involved in managing teams, this could be one to consider as a good team-building location. Perhaps you could get the more serious business out of the way in Beijing and then hop on a train to Gangkar to do some team-building at the base of Mount Everest.