Everest Base Camp Goes Hi-Tech
"Porter with solar panel" © 2009 Rick McCharles, used under a Creative Commons attribution license.
One question that sometimes comes up, for those planning to embark on an Everest Base Camp trekking adventure with Mountain Kingdoms, is: what level of technology is available at the 5,300 metre Base Camp? For some, part of the appeal of venturing into the Himalayas is the sense of being out in the wilderness, while others prefer to be connected to the rest of the world. With the installation of mobile phone coverage and other pieces of modern technology in recent years, it is easier than ever to keep connected. Here are just some of the ways that the region has become more hi-tech.
Technology has always been an important factor in Everest Base Camp trekking, even in the earliest days of Everest exploration, in the form of climbing equipment and bottled oxygen. Today, modern technology plays several roles in ensuring safe and enjoyable treks for all. The advent of 3G mobile and internet coverage in 2010 may be considered convenient, but increased communications also helps trekkers, Sherpa guides, and emergency services to meet their aims all the more efficiently.
An interesting element of the developing relationship between Everest and technology is the increased potential for scientific research at Everest Base Camp. Trekking may be the activity that people associate the most with the camp, but it is also used by medical researchers, as the effects of altitude on the body are similar to the effects of certain medical conditions.
The Khumbu region is one of pristine natural beauty, and striking the balance between beneficial technological advancements and protecting the environment is one that concerns many researchers. The good news is that in many cases, the technology installed is a prime example of how eco-friendly and efficient such developments can be - especially given that almost all energy in the region comes from solar power.