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Layer up!

by Matthew Bush
The best way to dress for winter is to wear layers. Layering gives you flexibility to add or remove layers, depending on the weather and your activ...

Winter Camping Tips & Tricks

by Matthew Bush
When people hear the words "winter camping" or "cold weather camping" excitedly come out of our mouths, they often give us weird looks. For some pe...

How to Select and Prep a Campsite

by Matthew Bush
Before You Hit the Trail: Practice setting up your tent before taking it out on a trip. Assemble it in the backyard or living room if necessary, t...

Ama Dablam Basecamp, November 8th 2017


It was a cold first night at basecamp but I️ managed to get several hours of restless sleep. My body will have to get used to sleeping at 15000 ft (and much higher) which is why these acclimatization days are so critical. This morning while I️ was laying in my sleeping bag trying to force a few more minutes sleep, a flock of Himalayan snow cocks passed through our camp and I️ was shocked how loud they were, if the team wasn’t already awake, I’m sure they didn’t sleep through that.

I️ am still amazed each morning as it get out and look around at the sheer beauty of my surroundings, what an amazing place to wake up to! I️ headed out for my morning ritual of trying to find reception so that I️ can go through emails, send messages, try to call Lauren and the kids, etc. Plus I️ wanted to get some early morning shots of the camp. Yesterday while we were on our elevation hike there was a pair of dogs that came up to us followed us the entire time. I️ assume these are dogs that just stay here for a while and come and go as they please because they didn’t seem to have a owner. As soon as I️ got out of my tent this morning they both followed me up the hill and stayed with me the entire time I️ was “working” and sending messages home. The same thing happened when I was on Everest back in the day, a couple of dogs followed me around the whole time I was at that base camp too. At the time, my sherpa told me that it was a sign of good luck, but I’m starting to think they just want something to eat 😉

The rest of the day was just that...rest. The only real work we did today was some laundry basecamp style in a small aluminum cooking pot. Because it is so cold here the cloths don’t really dry, so when it’s cloudy you have to hang them in the tent because it’s the warmest spot. After lunch the team stayed in the mess tent and went through our acclimatization plan and did some fine tuning. We also reviewed scenarios and symptoms of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), Pulmonary Edema and Cerebral Edema in addition to the protocols and treatment for each one. We will do that several more times before the summit bit to ensure everything is ingrained and instinctual because the reality is we can’t count on a clear mind and perfect reasoning at that altitude and exposure.