Will Everest Base Camp be Moved?

The big question about Mount Everest this year is, Will Everest Base Camp be Moved?
You may remember big international news as media sources picked up the story about climate change in the Everest region and talk of moving Everest Base Camp off the Khumbu Glacier to another location. There is a meeting happening in Kathmandu next month to review options for moving Base Camp.

Mountaineering in Nepal

The Nepal mountaineering association and the Sagarmatha pollution control committee with review all of the research and advice from a number of studies currently happening in the Everest region of Nepal. These studies are doing a SWOT analysis on Everest Base Camp, it is safe for team and climbers to stay there and should Base Camp be moved to a different location.

Will Everest Base Camp move.

Climate Change in the Himalaya’s

I remember living in Everest Base Camp from the 1st of April to 25th May 2008 attempting to climb Mount Everest. There were avalanches off Nuptse, the west shoulder and Pumori but not of the frequency that we see now. I have trekked to Everest over 40 times and the region has changed over those twenty years and is changing more drastically in recent years. I was shocked at water flowing at 5am at 19,000 feet high on Island Peak in late March 2022.


A new route is needed on Island Peak in the pre-monsoon season, that is for sure. The ice melt is happening much faster than I have seen and making this mountain more dangerous. The Khumbu glacier is shrinking, with a permanent river flowing at Everest Base Camp year-round.

The Everest region of Nepal

The science of climate change

The earth’s climate is changing. Multiple lines of evidence show changes in our weather, oceans, ecosystems, and more. EPA is committed to providing the most up-to-date and accurate climate-science information, including basics, causes, indicators, and impacts of climate change.

The science of climate change is more solid and widely agreed upon than you might think. But the scope of the topic, as well as rampant disinformation, can make it hard to separate fact from fiction. Do educate yourself on the situation and what you can do at home and in your travel choices to make a real difference.

Will Everest Base Camp move in 2023

How safe is the Khumbu Glacier?

I feel like people expect to see big piles of rubbish on the glacier when they reach Everest Base Camp. It is very clean. When I lived there all items were shipped out in barrels, nothing was left at Everest Base Camp and we actually carried all our rubbish and recycles out of the region and back to Kathmandu.

We run sleeping at Everest Base Camp treks about fifteen per year and we have to remove all items out of Everest Base Camp as part of our agreement and permit.

Will Everest Base Camp be moved


EBC is in the Safest Location?

When Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norway where climbing Mount Everest. They had eight Camps before the summit. They also used Gorak Shep 5,180 m at the base of Kala Patthar as Everest Base Camp. There are a few issues with location as water is an issue. Over crowding and sanitation in the areas would be a real issue. It is also important to separate the thousands of trekkers from the climbers attempting to climb Everest.

Currently is it not clear if Everest Base Camp will be moved. There is no consensus or solid research on the pros and cons of moving Base Camp away from its current location.

Island Peak Base Camp

The State of Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp sits on the Khumbu Glacier and in our opinion is no more unstable than in the past. There certainly are no cavities under the ice that could swallow up Base Camp or pose a threat to anyone’s life. Also, no crevasses are suddenly ripping open overnight to devour tents.

In saying that that, it is definitely warmer on the mountain and in the valleys that lead to Mount Everest. There is a year round river that flows through Everest Base Camp. After climbing in the region for 20 years we can see serious deterioration on surrounding peak that indicate that it is getting warmer. There are larger serac collapses and avalanches on the slopes of Nuptse, the west shoulder, and peaks like Lobuche and Island Peak are losing more and more ice year on year over the past decade.

High on Island Peak

Is Everest Base Camp safe in its current location?

Everest Base Camp is in the safest location. The avalanches off the slopes of the west shoulder, Nuptse, and Pumori are a bigger concern than the alleged instability of the Khumbu Glacier. As such, I would say that Base Camp is safer where it currently is than if it were relocated onto the lateral moraine, closer to the avalanches.

Ama Dablam

What are the odds that EBC will be moved for 2024?

We know the SPCC, Sagarmatha Pollution control have been meeting and there is a planned meeting this month in the Everest region. The local authorities and the Ministry of Tourism are simply studying if it’s even necessary to move the Base Camp of Everest away from the Khumbu Glacier. We fully expect Everest Base Camp to remain in its current location in 2024.

It would be difficult to argue against putting up a camp at the current Base Camp. In the past, Everest has had various permutations regarding locations and the number of camps on each part of the mountain.

Hypothetically, any forced relocation of Base Camp, or any other camp for that matter, opens up a much bigger discussion about the self-determination of the climber and the role of government. Also, the question of responsibility and liability may arise should an accident happen at the government-designated campsite.

Will Everest Base Camp is moved

Keeping Sherpas Safe

Any decision made needs to have the safety of climbers and especially the Sherpas in mind. We think about this in terms of our Island Peak climbs. Island Peak is becoming more dangerous year on year and looks like we will only be running Island peak climbs in March, October and November in 2024.

We are also exploring the idea of creating a new route to the summit of Island Peak as climate change is making this and other climbs more dangerous year on year.
Climate change is certainly affecting the whole Himalayan Mountain range.

Mountaineering in general and climbing on Mount Everest is going to have to adapt over the coming decades. Everything that can be done, should be done to keep all climbers safe while climbing is more challenging conditions.

Some people have been calling for more permanent caches of supply’s kept higher in the mountain regions. I think about our trips where we have to keeping moving equipment up and down to Everest Base Camp and Mera and Island Peaks each season. This adds to the challenges of climate change in the mountains.

Mount Everest from Kala Patthar

Technology on Mount Everest

There has been a lot of discussion around using more helicopters to review the terrain, icefall and seracs for the safety of climbers. Using helicopters is a very contentious subject in the Everest region.

Using motion capture technology to inform in real time about changes to the Icefall and the seracs could be very useful. Also, more weather stations and possibly even weather radars would give much better forecasts. This would make not only mountaineering but also aviation safer.

One thing is clear, climate change is going to produce more and more challenges over the coming years. We have to commit to Making the mountains safer,  while decreasing the impact on the climate.

High on Island Peak

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