Glamping at Everest Base Camp

8000ers Climbing Everest
Fresh pastries in Camp Furtenbach: Photo: Lukas Furtenbach

We know that the days of spartan living at Everest Base Camp are long gone. Freshly baked goodies have replaced canned food, and the humble pack of cards can’t measure up to high-speed wifi and and pool tables. After all, if you’re charging some clients $100,000 or more, expectations are high…

In recent years, Base Camp on the Tibetan side has had a full bar, ping pong tables, hot showers, stand-up tents and proper wooden framed beds. The north side, in particular, is more luxurious because it’s accessible by truck — no yaks or porters required.

Recently, ExWeb put a few quick questions to Lukas Furtenbach, owner of Furtenbach Adventures, which caters to the “higher end” client.

ExWeb: What sort of espresso machines are at Everest Base Camp?

We have Nespresso machines for Base Camp and Bialetti for Advanced Base Camp and the North Col. Most operators use Nescafe instant coffee.

Some Italian espresso machines have problems with the pressure. Nespressos work fine if they’re not frozen.

A sneak peak at life in Camp Furtenbach. Video: Lukas Furtenbach

ExWeb: A yak milk latte perhaps?

Cow milk, or soy milk for people afraid of cow milk. Nak milk (the female yak is called nak) is too far away from western tastes…

ExWeb: Is there fine dining for the more expensive packages?

Alex Abramov (Seven Summits Club) has a South American chef in Base Camp. Don’t know if that is fine dining. We bring fine food from Europe like Spanish and Italian ham, Austrian sausages, Swiss cheese and so on.

A helicopter day trip to Lumbini, the Buddha’s birth place, on the way to Base Camp. Photo: Lukas Furtenbach

ExWeb: Are the more expensive teams equipped with Arcteryx while others make do with Outdoor Research?

Arcteryx has no expedition gear so you see it only in Base Camp and Advanced Base Camp. We use Marmot and BlackYak, a new premium brand from South Korea. Budget operators equip their Sherpas with fake stuff from Nepal. And you also see the budget clients wearing the fake stuff from Thamel.

A hot water bottle to warm even the coldest of heartsat Base Camp. Photo: Lukas Furtenbach

ExWeb: Much happening at the moment?

Many teams are now at Shigatse, a five-hour drive from Base Camp, to recover for the summit push. It has a Burger King, saunas, etc. On the way back, they bring loads of burgers, which we heat up here. The rope-fixing Sherpas are also at Shigatse now.

It’s generally a very good and friendly mood between the teams. There will be a party for all at Base Camp.

Some of the Furtenbach crew mill around Base Camp. Photo: Lukas Furtenbach


About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash is an outdoor and adventure writer from the UK. He juggles a day job as a public health scientist with a second career in outdoor writing.

His words have featured in newspapers, magazines, and on various brand websites. Major bylines include Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Porsche, Outside Magazine, Rock and Ice, and Red Bull.

He holds two degrees in Exercise and Health Sciences, and a PhD in Public Health.

His areas of expertise are polar expeditions, mountaineering, hiking, and adventure travel. In his spare time Ash enjoys going on small independent sledding expeditions, outdoor photography, and reading adventure literature.

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2 years ago

Its amazing what is possible these days even at these extreme altitudes. Wonder when the Chinese base camp will have proper electric network brought in and cable car up to the summit 🙂

Damien Francois
Damien Francois
1 year ago

Good coffee makes sense, all the rest is unnecessary luxury iamgined to cash in huge amounts. I summited the BIG E on May 23rd with EverQuest Expeditions:
The whole, EXCELLENT xp, cost me one-third of quoted amount.
Be honest, Furtenbach and tell the people why you charge that much! Not, not because of the Nespresso…