Episode 059: Bartertown

Getting Ready For Goodbye. This was the last afternoon and Ben and I took advantage of it by visiting the Tibetan village at the North end of Base Camp.

The little shanty village is totally temporary. It get’s set up by various Tibetan entrepreneurs in response to a need driven by the tourist traffic here at Everest. The town is constructed of scrap wood and tarps…but its economic impact on the area is huge. As more and more tourists come to Everest they all need a place to sleep or eat or simply have tea. These local businesses are more than happy to serve up whatever is needed: Coca Cola, Pabst Blue Ribbon, fossil samples found nearby, fresh yak meat and the occasional fresh vegetables among countless other items. Of course there’s also a few pubs and they can get pretty rowdy after dark.

The entire area of Base Camp including Bartertown and the Climber’s Camps are governed by the Tibetan Mountaineering Association and the China Mountaineering Association. There’s a TMA/CMA administration bunker located directly between the two sections of camp and that’s where we headed to try and pick up Ben’s Summit Certificate: proof that he had stood on the summit of Everest. Unfortunately, it had already been delivered to our camp!

After making our way back to our tents the sun was getting low and so we spent the remainder of the day taking photos of our various friends. These last few hours are the last time we’ll all be together and easily found. I’m going to miss so many of my old new friends tremendously. But still, however sad we are at parting company, no one os sad to be leaving Everest. It’s time to go home and begin the rest of our lives.

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 16:23