Mountaineering Tips 101 (Part 1)

I have been receiving all kinds of questions via my blog, Facebook, Instagram, and email. I will attempt to answer them now.

Food: When we are in base camp, Madison Mountaineering is five stars. We have a cook tent, and we have had burgers, pizza, steaks, salmon, seared tuna, chicken wings, pastas, bbq pork chops, veggies, salads, and so on….And it’s been amazing. The same meals go for camp 2, just on a bit smaller scale.

Breakfast are no different; fried eggs, omelette , French toast, pancakes, oatmeal, sausage, and bacon oh the mountains of bacon! The best part is I can eat like the fat kid in Willy Wonka and I’ve still lost at least 10 pounds already! This is my hiking food for one rotation up the mountain, picture below.

At camp 1, 3, & 4 we eat instant eggs or oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch we normally eat bars, gels, gummies, candy bars, and trail mix items. Dinner we have the dehydrated meals where you open the pouch and pour boiling hot water in, let it sit for 15 minutes and presto! Pad Thai, chicken n dumplings, sweet and sour chicken, Mac and cheese, and so on. The dehy meals are great because they barely weigh anything, but the drawback is, they are known to really give you the “winds!”

Drinks: Each day the guides and Sherpa work very hard to boil stream water or melt snow for drinking. The water is drinkable but there is always plenty of things floating around in it. It’s best to just shut your eyes and pretend it’s a bottle of Fiji water. I duck tape my water bottles so I don’t have to look at it!

Now, for probably the most asked question! I’ve talked about the pee bottle in the tent but I have not talked about the Wag Bag or Blue bag as they are known. So once we leave Base Camp and our luxury bathrooms ( a pop up tent with a make shift port-a-jon) you need to carry your wag bag with you. This is a kitchen size garbage bag with a scoop of what I think is kitty litter inside it. You also get an industrial 1 gallon zip lock bag to put the other bag inside after you use it.

Because we practice “leave no trace,” which means we carry our waste off the mountain, all waste, human waste. We have to carry the wag bags with us, for when the mood strikes. Luckily the Sherpas carry a five gallon bucket with a toilet seat and a phone booth size tent to camp 1 & 2. You just lift the lid, line it with your garbage bag and do your business. After you pull the bag, tie it up and place it in the 1 gallon zip lock. Then you bury it in the snow till the next use. We are expected to use it three times before getting another wag bag. Once the bag has hit it’s max capacity we pack it up and carry it out. Luckily on this trip the Sherpas have been taking it down for us, but in most trips I’m carrying it or hiding it in my climbing partners pack! 🤣🤣

After camp 2 you try and find a non windy spot. Lay your bag out on the ground and get into the same position your dog does on the front lawn. It’s not pretty, but efficient. Sorry this isn’t dinner conversation but it seems to be the most frequently asked question and frankly I want to answer and move on. Haha


2 thoughts on “Mountaineering Tips 101 (Part 1)

  1. I’ll be cheering you on and tracking you all on the second rotation. Keep the courage high on the Lhotse Face and enjoy camp 3. What an amazing life experience!!! BTW, Sunny Garcia was found unconscious. They say he’s had issues with depression. Safe, smart, strong days ahead.


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