Base Camp

Base Camp

40 Days on Everest

Book - 2014
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Midpoint Books
Each spring, over eight hundred climbers attempt to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. The conditions are challenging, and without warning can become life-threatening. Some make it to the top of what is considered the world's most majestic mountain, but others are not so lucky, and in the attempt to reach the elusive summit, many more have tragically lost their lives. Not all are recovered, their bodies left to the mountain. In the spring of 2010, 18,000 feet above sea level, documentaryfilmmaker Dianne Whelan immersed herself in the challenging and captivating world of base camp on Mt. Everest. In this personal and eye-opening exposé, BASE CAMP: 40 DAYS ON EVEREST, Whelan shares gripping stories of Maoist rebels, avalanches and dead bodies surfacing out of a dying glacier. From her perspective at base camp Whelan interviews climbers, doctors and Sherpas all living for months on end in the belly of the mountain as they wait for a weather window to summit the top of the world.Woven into the personal stories of these climbers is the devastating truth of the human impact on the mountain and the eerie and unforeseen effects of climate change. Experts believe there are over 250 bodies buried on the path from base camp to the peak of Mt. Everest. With the glacier melting and moving at over four inches a day, the toll of the human desire to conquer the mountain is slowly and irreversibly surfacing at base camp.

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In this book, Dianne Whelan, Canadian filmmaker, photographer, author, and multimedia artist, returns to Mt. Everest to document her personal experience and the experiences of other climbers. Through interviews with those preparing for their individual treks at Base Camp (a site halfway up the mountain where climbers wait for a safe window of time in order to keep climbing), Whelan captures the climbers’ hopes and fears, as well as the effects of human presence and climate change on the mountain over the years. Whelan spent 40 days in total at Base Camp to document these stories through film and this book. Distributed in the US by Partners West. Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia:, Caitlin Press,, 2014
Description: 223 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
ISBN: 9781927575437
Branch Call Number: 796.522 Whe


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Jul 16, 2014

An interesting read, although it feels more like a collection of notes thrown together from another project then a stand alone book. I got the impression that she was very much an outsider during her time at base camp, and her observations seemed to reflect her general lack of climbing knowledge. Most of her time was spent in her tent complaining about how tired she was, and I found it frustrating that she didn't make an effort to speak to more people during her 40 days at the camp.

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