Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dining at the Seven Summits

I have always dreamed of what the climbers of the Seven Summits might be eating at the various base camps. In recent years, the guide companies and their clients have elevated the fare on the big mountains.

Elaborate stoves and exotic foods have been carried to the camps. With the commercialization of the world’s highest mountains has brought people with money and strong desires to have what they want, when they want it.

The truth is high altitude mountaineers struggle with getting the calories needed. The appetite just goes away as the body is left dealing with many other issues.

As I read from the Himalman blog:
"Last night at Base Camp the meal began with a steaming hot wash towel, then garlic soup, then pizza and spaghetti and vegetables, then pound cake with frosting, and for those who so desired, a nip of Scotch. Breakfast this morning was fried eggs and toast or pancakes smothered in fresh butter or peanut butter or syrup, or a selection of jams and honeys. Lunch was potatoes with pine nuts, freshly fried bread with cheese, corn, cabbage salad, and sardines. We’re just about to have our mid-afternoon picata,which consists of sliced Italian salami and French cheese on crackers."

To think that they will do whatever it takes to avoid the freeze dried options is amazing. In interviewing some High Altitude mountaineers, they all told that one of the most popular foods at Everest Base camp is French toast.
For first hand accounts I have found the National Geographic Everest blog to be full of interesting data on the diet of a high altitude mountaineer.
"Climbing Everest is not backpacking. We have yet to have a single freeze dried meal. Quite the contrary, we eat like kings"

Regardless of “what “ they eat, the common theme is that they eat well and climb high!