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Facing Mt. Everest but open to winds. Brr… very very cold!

Facing Mt. Everest with a bit more shelter. Most popular!!

Facing Basecamp. Least smell. Has wide open space.

As part of the “infrastructure” support at Everest Base Camp (Rongbuk), the loos are pretty primitive but they serve a vital function.

We have 3 of them, perched on a small outcrop of rocks that overlooked the Base Camp. They are sited about 20 meters away from the campsite (where we sleep). Because of the directions of the prevailing winds, no smell has ever reached our sleeping place.

They are constructed mainly of loose rocks that form a semi-circle (to protect the user from the extremely cold winds as well as to provide for some modesty). Our human waste, “the dump”, is left exposed to the elements which does a very efficient job at reducing it to a rock-hard like mess after being exposed for more than 24 hours. There is hardly any smell from “the dump” the following morning. If they overflowed (and they did twice so far), I will bring up kerosene along with a kitchen cook to burn the residue.

One of them faces the Basecamp and is the most “open” of them all. It is a pretty large semi-circle, thus the most unprotected of them all. However, it does mean that it is also the one with the least smell.

The other two faces Mt Everest. One of them is always overflowing – because it is probably the most sheltered of the three loos – and thus, presumably, the most popular. The other one, which faces the “south-north” wind, is not so popular because it is probably the coldest of them.

By the way,.. at the end of the expedition, all waste will be burn off and clean up before we leave base camp.
Ting Sern

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