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 Lesson 24

0081Kevin.jpg (106004 bytes) Welcome to the EverestNews.com Lesson plans developed by Kevin Cherilla ( base camp manager of the NFB 2001 Everest Expedition and 7th and 8th grade physical education teacher from Phoenix, Arizona) and the staff at EverestNews.com, the largest mountaineering publication in the world.

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Lesson 24 // Jobs on the Mountain

Jobs on the Mountain

There are many jobs that need to be done on the mountain in order for the expedition to run smoothly.  

  1. Expedition Leader
  2. Sirdar  - Lead Sherpa
  3. Team Physician
  4. Climbers
  5. Base Camp Manager
  6. Camp Cook
  7. Camp Baker and Pastry Chef

Expedition Leader

Our expedition leader was Pasquale Scaturro from Denver, Colorado.  For over a year now, Pasquale has been in charge of putting the entire expedition together.  He has conducted our team meetings, put together our budget, itineraries for travel and climbing, contacted sponsorships, etc.  While we are on the mountain he will be in charge of the climbing schedule.  He will make the “calls” on the mountain as to when we move or stay put, which gear and supplies need to be where and when, plus many others.

Sirdar – Lead Sherpa

Khami Sherpa was our lead Sherpa or Sirdar and he is from Nepal.  He was in charge of all the Sherpa that will be a part of our expedition.  The Sherpas will carry loads for us, set up camps, fix the climbing ropes, cook, and hopefully give us some back rubs and messages!  They are very important on the mountain and extremely strong climbers.  

Team Physician

Our team doctor was Steve Gipe from Bozeman, Montana.  He monitored the health conditions of all the members of the expedition while on the mountain.  He gave us important information about the proper shots and medication we took before we left and while we were on the expedition.  He took care of any accidents or other medical emergencies if needed during the climb.


All of the climbers was in charge of setting up camps, hauling loads, setting up fixed lines, routed finding and doing some of the cooking, especially hire up on the mountain.  They provided support for our team but other teams as well, if needed. 

Base Camp Manager

I, along with Maurice Perot, was be the base camp manager for the expedition.  The following duties are the responsibility of the base camp manager.

Financial Officer While in Base Camp

Payment of all team expenses while in base camp. This will be done out of a cash box that is kept with local currency.

This may include:

  • Payment to Sherpas for returning oxygen bottles
  • Payment of mail runner
  • Purchasing additional puja items (juniper bush, incense etc)
  • Purchasing additional items such as medicine, food, beer soda

Anything team needs while in base camp and costs money, payment is handled by

base camp manager.

Oversight of All Food Supplies & Equipment

  • Weekly restocking of necessary food items (fresh food, drinks etc.)
  • Daily (or as needed) inventory of food supplies to ensure the camp is well stocked, but not over or under. Dining tent should always have enough snacks, tea, etc. within easy grasp.
  • Organize all equipment and food for movement up mountain.
  • Assist with menu for Sherpa cooks.

Oversight of Sherpa Health Issues and Assistance with Team Health Issues

  • Ensuring that Sherpas and cooks or anyone associated with food preparation is following proper hygiene to ensure food does not get contaminated.
  • Ensuring that eating area is always CLEAN and ready for the next meal.
  • These can be accomplished getting the Sherpas into a habit of being clean with the food and eating areas.
  • Ensuring that water (preferably warm) and soap are always available for hand washing prior to eating or entering the dining tent.
  • Ensuring that the cooking areas are kept clean and free of rotting food or other debris.
  • Ensuring the proper filtration of team cooking and drinking water.

General Camp Maintenance

  • Periodic maintenance of all tents to prevent high winds from knocking them down.  This consists of checking the guy wires and keeping them taught as they tend to loosen from the glacial movement.
  • Maintenance of power generation equipment.  If we use a generator, this includes supervision of the transfer of fuel (using a filter system) from the transportation containers to the camp storage containers.  Checking the fuel level and topping off when needed.
  • If we use solar, you will be taught how to use the system.
  • Charging of 12-volt batteries.
  • Repair equipment as necessary.


  • Maintain Base Camp communications with team members at higher camps.
  • Maintain communications with agent in Kathmandu.
  • Keep log of daily team activities.
  • Monitor weather dispatches.
  • Collect outgoing mail for runner.


  • Maintain log of environmental accomplishments; i.e., number of oxygen bottles, fuel canisters, amount of garbage collected.

 Other Duties

  • Writing weekly dispatches on team progress for the Nepalese Liaison Officer, writing the summit report and the final expedition report.
  • Dealing with independent trekkers who wander into camp.
  • General camp security.
  • Liaison with other teams.
  • Coordinate "getting off mountain" needs of climbers/staff when needed.

Camp Cook

The camp cook will be one of the Sherpa.  They are responsible for keeping our bodies fueled and our bellies plump!  They will prepare all of our meals at base camp and again at camp two, which is our Advance Base Camp.  Hot tea with yak milk is always nice to have first thing in the morning!

Camp Baker and Pastry Chef 

Reba Bull, the wife of climber Brad Bull, will also be a base camp manager.  Reba is a high school Spanish teacher in Denver, Colorado and will provide our team with some incredible food baked in a solar oven.

Find the personal for your team...

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