22. Base Camp Considerations

In this video we look at how to choose an alpine basecamp. When selecting a base camp area, there are a four main considerations:

1. Proximity to your objectives
2. Access to water
3. Sun exposure
4. Wind protection

And below are a few tips related to each of the four main considerations:

– One way to save time and fuel is by having a source of running water nearby, rather than needing to melt snow.

– If your objectives allow you to return during daylight hours, try to have your camp set up in an area that receives the last sunlight of the day.

Or if you are a California High Sierra rock climber that likes leisurely starts on sunny alpine granite, then perhaps position your camp in a place that receives first rays of morning sun. This can help motivate you to start your stove for morning coffee and get after your climbing objectives.

– Try to avoid setting up camp in areas with depressions or “cold sinks”. These areas typically carry a cold chill, versus other locations.

And of course, always follow Leave No Trace guidelines when setting up base camp!

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.