by Julie Hanson

Mount Everest Base Camp to Get Wi-Fi

May 15, 20031 min

Mount Everest poses many challenges. Rough, variable weather. Altitude acclimatization. Hazardous icefalls. And then there’s setting up an Internet cafŽ on a glacier that moves up to three feet a day. Tsering Gyaltsen, the grandson of Tenzing Norgay, the sherpa who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on his 1953 climb, is leading a group of volunteers to establish an Internet cafŽ at the base camp at the foot of the world’s highest mountain. The cafŽ is expected to be up and running this spring.

Since hard-wiring the site is out of the question, the cafŽ will rely on 802.11b Wi-Fi technology, routed through a combination of satellite antennas and wireless bridges. A LAN in a tent at the base camp cybercafŽ connects the wireless bridge to several PCs.

Dave Hughes, an expert on wireless and remote access technology, is advising Gyaltsen on installing the system. He configured a mock installation near his home in Colorado Springs, Colo., to ensure that once everything arrives at Mount Everest, it can be up and running in days. “This is a pioneering effort in many ways, and it will be a great service to technical travelers and climbers,” says Hughes.