Supplies are carried to the camps by sherpas or porters, and with help of animals. The North Base Camp has vehicle access (at least in the summer months). Climbers typically rest at base camp for several days for acclimatization; to reduce the risks and severity of altitude sickness. Basecamps usually consist of long lines of tents with food, blankets, and light.
As of 2002, a visit to the North (Tibet-side) Base Camp required a permit from the Chinese government, above and beyond the permit required to visit Tibet itself. At this time such permits could be arranged relatively easily via travel companies in Lhasa, typically as part of a travel package that included hiring a vehicle, driver, and translator. Road access to the North Base Camp may be obtained from a road branching to the South from the Friendship Highway.
The trek to Everest Base Camp on the Nepal side is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Himalaya and is done by thousands of trekkers each year.
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