Image Courtesy of Brad Clement

From: Brad Clement
Annapurna IV - Nepal, October 14, 2008

Cooking on the Mountain

Cooking in a tiny tent while perched on a steep, icy slope higher than the clouds can be a complicated affair - or very basic - depending on how you look at it.

While climbing, we often spend weeks living on a mountain, and we take with us a tiny gas burner stove to cook all of our food and melt all of our drinking water. Yes, there is no running water on these big mountains - just snow and ice to gather and melt for drinking water. Each night, it takes about 3-4 hours to melt drinking water and cook dinner for 2 people.

As we gain elevation, water boils at lower temperatures. So, the water boils faster, but the cooking temperature is lower. This means that the higher we go the longer it takes to cook our food. Sitting in a tiny tent, crouched for hours every night, can get very cold!

Our stoves runs on gas canisters - each canister lasts about 2 days for 2 people. For example, during the 14 days we spent on Annapurna IV, we used 7-8 canisters, and had to carry them up and then back down the mountain on our backs. The great thing is that the stoves we use are very light, burn very hot and very fast, and are very reliable!

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Postcards from the Field: Annapurna

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