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On May 29, 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay  succeeded where many before them had failed and even died in the process. They reached the summit of Mt. Everest on the border of Nepal and Tibet in the Himalayas – the tallest mountain in the world at 29,028 feet above sea level.

The preparations for their climb to the top of the world, however, had actually begun many months before and many miles away, at the end of 1952 in Wales. When they arrived at Base Camp on Everest, it wasn’t even the first stop on their journey, but it was definitely an important mile marker.

Much like them, the preparations for the climb to our peak will begin several months before the date we actually arrive at Base Camp or make our final assault on the summit by toeing the line at the last Cross Country meet of the season.  As it was for Hillary and Norgay’s team of climbers, Base Camp will be an important step in our journey. It’s an opportunity for us to take stock of where we are, how far we’ve come, where we’re headed, and finally, what it will take to get there.

Part of what it will take, and a big part of what Base Camp is about, is teamwork. A team of mountain climbers understands this and is constantly reminded of it by the fact that they are all tied into the same rope. This is partly for safety, but also for strength, knowing that no one reaches the top alone. Collectively they are capable of far more than any one of them would be able to accomplish alone.

We’ll have fun and bond together at Base Camp, but what you’re being called to be part of, to take part in, is much greater than just a few days of fun and games. It’s a commitment to not just be satisfied with what has been done, but to dream bigger dreams and discover what more can be done. That will require extending ourselves beyond our comfort zones. As mentioned above, Base Camp is a step in the process of doing and becoming all we can, but that’s all it is – just a step, not a destination. Although it should be awesome, Base Camp is not intended to be the best part of our season. It’s intended to make everything that follow the best that it can be and to launch us to higher heights. If that’s what you dream for this fall, then Base Camp is where you need to be.


“I am here for a purpose,

and that purpose is to grow into a mountain,

not to shrink into a grain of sand. 

Henceforth will I apply all my efforts

to become the highest mountain of all

and will strain my potential

until it cries for mercy.”

– Og Mandino


Base Camp is open to any runner who will be on the high school XC team at West next fall, but we will be limited to just 16 at camp this year so don’t wait to sign up. Cost for camp is $180 if registered before 4/30, after which it will go up to $200.

We’re excited to announce that for the first time this year Base Camp will be held at the Bridge 23 Running Camp which was specifically designed for XC teams and has all the amenities needed to make for a great camp that will propel us to higher heights in the upcoming season. Registrations and more info about the camp can be found at the following link. Registration is limited to 16 runners this summer so register early!


Registration holds a spot for you at Base Camp and signals a commitment to our team and our dream for the new season. That is exciting, but with commitment comes expectation. It is expected that outside of family trips runners registered will maintain at least 90% attendance at summer conditioning leading up to Base Camp. If a runner is not able to meet that expectation, their registration will be refunded and the spot will be opened up to another runner who meets that standard.