An Italian design firm called LEAPfactory has unveiled a new conceptual design for a portable pod that would give high altitude mountaineers a more robust structure to live in while on long expeditions. The so called LEAP Pod would reportedly provide all the comforts of home, while also going easy on the environment.
According to the designers, the pod would be delivered to base camp on a mountain via helicopter, and would offer living quarters, a sleeping space, bathrooms, and plenty of storage for gear. Solar panels would provide power for lighting, an integrated stove and communications gear, and the interior would be warmer and more comfortable than a tent. Waste materials would be stored on board for easy clean-up, which would also lessen the impact on the environment as well.
The LEAP, which stands for Living Ecological Alpine Pod, would need to be securely fastened on a set of moorings, which would make it a semi-permanent structure, and multiple climbing teams could use it over time. The belief being that the more it is used the more the environment is protected from the impact that climbing teams can have on mountains where they spend weeks climbing.
While the concept looks like an interesting one, this isn’t really all that practical for any place but base camp. The higher camps wouldn’t necessarily have the space to install such a structure, and delivering it via helicopter would be nearly impossible at those altitudes anyway. That said, it does look like it could be warm and comfortable for the numerous days that climbers spend in BC on a mountain like Everest for instance.
No word on what something like this would cost, but the bill would likely be paid by a big guide company, who would then pass on the costs to their customers over multiple years of use.
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