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The Glass Pyramid

A pyramid located at the foot of the highest mountain of the world may sound unbelievable, but a pyramid does exist at the foot of Mt Everest. This glass built structure located at an altitude of 5050 meters is the first semi-permanent high altitude research centre, which includes a self-sufficient energy system as well as a fully equipped scientific laboratory. The Pyramid is a glass and aluminum structure, measuring 13.22 m (43.37 ft) at the base and 8.40 m (25.7 ft) in height. Its geometric shape provides stability and resistance to the elements such as winds, snow and rain. The outer covering of reflective glass makes the structure environment-friendly.

The Glass Pyramid at Lobuche, with Mt. Pumori in the backdrop

The Glass Pyramid at Lobuche, with Mt. Pumori in the backdrop

The pyramid, known as the Ev-K2-CNR centre was the brainchild of Ardito Desio, a veteran Italian mountaineer who started the project in 1987 at the age of 90. Their first project involved the re-measuring the height of the two highest peaks of the world, namely Everest and K2, hence the name Ev-K2-CNR centre. Today this fully independent laboratory uses only renewable power sources: water, sun and wind. Waste is separated and disposed of by an environmentally sound Waste Disposal System.

The International Laboratory/Observatory is also equipped with video conference facilities allowing researchers to be involved in scientific meetings as well as teaching and awareness-raising activities. Today this laboratory supports a variety of research project ranging from meteorology to social anthropology and from geology to medical science.

Glass Pyramid with Lobuche Peak & Glacier

Glass Pyramid with Lobuche Peak & Glacier

Thanks to its particular geographic position, the Pyramid offers a unique opportunity for studying:

  • Environmental and climatic change (daily data collection, 365 days a year)
  • Medicine and human in remote environmental conditions
  • Geology, geophysics, seismic studies, geodesy and geomatycs
  • Flora, fauna and high altitude biology
  • Hydrobiology and e paleolimnology
  • Anthropological and ethnographical studies
  • Clean Technologies and Environmental Management Systems, climatic and environmental change (daily data retrieval, 365 years a day)

The Ev-K2-CNR Committee was created to further knowledge of mountain environments and to improve the quality of life of inhabitants of mountain regions, by:

  • Developing and promoting scientific, technological and cultural activities related to mountains and high altitude.
  • Supplying technical, logistic and organizational support in mountain areas, particularly the Himalayas and Karakorum, or in other remote areas of the Earth.
  • Promoting development, capacity building and technical scientific training activities to the benefit of local mountain populations.
  • Developing awareness raising initiatives on mountain research and on mountains in general.

The pyramid is located at Labuche, a small village just before Everest Base Camp and the views from here are simply spectacular the conical peak of Pumori lie on the north and on the west lies the irregular mass of the Lobuche Peak, with the cascading Lobuche Glacier, along with a host of other peaks on all sides.


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