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To go to where the Cordyceps is, you have to travel for no less than seven days by horse, on foot, and finally by yak up to the snow line where the wild Cordyceps grows. The air is so thin at that altitude and the elements are so harsh that most westerners never make it to this destination. There are no motels, hotels or toilets. There are no restaurants or places to shower. Actually, there are not even any real roads once you get out of sight of the last town at about 10,000 feet. There are trails, but they are often ruined by rains and fallen trees.

If it rains and you get wet, there’s no real way to get dry. Unfortunately, in the late spring and early summer months when Cordyceps is ready to harvest, it rains up there most of the time. The Cordyceps is collected, one mushroom at a time, at an elevation between 14,500 feet and 17,000 feet, just meters below the snow line.

Sometimes, due to an excessively wet rainy season, there are floods and mud slides. In fact, people are often killed trying to collect or trade Cordyceps due to mishaps on the trail up and down the mountain. Bridges fall into rivers and people can be stranded for weeks without supplies. The rain can get into the collected Cordyceps and much of it is ruined.

The following are the most well known benefit.