They're called classics for a reason. These are the journeys with the epic landscapes, wild animals, and wilder cultures that challenge you to contend with circumstances beyond your control. They're trips with the power to change your life.
Trekking to Everest
Face it, you may never actually climb the world's highest peak. But you shouldn't miss out on the chance to see it. The 13-day route from the village of Lukla through Namche Bazar to Everest Base Camp is the all-time classic Himalayan trek, delivering up clear shots of Everest and, as a bonus, Himalayan giants Ama Dablam, Kangtega, and Tawache. The weather is clearest in October and April, when the icy peaks cut into the pale-blue sky and the red, green, and orange Tibetan prayer flags assume a preternatural brightness. There's no shortage of willing Sherpas and outfitters to guide you, but to get the most authentic trekking experience, you'll need to choose carefully. Karma Quest – which is owned by Wendy Lama, a Californian who spent 15 years helping develop ecotourism in Nepal, and her Nepali mountaineer husband Karma – hires local guides with eco-trekking training and a knack for immersing visitors in Sherpa culture. En route to base camp, they might bring you to a meal with their own family, invite you to a Sherpa wedding, or, in the fall, take you to the colorful Mani-Rimdu Buddhist prayer festival at Tyangbuche.
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