Wow, our new Everest Lodge to Lodge Trek was chosen by Outside magazine as one of just ten “2011 Trips of the Year!” As the editors of Outside put it, this trip "lets you see the top of the world without the circus of Base Camp."
This is REI Adventures' 25th year of taking guests into the Everest region, so Outside magazine's recognition of our new, off-the-beaten path itinerary is a true honor for us. We can't help but agree, of course, that this is an amazing journey to one of the world’s most iconic adventure travel destinations.
Justin Wood, our Everest region trip manager, developed our new Everest Lodge to Lodge itinerary after his most recent visit to Nepal. On this trip, he discovered some welcoming small lodges along a great but seldom-traveled path. This route provides amazing hiking opportunities during the day, where chance encounters with local people can unfold, and you get a small, clean, comfortable lodge to rest in at night. Most other trekking trips to this region camp or stay in tea houses after a full day on the trail.
Now don’t get us wrong – these lodges are not luxurious accommodations, but you’ll enjoy clean rooms with twin beds and attached bathrooms with hot showers almost every night (sometimes shared, sometimes private). Plus, our own kitchen crew accompanies the group to help ensure high standards of food-handling and preparation. Essentially, you get all of this without losing the elements of the local color and culture that are often so life changing to folks traveling there.
In addition our guests will get the opportunity to:
• Explore Khumjung, where Sir Edmund Hillary helped build the region's first school and whose monastery houses a mysterious relic – might it actually be the skull of the mythical Yeti?
• Hear the hypnotic sounds of traditional chant, thundering drums and the great resounding horns of the 40+ devout Buddhist monks of Tengboche Monastery.
• Stay in the hidden village of Thame (13,100'), an important waypoint on the salt trade route between India, Nepal and Tibet. Few trekkers stray far enough from the main routes of the Khumbu to experience such places as this.
• Hike at the relatively moderate altitudes of 11,000' to 13,000' while still enjoying spectacular views of Everest.
We’re grateful that the article in Outside is helping us spread the word about this amazing new trip. We think it is certainly a “trip of a lifetime” for all who come along with us.