Trek to the Top of the World

Trek to the Top of the World

» Featured Columnists | By Steve Winston | February 11, 2013 8:00 AM ET

On May 29, 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mt. Everest, at 29,020 feet - the top of the world. In so doing, they breathed the freshest, cleanest air in the world. Had the most fantastic views of anyone in the history of the world. And became living symbols of mankind's desire to conquer the unconquerable. 
Now, there's an opportunity for other intrepid explorers to climb Mt. Everest, too...not to the top, but far enough to make it the adventure of a lifetime. To honor the accomplishments of Hillary and Norgay, a Nepal-based company called Ace the Himalaya Pvt Ltd has announced an 18-day Everest 60th Anniversary trek. Trekkers will arrive at Everest Base Camp (17,598') on the day the two pioneers reached the summit - May 29. They'll stay there for two days. And they'll enjoy an anniversary dinner celebration with Everest climbers.
The trip begins and ends in the Nepali capital city of Kathmandu, certainly one of the most exotic places on Earth, punctuated by the spires of ancient temples and surrounded by dramatic sky-piercing peaks.
Guests will experience high-altitude trekking four to six hours daily. The trip can accommodate from 28 to 56 clients, who will be sorted into 10-person groups accompanied by guides and porters.
Trekkers will have the satisfaction of knowing that, because the trip is organized by a Nepali company, 100 percent of the money earned will stay in Nepal. They'll also have the opportunity to participate in a service project to clean up the base camp, which has become polluted because of the thousands of annual visitors. And hired porters - with yaks - will bring the garbage down to Namche bazaar in the city, where it will then be handed over to a Pollution Control Committee.
Guests won't exactly be roughing it in the style of Hillary and Norgay, though. Scheduled for May 19-June 5, the trip includes accommodation in Kathmandu for four nights, lodge/guesthouse accommodation during the trek, camping equipment, meals at base camp, a licensed English-speaking guide, local staff and porters for carrying luggage, yaks to carry the collected refuse from Base Camp, down jacket and sleeping bag, airfare within the country, and a farewell dinner with culture show in a typical Nepali restaurant.
As you follow in the footsteps of the pioneers, up the mountain to the top of the world, you'll feel the snow crackle under your boots, the rocks slick with moisture, the whims of the world's most changeable climate, and the white shroud of thick fog one minute that transforms into the startlingly clear blue skies and sunshine the next. You'll feel new sensations, as the view of the awesome monolith ahead changes with each step. And you'll think of all the great mountaineers who tried and failed to reach the top of that monolith before - and after - Hillary and Norgay.
At the base camp, you'll probably meet other intrepid climbers on their way - they hope! - to the top. And you'll see the ubiquitous prayer flags flapping in the wind, and hear the bells tinkling, with prayers for those testing their physical and mental strength on the final assault for the summit.
This 60th-Anniversary trip up Mount Everest was designed with one thing in mind - to give guests the experience of a lifetime. And to allow them to cross off a Bucket-List item that most people never even dream of putting on their Bucket Lists!
You'll most likely come down from your climb a different person than when you started up. Because when you've viewed things from the top of the world, your world-view will never be the same.

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