Overall, the trek combines a wilderness experience with a cultural immersion unique to Nepal. You hike with Sherpas and their yaks. There are no roads, and porters are hired to haul expedition equipment into the mountains. You shop in small markets and stay most nights in tea houses, which number in the dozens in the string of Sherpa villages along the Everest trail.
As one example, Berg Adventures describes Namche Bazaar, a village at over 11,000 feet, as “small, scenic beyond belief, and surprisingly cosmopolitan.” The description continues: “Namche Bazaar is a mixture of Tibetan traders, tourists from around the world, expedition climbers, proud Sherpas, monks, Nepalese civil servants, dust, mud, colorful costumes and yaks.”
With Simper, Clarke, and other members of the Expedition Hanesbrands team, I will follow a modified version of Berg Adventures’ “Everest Base Camp Trek and the High Passes” trip. Our itinerary starts next week, heads through Sagarmartha National Park, into Namche Bazaar, and past highlights along the traditional route.
We will stay in villages and acclimate for days on the trail. The silhouette of Mount Everest — viewable from multiple points along the route — will loom overhead, a constant reminder high in the clouds of our lofty goal at the end of the trek.