Everest – Sagarmatha or “head of the sky” in Nepali – hardly needs an introduction. Even if you’re completely new to Nepal, the world’s highest mountain is the one place in the country that you’ll certainly have heard of. At 8848m (29,029ft), Mount Everest has been the stuff of legend since well before the famous Norgay-Hillary expedition of 1953, the first recorded team to summit the mountain successfully. And its renown has only grown as subsequent generations of climbers followed them to claim this peak of all peak experiences.
Mount Everest stands in the Sagarmatha National Park, a protected area of over 1000km2 close to the Tibetan border, studded with sheer cliffs, bare mountain shoulders and snowy peaks. This is the country of the Sherpas, Nepal’s famous indigenous mountaineers, who live in high windswept towns like Lukla, Namche Bazaar and Tengbocche. Climb up glacial river valleys, with jagged mountains constantly before your eyes and maybe even a glimpse of a snow leopard, as you push your way to Everest Basecamp, rubbing shoulders with professional mountaineers about to make the perilous journey to the summit. Or extend your trip and look out from sky-touching heights of more than 5500m as you take in the three highest passes in the Everest region: Renjo La, Cho La and Khongma La.