World Expeditions’ Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar trek skips the retirement-sucking summit cost and, instead, offers a 20-day hike that follows the historic route from Lukla to the growing spectacle of Everest Base Camp. World Expeditions kicks off its journey with a stop in Kathmandu and then flies hikers to Lukla’s Tenzing-Hillary Airport, where you’ll begin your trek. On day five, you’ll acclimatize by exploring the 11,286-foot-high village of Namche Bazaar and then it’s off to Dingboche, home to the storied Buddhist Thyangboche Monastery. The halfway mark is a slow ascent through yak pastures to Khumbu Glacier. At the top of 18,192-foot-high Kala Pattar you’ll get unsurpassed views of Mount Everest. Rest up, the next day is a tour of the infamous Everest Base Camp. The trip then winds back toward Kathmandu with visits to Himalayan Trust projects in Khunde and Khumjung. The Nepalese celebrate the New Year in April so your New Year’s is destined to be an intimate affair at one of World Expeditions’ brand-new permanent campsites. $2,490; Dec. 19-Jan. 7, 2012; wait list only.
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