A place of wonder, mystery and legend, Mount Everest beckons travelers from all over the world. Once the domain of only the most seasoned mountaineers, today Everest is accessible to people from all walks of life, any age group and any nationality (as long as they can foot a bill that often runs in the tens of thousands of dollars).
There are many tour companies and guide services that escort prospective climbers to Everest, but International Alpine Ascents is probably the most well-known. Of the 800 people who have reached Everest's summit since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay were the first to do so in 1953, 30 have been on Alpine Ascents expeditions, and during the stormy 1996 climbing season, their guides were among the first to rescue stranded climbers.
If reaching Everest's summit (a climb of more than 29,000 feet) is too much, Alpine Ascents offers trips to base camp and surrounding areas. Travelers meet in Kathmandu, Nepal, and then embark on a 10-day trek to base camp. Along the way, climbers can get to know the culture of the Sherpas (the region's native people), spend time in local villages and explore the Nepalese countryside. Whether continuing on to the summit or completing the trip at base camp, an Everest expedition promises to be an amazing experience.