It used to be a time-consuming and harrowing experience to get to the Everest Base Camp (EBC) for a glimpse of the world’s highest peak. Crossing extreme hills and altitudes of up to 18,000ft; it takes longer to prep the body than completing the trek itself — but now, there’s an alternative.
Asia tour operator Remote Lands now offers a Himalayas by Helicopter package, that lets clients enjoy the world’s highest-altitude full breakfast at 14,000ft. Although, you will need to wolf down your meal, which includes eggs, bacon, sausages, fruit, croissants, muffins, jams and Champagne.
“We can only let you stay 15 minutes at EBC because you have not gone through the altitude acclimatisation,” Phil Ingram, Remote Lands’ director of global marketing, explains. “The advantage is that you can skip the hiking. But if you’d like, you can hike up and helicopter down, and save the four-day trek back. There are many options.”
Remote Lands charges US$10,000 for groups of up to three for the breakfast experience. Most travellers tend to book Everest breakfasts as part of larger packages, which include 10-day itineraries through Nepal. However, some choose to book à la carte. “Private helicopter experiences are very much in fashion these days for those that can afford it,” Ingram says. “And Everest is probably the ultimate destination to have such an experience.”
Remote Lands also offers elevated luxury lodges with front-row views of the mountains clients have just ‘conquered’ (if you could call it that). Other tour companies provide similar options. US-based The Explorations Co and UK travel specialist Red Savannah coordinate morning feasts at Kongde Ri mountain’s Yeti Mountain Home, slightly lower than EBC. Both pass up on EBC explorations but the feat of feasting at Kongde is similarly breathtaking, with a panorama of all the surrounding peaks, including Everest.
Scaling down, but still pretty lofty, helicopter tour operator Viator offers the chance to enjoy breakfast at 12,300ft above sea level for its four-hour package, which also manages to fit in a pit stop at EBC from Kathmandu.