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Photograph courtesy of Journeys International
A Visit to Sherpa City

Nestled in the Himalayan foothills at 11,000 feet, the town of Namche Bazaar is home to hundreds of Sherpa families. It’s also the last major settlement trekkers pass en route to Everest, stopping for provisions and little more. But one outfitter is trying to change that. “If you’re traveling so far, why would you pass through quickly instead of settling in and slowing down?” asks Joan Weber, who founded Journeys International 31 years ago with her husband and their Sherpa business partner, Pemba Tsering. That’s the premise behind Journeys’ newest Nepal trip, which bases clients in the Sherpa-owned Moonlight Lodge, in the roadless Khumbu region. The inn steeps you in the local Buddhist and mountaineering cultures, and your Sherpa hosts serve as the ultimate concierges, showing you everything from how to cook momos (similar to samosas) to where to find the best hikes. Itineraries are completely flexible: You might devise a trip that’s purely cultural, spend all nine days trekking, or do a combination of both. “For the Sherpas, it’s no problem to sit down and say, OK, how about the day after tomorrow we set off on this two-day side trip?” says Weber. It might be to the Tengboche monastery, or you might go all the way to Everest Base Camp.

Outfitter: Journeys International;
Price: $1,690 ($)
Length: 9 days
Departs: Year-round

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