Forget caviar dreams and breakfast at Tiffany’s. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience try ‘Breakfast at Everest’. Provided you have wealth, health and the crazy weather on your side. That’s the latest excitement for the nouveau riche and the upper crust alike — breakfast on Mount Everest, Nepal. The ultra-luxe experience can be booked for around $10,000 (about Rs 6.4 lakh) for two to three people. Guests are flown by helicopter from Kathmandu to the mountains to an altitude of approximately 14,000 feet. ‘Everest for Breakfast’ or vice versa, as some holiday designers call it, is one of the most unique and exclusive foo-foo fine dine experiences one can get, minus the sweat, grime and weeklong trekking that the aam janta goes through to get near the top. The downside, though, is that visitors only have 15-20 minutes to soak in the experience, gobble the lavish breakfast spread (vegetables, yak cheese, eggs, bacon, sausages, croissants, and jam made from exotic Nepalese fruits, and a steady flow of Moët & Chandon, of course) because that is as long as you can stay at that altitude if you haven’t prepared in advance for it. On an average, 50 guests are flown daily for breakfast to Mt Everest — that’s if the weather does not play spoilsport.
After scaling the highest echelons of the fashion world, 38-year-old New York-based Nepalese couturier Prabal Gurung decided to stopover at Mt Everest for breakfast before heading back to NY in the spring of 2010. “It’s a once-in-a-life-time experience. It takes you to the heart of Everest. The trek to just the Everest base camp requires one to be physically and mentally fit, so this is an easy option to experience the mighty Himalayas, compared to the standard 15-day trek,” says Gurung. One of the most sought-after fashion designers in the world, his clients includes Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States. Not to mention a bevy of Hollywood-Bollywood A-listers — Demi Moore, Kate Hudson, Zoe Saldana, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt... Says Gurung, “It was surreal and quite overwhelming to see through a layer of misty haze the unmistakable dark pyramid tip of Mt Everest. Twenty-four hours ago I was at Mt Everest. Forty-eight hours later I was half-way to New York. I was humbled, and I had fallen in love with Nepal all over again.”
Fed up of the paparazzi vying to capture them off- guard, the rich and famous are now finding privacy and solace on the top of the world, literally. Says a leading Bollywood hero, who took a little vacay “up there” after splitting with his gorgeous wife last year: “It is mind-blowing. You are surrounded by Nature’s most stunning landscape. Marriages are made in heaven but when they break, you go to Everest! I will never forget the panoramic view of the majestic Himalayan range, including Mt Everest, Ama-Dablam, Thamserku and several others.” But to fly “up there”, one really needs to be well-connected and well-heeled. Don’t be taken in by tour operators who promise you manna from above and the elixir of life at Mt Everest. Stick to bespoke holiday planners such as www.yetimountainhome.com, www.everestforbreakfast.com and http://www. remotelands.com/ who are known to be genuine, though they take time to respond to your queries. Says a leading holiday designer (that’s what they are called now) who organises breakfast trips for the crème de la crème strictly through reference: “It’s not the breakfast, it’s the “Me” time one spends at Mt Everest. We are very particular about our clients and their confidentiality.” The secret lives of real Bigspenders! “Who cares about breakfast when you can feast on Mt Everest?” quips the tinsel-town hunk, who plans to take his new-found love to the top of the world. Oh, the lives of the rich and famous, even their downs are as attractive as their ups. Bon Voyage!
Not everyone can land directly at 14,000 feet above mean sea level and be active, because of the shortage of oxygen at those heights. At best, visitors could get a headache; in extreme cases people could become breathless, develop brain edema or have a heart attack. There is an easy solution. A little acclimatisation works wonders. Taking aspirins a week before heading for the Everest breakfast to thin the blood could do the trick. But do consult a doctor.
(Note: Photo Courtesy: www.everestforbreakfast.com)...