I run an adventure travel company. Here's what you should do instead of Everest
- Adam Sebba is the CEO of Cookson Adventures, an ultra-luxury experiential travel company.
- He says that rather than wait in dangerous lines to summit Mount Everest, travelers interested in an exclusive adventures have many other, better options.
- For instance, north of Bogota, Colombia, in a remote part of the Santander province, lies the 400-foot deep Hoyo el Aire sinkhole, a natural marvel that only 80 or so people have climbed down.
- Guests can also visit Bhutan, a remote kingdom nestled in the Himalayas, and embark on an epic 8-hour hike to Laya, Bhutan's highest settlement that's known as "the hidden land."
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The prospect of standing atop the world on Mount Everest has become such a popular option for the everyday adventurer that the nature of the endeavor is no longer as exclusive as it once was. The internet has been flooded with images this week of climbers queuing from the famous Hillary Step up to the peak. If the prospect of spending any time at all in the so-called "death zone" wasn't bad enough, the problem of heavy traffic atop Everest is becoming so dangerous, with numbers so badly policed, that deaths have risen to double figures so far this season. Experienced mountaineers have described "traffic jams," as anyone with the necessary funds bids to conquer the world's highest peak.
When asked why climbing Mount Everest was such an aspirational achievement, mountaineering legend George Mallory famously responded, "Because it's there." But does standing at 8,848m still have the appeal it once did, when so many others are doing it? Is it worth the risk?
Wanted: A life-changing expeditionI'm the CEO of Cookson Adventures, where we specialize in ultra-luxury experiences that push the boundaries of travel. Adventure is in our nature, stemming from our founder, who trekked to the southern pole of inaccessibility (the farthest point on the Antarctic continent, in any direction, from the surrounding seas). A dangerous endeavor? Of course, but not on the scale of the perils experienced by those on Everest.
The exploration of nature and the untapped Earth is at the heart of everything we do, but safety is important too. It goes without saying that when the world's most successful people are embarking on expeditions that could change their lives and make history, they want to return from them. They want to remember them. They want to tell their friends about them.
So here are five destinations that are far more exclusive than Everest, which we guarantee you'll be telling your friends about.