It’s attitude as much as altitude that lends Kathmandu its heady air of excitement and edginess, says the Everest veteran. Its position among Himalayan peaks, amazing food, bars, heritage and people makes it the ultimate base camp
For me, Kathmandu is the start of something special. Almost every expedition to Nepal, to Everest and Annapurna, starts and finishes there. It has an energetic feel. People are excited: they’re either going on the trip of a lifetime or coming back from one. I’ve been going to Nepal since 1995, climbing and guiding, probably 30 times in all, and have summited Everest 11 times, so I’ve spent months of my life in Kathmandu.
Nearly all tourists go for the Himalayas then leave the city quickly after. But you have to explore beyond the tourist area, Thamel, and see sensational world heritage religious sites such as the Boudha stupa and Patan Durbar Square, which has the old Malla palace and jawdropping architecture.