Straddling the border of Nepal and Tibet, Everest towers above the earth at 29,035 feet (8,850 meters), making even the most egocentric of humans feel small in its presence [source: Encyclopedia Britannica].
As the highest peak on the planet, climbing Mount Everest is widely considered the most adventurous of all adventure trips for climbers. And taking into account the summit height, the risk of altitude sickness and the extreme cold, this is not a trip for the faint of heart. The odds of making it to the top are only one in three [source: Himalayan Rescue Association].
It's also not for the faint of pocket. The trip is expensive (about $60,000), time-consuming (takes about seven weeks), and extremely dangerous (about 225 deaths since 1953) [sources: This Week and Science Daily]. It's also very difficult to do on your own – hence the large cost for joining expedition groups who can guide you. Training and gear are also essential. The last thing you need on your ascent into the heavens is second-rate equipment.
There is no doubt that climbing Mount Everest is the ultimate in mountaineering adventure trips. But if reaching the summit of the world's highest peak isn't enough to satisfy the sportsman in you, consider a side trip of river rafting or kayaking. If you're really feeling adventurous, you could try following in the footsteps of two recent adventurers who successfully took on a summit-to-sea trip in which they climbed Mount Everest, paraglided down, and then kayaked the Ganges River to the Indian Ocean [source: National Geographic]. Not for the novice, to be sure, but perhaps it won't be long before others (including you?) attempt a similar journey.
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Lake Baikal is a massive, ancient lake in Siberia. It's home to nearly 4,000 different species, earning it the nickname the 'Galapagos of Russia.'