Mile-High Pub: Happy Hour in the Himalayas

Bishnu Subedi, who runs Nature Trails, a travel and expedition guide company, brings many of his clients to the Rum Doodle after a trek.

"We come here and kind of set some dreams," Subedi said. "OK, next year climb 7,000 meters or we go to Tibet and climb a little bit higher."

When climbers summit Everest, they make their way to the Rum Doodle with two passport-sized photographs so Yogi can enter them into the records books he has kept since 1982 and create an "Everest Summiteers Club" card, which offers them free food for life at the Rum Doodle. Nowadays, Yogi said, he confirms the Everest ascents with the Nepal Tourism Board because many people arrive at the Rum Doodle pretending to have summitted the mountain.

Sitting by candlelight during one of Kathmandu's periodical power outages, Wongchu Sherpa eats his free chicken chili dinner. He reached the top of Everest in 1993 and 1995.

"All climbers come here to eat and drink," Sherpa said. "You don't have anything in Kathmandu like this. Lots of history here. The footprints mean many things. This is a lucky place."

In the past, climbers received "free drinks for life," but a few took advantage, got really drunk and broke into a fistfight. After that, it was just the food.

In the spring, it's a reservations-only situation on the weekends. But from May 15-30, it's nearly impossible to get in because that's when the Everest climbers are all in town.

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