NEW VINEYARD — Maine mountaineers Jim Albert and Melissa Shea have reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and climbed Mount McKinley in Alaska and the Matterhorn in Switzerland.

Next month, these partners in climbing won’t be going to Florida for April vacation — they will take a three-week journey to the base camp of Mount Everest in Nepal. They will serve as assistant guides on a 12-person expedition with Manuel Pizarro, who has been on the summit of Everest twice.

Albert, 58, and Shea, 33, are both Registered Maine Guides. They also are business partners in Mountain Guide Service, based in New Vineyard, a family backpacking, hiking, snowshoeing and winter camping service.

Their group will be landing briefly in Bahrain to transfer to a flight to Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, at 4,500 feet above sea level in the Himalayas.

From there, it’s a flight to the mountain town of Lukla.

“That’s where the trek begins — we start hiking, trekking — from Lukla, that’s at 9,000 feet,” Albert said. “Then you go through all the little towns along the way. Every day we will hike for three hours in the morning, (then) take a lunch break — you have to go real slow because of the altitude gain. Then two or three hours in the afternoon, we hike to the little villages where we’ll stay the night in tea lodges.”

Base camp for Everest is about 17,800 feet. The trek will take the group to Kalapatha Peak at about 18,400 feet.

The summit of Mount Everest is 29,035 feet above sea level, according to a National Geographic Society measurement.

Albert said he got to about 23,000 feet on Everest in 1990, but was turned back because of an incoming mountain storm. The continuing bad weather prevented him from making another attempt at the summit.

For the trek to base camp at Everest, Albert and Shea said they will have to prepare for the transition in altitude and air temperature, which restricts the time and speed one can hike.

“It’s a high base camp. Usually base camps are around 14,000 feet,” Albert said. “You have to be able to hike three hours at a time.”

Albert said they will be on a trail that has been used for centuries. Yaks and Sherpas will carry the hikers’ equipment. Sherpas are the native people of the region, considered to be elite mountaineers, who are hired as guides and do other jobs for the expeditions. Yaks are powerful cow-like animals used as beasts of burden in the Himalayas.

Although they will be working, Albert and Shea will still pay about $4,500 each, including airfare and accommodations. The cost of trekking all the way to the summit would be about $30,000 each, because of expensive equipment and the permits required by the Chinese government on the Tibet side of the mountain, which is the preferred route to the top.

Albert, a retired postal carrier in Farmington, grew up in Skowhegan and graduated from Skowhegan Area High School. Shea grew up in New Portland and graduated from Carrabec High School and, later, Colby College in Waterville, where she studied government.

They met through Albert’s wife, Kelly, at Longfellow’s Restaurant in Kingfield. Both had a passion for outdoor adventure, they said.

Shea skipped her college graduation in May 2000 when Albert invited her to join a group climbing Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America at 20,320 feet above sea level.

“I couldn’t turn that down, that opportunity,” she said. “There were a lot of inexperienced people on the trip, and Jim and I were supposed to try and help them get through it. We were raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.”

College officials were not pleased, Shea said, and announced her name in absentia at commencement ceremonies, but she got her degree.

She now works at the Bag and Kettle restaurant at Sugarloaf USA and runs the guide service with Albert.

“We enjoy these mountains as much as the mountains all around the world,” Albert said of the Maine wilderness. “They’re just as beautiful and you can have just as much fun.”