Everest flight a highlight

By Gail Ellestad
This item appears on page 28 of the March 2015 issue.
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I read the subscriber’s article about driving to Everest Base Camp, “To Mt. Everest and Beyond” (Dec. ’14, pg. 44). He and his wife went to the northern side of the mountain in Tibet, China. The route they took was similar to one we drove in Tibet in 2000, and a lot of it was neither scenic nor historic.

In the fall of 2009, I visited the southern base area of Everest, in Nepal, and I felt that the flight to Lukla, Namche and Tengboche was the best part of the trip. 

With about 15 passengers on the plane, we went from Kathmandu to Lukla through the clouds, with a pilot wearing a ball cap and earphones pointing out Everest “as you go.” Landing at Lukla was a lifetime experience.

I would encourage folks not to miss the Lukla-Namche experience. Many tour companies offer that.

Namche Bazaar is a Sherpa village with a small monastery. Many Japanese tourists “helicoptered” to their hotel above Namche*. Tengboche is the largest monastery in the Khumbu region of Nepal. Getting there is a hike, but you can helicopter there, too.

GAIL ELLESTAD

Santa Rosa, CA

*Those considering taking a helicopter at Namche should consider the high cost, schedules being affected by unpredictable weather, and the possibility of altitude sickness when ascending rapidly at such high altitudes.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I read the subscriber’s article about driving to Everest Base Camp, “To Mt. Everest and Beyond” (Dec. ’14, pg. 44). He and his wife went to the northern side of the mountain in Tibet, China. The route they took was similar to one we drove in Tibet in 2000, and a lot of it was neither scenic nor historic.

In the fall of 2009, I visited the southern base area of Everest, in Nepal, and I felt that the flight to Lukla, Namche and Tengboche was the best part of the trip. 

With about 15 passengers on the plane, we went from Kathmandu to Lukla through the clouds, with a pilot wearing a ball cap and earphones pointing out Everest “as you go.” Landing at Lukla was a lifetime experience.

I would encourage folks not to miss the Lukla-Namche experience. Many tour companies offer that.

Namche Bazaar is a Sherpa village with a small monastery. Many Japanese tourists “helicoptered” to their hotel above Namche*. Tengboche is the largest monastery in the Khumbu region of Nepal. Getting there is a hike, but you can helicopter there, too.

GAIL ELLESTAD

Santa Rosa, CA

*Those considering taking a helicopter at Namche should consider the high cost, schedules being affected by unpredictable weather, and the possibility of altitude sickness when ascending rapidly at such high altitudes.