I’ve wanted to see this place for a very long time. And since it can be difficult getting there, I didn’t know if we’d be able to, especially with children in tow. But, we did! Last week, we took a flight and got to see the top of the world…
I first started obsessing over Mt. Everest when I accidently stumbled upon Jon Krakauer’s book, Into Thin Air. Devouring it without stopping, I’ve been hooked ever since, reading everything I could about the tallest mountain in the world. Sitting at 29,035 ft., this peak has a checkered past, from soaring victories to deadly defeats. And while I don’t have a desire to climb it. (Pooping out in the open with high winds and sub-arctic temperatures isn’t my idea of fun!) I did want to see it.
Here’s how we did it.
Last week, we flew into Kathmandu, Nepal and my husband found several airlines that offer “Mountain Flights”. These 45 minute plane rides fly along the ridge of the Himalayas to Mt. Everest. After reaching Everest, the plane returns to Kathmandu. Space is limited since the airlines only sell window seats, and we almost didn’t get to go since we didn’t make a reservation in advance. But we got lucky when three people cancelled, giving us enough seats.
The quest to see Everest has caused quite a few deaths, and even the Mountain Flights aren’t without their own tragedies. Last September, an airplane crashed killing everyone on board. After that, the airlines operating these flights are very cautious, cancelling flights immediately for high winds or bad weather. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, thoughts of plane crashes occupy way too much of my time, so I was a little anxious thinking about the problems we could have, but in the end, it was really amazing.
Mountaineers climb during the months of April and May. It takes about a month just to acclimate to the altitude at lower elevations, so an attempt to summit Everest will take you a couple of months and set you back at least $50,000-$60,000! A less expensive option is to take a helicopter ride to base camp. For $5000 per person, you can fly to base camp and eat lunch with the climbers on their way to the top. However, base camp sits at 17,380 ft. making the altitude and cost a little too steep for us.
For anyone wishing to see Mt. Everest without the high cost, financially as well as physically, taking a Mountain Flight is the tops!
P.S. We got back from our two week vacation on Saturday. During this trip I added four countries to my list: Bahrain, Qatar, Nepal and India. Yea! In the coming weeks, I hope to tell you about a funeral we attended in Nepal and an interesting drive through India.