Nepal is a Himalayan nation, and the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, is in Nepal. While some people invest thousands of dollars and many months of training to climb to Base Camp and beyond, even to the summit, others choose to reach the same dizzying heights in the safety and comfort of an aircraft, and see the majesty of the mountains from above.
Flights leave from Kathmandu airport every half hour in the early morning, because this is when visibility is best.
The total flight duration is one hour, with half of that time spent circling in the vicinity of Mount Everest.
It was the monsoon season when we went, so the mountains were wreathed with cloud, but this only emphasised the sharpness of the snowy peaks that rose through the cloud cover.
Co-incidentally, just after we went on this flight, the movie Everest hit the big screens around the world. We went to see it in India, along with a Nepali fellow yoga student.
The movie tells the story of one day’s attempts to reach the summit. It was sobering watching for us, reinforcing for us that we really don’t want to do such physically dangerous adventuring, but Bina, a tiny twenty-something woman with scoliosis, is a devoted trekker and climber, and for her the movie reinforced her desire to climb to the summit of Everest one day.
It takes all types!
For us, we were just glad to have seen it from 20 nautical miles away, and we will probably do some trekking on the lower slopes of the Himalayas in the future.