* Flying in to Lukla, & the 1st view of Everest. December 04 2014
The trek from Lukla through Namche Bazaar & Thyangboche Monastery & up toward Mt Everest is beautiful, exciting, & rewarding. The thrill starts before you've landed. The Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla is the most dangerous in the world. Built by the never-say-die Edmund Hillary's workers, the runway is 460 metres long, at an angle of 12 degrees. The landing is scary, partly because you can see the airstrip below you, through the open Cockpit door ! The takeoff is scary, because, once you've hit speed, you're committed to the takeoff, successful or not. Pictured is a small 2 engined aircraft, on final approach.
The trekker passes through beautiful forests of Rhododendron, Conifer & Fir trees, crossing the tumbling Dudh Kosi river regularly. The ascent to Namche is a 2 day affair, from 2800m to 3420 m, but with a 1,000 m ascent on the 2nd day from Phakding, which probably sounds confusing, but highlights the up & down nature of the Trek route. I saw numerous people sprinting past our group, intent on doing the Lukla to Namche section in 1 day, only to see them dreadfully sick with Altitude Sickness, nearing Namche Bazaar. The following image is our 1st night's camp-site. Farmers rent access of their land to Trekking companies, probably selling vegetables as well. The locals are virtually self-sufficient. And, it's cold, people.
The image below shows a rest-stop on the way to Namche. One of the larger villages, perhaps Phakding. These buildings are well-established businesses, on what is surely the world's most popular trekking route. The population at large is very poor.
The first glimpse of Mt Everest is a pretty good look, indeed. Everest climbs above the surrounding peaks, & at the angle of view available, Everest looks very impressive. It looms large ...
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