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Trekking to Everest region starts with the change in Flights to Lukla for 2019


Trekking to Everest region starts with the change in Flights to Lukla for 2019

Introduction

 

As the months of March and April are here, it is the peak season for trekking in Nepal on the heart of Himalayas. Everything is good in the Khumbu region according to mountaineers and trekkers there. For most of the Everest climbers, they have to start their journey at Lukla but this year there is a slight problem or a change.

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH LUKLA FLIGHT?

It is reported to last month that the Nepal aviation authority has announced that the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) will be in ‘no operation state’ due to construction on the runway starting April 1, 2019, through June 30, 2019, from 10:00 pm (local time) to 08:00 am on a daily basis.

          For all international flights, this will be an issue but for passengers to Lukla with its notorious weather profile, especially in the late morning, it's a real deal. In a straight point, the authorities have canceled all direct flights from TIA to Lukla suggesting people to fly out of Manthali Airport in the Ramechhap Province – which is 4 hours of drive from the capital, Kathmandu.

          It can be observed that many climbing teams have charted helicopters to either Lukla or Namche for the voyage towards highest point on Earth.

WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS RESULTED BY THAT CHANGE?

During this time, all flights to/from Lukla are re-routed from Kathmandu Airport to Manthali Airport, Ramechhap as Tribhuwan International Airport will be shut down completely from 10 pm to 8 am each day.

          Despite the shorter flight time (approximately 50 minutes for the round trip), you are required to travel to Ramechhap from Kathmandu in order to grab your Lukla flight and retrace that very route while returning back to the capital. Due to this new yet hustling arrangement, there are few certain things one should be informed before making a move towards Lukla.

          In the meantime, Nepal Calls You wants you all to be informed that there will still be a couple of flights from Kathmandu to Lukla after it comes into operational mode i.e. 8 am but we don't think it will apt or wise lingering for those flights. The air traffic and landings at the airport can cause delays and we have to be more conscious about the status of weather in Lukla which is slightly notorious. The later the flight time, greater the chances for the bad weather in Lukla i.e. unfavorable. So, the best and wise step is to fly to Lukla via Manthali Airport without further ado.

HOW TO GET THERE IN MANTHALI, RAMECHHAP?

We can reach Manthali Airport by road. It will take about 4 to 5 hours to reach there depending on the traffic on Highway. As we will have to reach Manthali early to catch your flight, you can either travel there one day prior to the flight date or departure from Kathmandu very early in the morning around 3 am. (Amid the pitch darkness :p) In both cases, it’s highly suggested to hire a private transfer to Manthali as the local transfer timings might not get matched with our schedules. More importantly, you don’t get any early morning local vehicles. As there is no regular run also, no one can be sure about their punctuality and presence.

WHERE TO STAY IN MANTHALI?

In an informative note, we must say Manthali is not a very well facilitated place or it is not as sophisticated as Lukla because it has not received that huge number of travelers before. The change in flight by TIA has compelled Manthali to be a host for legions of merrymakers in Everest Region. Accommodation facilities are just limited and the service is simply basic. As the numbers of vacationers in the present situation are traveling via Manthali, it is very likely that there will be scarcity/difficulty of finding accommodation easily. Furthermore, flight crews and staffs from the airlines will also are the additional factors for tight occupancy of hotels and lodges.

To reduce or simply avoid this risk, a better option for travelers is to go for accommodations at Mulkot, from where just an hour's drive will get us to the Manthali Airport. Accommodations at Mulkot are also satisfactory. By opting this option, you could save the ordeal of finding accommodation in Manthali.

LUKLA, GATEWAY TO The EVEREST: - MOST DANGEROUS AIRPORT IN THE WORLD! 

For those Nepalese climbers and trekkers, their Khumbu journey usually begins in Lukla and with a bit of anxiety and fear. Often called “the world’s most dangerous airport,” it’s a reputation that all passengers are not 100% sure they fit. However, Lukla brags the top 10 dangerous list for sure according to global aviation.

          Having that written, till the date, there have been seven crashes recorded since 2000 killing over 50 passengers including board’s crews. Nevertheless, to keep these tragedies in perspective, thousands of commuters and travelers safely flown each year from Lukla to Kathmandu and vice-versa.
Pilots with their passengers have to face several challenges flying in and out of Lukla beginning with the only runway that sits at the top of a 2,000-foot cliff and ends near the beginning of high mountain wall. Believe us! It is really intimidating as it sounds because there is no other opportunity for a missed landing or failure of equipment.

          Besides the exhilarating fact about its runway, Lukla Airport has no radar or electronic landing assistance so pilots have to communicate strictly via visual flight rules aka VFR which simply means they must interact among themselves during landing and taking off. They have limited help from any forms of air traffic control. 

Another is the weather, which can't be controlled by Humans. Instead, mother nature operates it in an erratic fashion. Especially in the Himalayas, there is no certainty of the weather. Lukla sits at 9,400 feet surrounded by the low peaks of the high Himalayas. The airport often plays hide and seek amid the wandering clouds, rain or snow shutting down visibility, and that’s a prominent issue in a VFR environment!

MAKING IT TO THE EVEREST VIA JIRI:

When one finally arrives at the decision to ascend Mt. Everest, the dilemma is north or south i.e. Tibet or Nepal. But, most people will end up selecting Nepal's territory for many reasons. One barrier to Nepal's land might be the intimidating flight from Kathmandu to Luka, the most dangerous airport in the world.

          Other than the above-mentioned route via Ramechhap, we can also make it via Jiri, the Switzerland of Nepal. There are other ways like taking an 8-hour bumpy ride to Jiri then another 5 days of hiking to reach Lukla but those who look forward to conquering Everest usually take the flight, regardless of the risk. After all, they are scaling the highest peak on Earth, The mighty Everest!

Besides, a few teams will take a helicopter ride, considered safer and quicker by some, thus bypassing all the fun en route, but with the stunning aerial the views of the Himalayan ranges and Namche Bajar. And for those climbers hiking from Tibet’s region, normally they can enjoy a ride to the base camp and don't arrive until mid-April.

THE CLASSICAL ROUTE TO EBC VIA JIRI

The classical trekking route from Jiri to Everest Base Camp follows the authentic route into the Khumbu region used by the veteran explorers of Everest. A new motorable road welcomes buses to continue beyond Jiri to Shivalaya where the trek gets commences. The Sherpa inhabitants, formerly from Tibet, live chiefly in the Solu region along the Dudh Kosi River and the Khumbu above Lukla, gateway to Khumbu Valley. This original trekking route is still in use especially for porters and packs animals, but comparatively less human traffic than Lukla to Base Camp Trek. For your information, this very route was used by Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa while conquering the highest pinnacle on Earth in 1953.

STANDARD ITINERARY FROM JIRI TO EBC

Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu (1,310m/4,265 ft)
Day 02 Sightseeing in and around the valley & trek preparation (1,310m/4,265 ft)
Day 03 Kathmandu to Shivalaya via Jiri (1,767m/5,510ft): 9-10 hours of bus drivers.
Day 04 Shivalaya to Bhandar(2,200m/7,200ft): 5 to 6 hrs of a hike. 
Day 05 Bhandar to Sete(2,520m/8,220ft): 5 to 6 hours of hike.
Day 06 Sete to Junbesi(2,680m/8,850ft): 6 to 7 hours of trek.
Day 07 Exploring in and around Junbesi’s surrounding which includes Thubten Choling Monastery
Day 08 Junbesi to Nunthala (2,250m/7,500ft): 5 to 6 hours of trek.
Day 09 Nunthala to Bupsa (2,360m/7,750ft): 5 to 6 hours of trek.
Day 10 Bupsa to Ghat (2,590m/8,550ft): 5 to 6 hours of trek. 
Day 11 Ghat to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,280 ft): 5 to 6 hours of trek.
Day 12 Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar(3,440m/11,284ft)
Day 13 Namche Bazzar to Tengboche (3,870m/12,694ft): 5 to 6 hours of walk. 
Day 14 Tengboche to Dingboche (4,360 m/14,300 ft): 5 to 6 hours of hike
Day 15 Acclimatization/rest day in Dingboche
Day 16 Dingboche to Lobuche (4,940 /16,207ft): distance of 7 km within 5 to 6 hours of hike. 
Day 17 Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,160 m/17,000ft) to Everest Base Camp (5,364 m/17,594 ft) to Gorak Shep: within 8 to 10 hours
Day 18 Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5,545m/18,192ft) to Pheriche (4280m/14,070ft): 8 to 10 hours of hike.
Day 19 Pheriche to Phortse (3,750m /12,300ft): 4 to 5 hours of trek. 
Day 20 Phortse to Monjo ((2,800m /9,200ft): 5 to 6 hours of hike. 
Day 21 Monjo to Lukla (2,780m /9,175ft): 5 to 6 hours of walk. 
Day 22 Lukla to Mathali or (Kathmandu) by air.
Day 23 Manthali to Kathmandu or Final departure if had flown directly to Kathmandu directly from Lukla.

TREKKING IN EVEREST REGION

The Everest or Khumbu region is the most popular as well as sought-after of all the trekking routes all around the world. Most significantly, you will get to admire the real beauty of the world’s highest peak, Everest (8,848m) which is also known as ‘Sagarmatha’ in Nepali dialect and several other peaks over 8000m, like- Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Makalu. Besides the gigantic snow-capped mountains, we can notice the mountain periphery, surreal geographical landscapes of Solukhumbu, interactions with decent Sherpa locals, and observe wide varieties of flora and fauna in the Sagarmatha National Park.

          Exploring Sherpa museum, getting insights on Sherpa Culture and their daily chores of life; way of living in Khumjung Village, scenic as well as turquoise Gokyo Lake, Kangma La(5500m) Crossing Chola Pass (5300m), and Renjo –La (5400), Khumbu Ice Fall, Everest Base Camp itself, Tengboche Monastery are some major highlights of this region. 

One of the most world-renowned trekking alternatives in Everest region is Everest Base Camp trek which lies at an altitude of 5360m from the sea level and takes you the foundation or shadow of the highest mountain on the earth- Mt Everest. Moreover, astounding eye shots of Pumori (7,145m), Lingtren (6,697m), Khumbutse (6,623m), etc will be greeting us as we trek to Kala Patthar, the vantage point en route lying at the altitude of 5550m.

BEST SEASON FOR TREKKING TO EVEREST BASE CAMP:

The perfect time to trek to EBC varies with individuals. For people who like the mountains all to themselves, April – May (spring) is the best pick to go (just before the monsoon sets in). According to the records by officials at the Sagarmatha National Park, around 800 people have registered for the trek in the summer months.

Nevertheless, in October (make sure that you go in October and not November, as November is the harbinger of winter it gets much colder relatively), officials report that approximately 9000 hikers register for the trek. FYI: The trail is much more scenic and tempting with snow-cl added peaks clearly visible during the month of October.

SUMMARY:

If you want to experience and witness the world’s highest mountain right in front of your sight, and wanna walk along the shadow of the Everest or wishing to cuddle in its high-altitude lap then you are the one who must make it to the foundation of Everest. Nepal Calls You cordially invites. :)

 

What are the impacts resulted by that change?

During this time, all flights to/from Lukla are re-routed from Kathmandu Airport to Manthali Airport, Ramechhap as Tribhuwan International Airport will be shut down completely from 10 pm to 8 am each day.

          Despite the shorter flight time (approximately 50 minutes for the round trip), you are required to travel to Ramechhap from Kathmandu in order to grab your Lukla flight and retrace that very route while returning back to the capital. Due to this new yet hustling arrangement, there are few certain things one should be informed before making a move towards Lukla.

          In the meantime, Nepal Calls You wants you all to be informed that there will still be a couple of flights from Kathmandu to Lukla after it comes into operational mode i.e. 8 am but we don't think it will apt or wise lingering for those flights. The air traffic and landings at the airport can cause delays and we have to be more conscious about the status of weather in Lukla which is slightly notorious. The later the flight time, greater the chances for the bad weather in Lukla i.e. unfavorable. So, the best and wise step is to fly to Lukla via Manthali Airport without further ado.

How to get there in Manthali, Ramechhap?

We can reach Manthali Airport by road. It will take about 4 to 5 hours to reach there depending on the traffic on Highway. As we will have to reach Manthali early to catch your flight, you can either travel there one day prior to the flight date or departure from Kathmandu very early in the morning around 3 am. (amid the pitch darkness :p) In both cases, it’s highly suggested to hire a private transfer to Manthali as the local transfer timings might not get matched with our schedules. More importantly, you don’t get any early morning local vehicles. As there is no regular run also, no one can be sure about their punctuality and presence.

Where to stay in Manthali?

In an informative note, we must say Manthali is not a very well facilitated place or it is not as sophisticated as Lukla because it has not received that huge number of travelers before. The change in flight by TIA has compelled Manthali to be a host for legions of merrymakers in Everest Region. Accommodation facilities are just limited and the service is simply basic. As the numbers of vacationers in the present situation are traveling via Manthali, it is very likely that there will be scarcity/difficulty of finding accommodation easily. Furthermore, flight crews and staffs from the airlines will also are the additional factors for tight occupancy of hotels and lodges.

To reduce or simply avoid this risk, a better option for travelers is to go for accommodations at Mulkot, from where just an hour's drive will get us to the Manthali Airport. Accommodations at Mulkot are also satisfactory. By opting this option, you could save the ordeal of finding accommodation in Manthali.

Lukla, Gateway to Everest: - Most dangerous airport in the world! 

For those Nepalese climbers and trekkers, their Khumbu journey usually begins in Lukla and with a bit of anxiety and fear. Often called “the world’s most dangerous airport,” it’s a reputation that all passengers are not 100% sure they fit. However, Lukla brags the top 10 dangerous list for sure according to global aviation.

          Having that written, till the date, there have been seven crashes recorded since 2000 killing over 50 passengers including board’s crews. Nevertheless, to keep these tragedies in perspective, thousands of commuters and travelers safely flown each year from Lukla to Kathmandu and vice-versa.
Pilots with their passengers have to face several challenges flying in and out of Lukla beginning with the only runway that sits at the top of a 2,000-foot cliff and ends near the beginning of high mountain wall. Believe us! It is really intimidating as it sounds because there is no other opportunity for a missed landing or failure of equipment.

          Besides the exhilarating fact about its runway, Lukla Airport has no radar or electronic landing assistance so pilots have to communicate strictly via visual flight rules aka VFR which simply means they must interact among themselves during landing and taking off. They have limited help from any forms of air traffic control. 

Another is the weather, which can't be controlled by Humans. Instead, mother nature operates it in an erratic fashion. Especially in the Himalayas, there is no certainty of the weather. Lukla sits at 9,400 feet surrounded by the low peaks of the high Himalayas. The airport often plays hide and seek amid the wandering clouds, rain or snow shutting down visibility, and that’s a prominent issue in a VFR environment!

Making it to the Everest via Jiri:

When one finally arrives at the decision to ascend Mt. Everest, the dilemma is north or south i.e. Tibet or Nepal. But, most people will end up selecting Nepal's territory for many reasons. One barrier to Nepal's land might be the intimidating flight from Kathmandu to Luka, the most dangerous airport in the world.

          Other than the above-mentioned route via Ramechhap, we can also make it via Jiri, the Switzerland of Nepal. There are other ways like taking an 8-hour bumpy ride to Jiri then another 5 days of hiking to reach Lukla but those who look forward to conquering Everest usually take the flight, regardless of the risk. After all, they are scaling the highest peak on Earth, The mighty Everest!

Besides, a few teams will take a helicopter ride, considered safer and quicker by some, thus bypassing all the fun en route, but with the stunning aerial the views of the Himalayan ranges and Namche Bajar. And for those climbers hiking from Tibet’s region, normally they can enjoy a ride to the base camp and don't arrive until mid-April.

The classical route to EBC via Jiri

The classical trekking route from Jiri to Everest Base Camp follows the authentic route into the Khumbu region used by the veteran explorers of Everest. A new motorable road welcomes buses to continue beyond Jiri to Shivalaya where the trek gets commences. The Sherpa inhabitants, formerly from Tibet, live chiefly in the Solu region along the Dudh Kosi River and the Khumbu above Lukla, gateway to Khumbu Valley. This original trekking route is still in use especially for porters and packs animals, but comparatively fewer human traffics than Lukla to Base Camp Trek. For your information, this very route was used by Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa while conquering the highest pinnacle on Earth in 1953.

Standard Itinerary from Jiri to EBC

Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu (1,310m/4,265 ft)
Day 02 Sightseeing in and around the valley & trek preparation (1,310m/4,265 ft)
Day 03 Kathmandu to Shivalaya via Jiri (1,767m/5,510ft): 9-10 hours of bus drivers.
Day 04 Shivalaya to Bhandar(2,200m/7,200ft): 5 to 6 hrs of a hike.
Day 05 Bhandar to Sete(2,520m/8,220ft): 5 to 6 hours of hike.
Day 06 Sete to Junbesi(2,680m/8,850ft): 6 to 7 hours of trek.
Day 07 Exploring in and around Junbesi’s surrounding which includes Thubten Choling Monastery
Day 08 Junbesi to Nunthala (2,250m/7,500ft): 5 to 6 hours of trek.
Day 09 Nunthala to Bupsa (2,360m/7,750ft): 5 to 6 hours of trek.
Day 10 Bupsa to Ghat (2,590m/8,550ft): 5 to 6 hours of trek.
Day 11 Ghat to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,280 ft): 5 to 6 hours of trek.
Day 12 Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar(3,440m/11,284ft)
Day 13 Namche Bazzar to Tengboche (3,870m/12,694ft): 5 to 6 hours of walk.
Day 14 Tengboche to Dingboche (4,360 m/14,300 ft): 5 to 6 hours of hike
Day 15 Acclimatization/rest day in Dingboche
Day 16 Dingboche to Lobuche (4,940 /16,207ft): distance of 7 km within 5 to 6 hours of hike.
Day 17 Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,160 m/17,000ft) to Everest Base Camp (5,364 m/17,594 ft) to Gorak Shep: within 8 to 10 hours
Day 18 Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5,545m/18,192ft) to Pheriche (4280m/14,070ft): 8 to 10 hours of hike.
Day 19 Pheriche to Phortse (3,750m /12,300ft): 4 to 5 hours of trek.
Day 20 Phortse to Monjo ((2,800m /9,200ft): 5 to 6 hours of hike.
Day 21 Monjo to Lukla (2,780m /9,175ft): 5 to 6 hours of walk.
Day 22 Lukla to Mathali or (Kathmandu) by air.
Day 23 Manthali to Kathmandu or Final departure if had flown directly to Kathmandu directly from Lukla.

Trekking in Everest Region

The Everest or Khumbu region is the most popular as well as sought-after of all the trekking routes all around the world. Most significantly, you will get to admire the real beauty of the world’s highest peak, Everest (8,848m) which is also known as ‘Sagarmatha’ in Nepali dialect and several other peaks over 8000m, like- Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Makalu. Besides the gigantic snow-capped mountains, we can notice the mountain periphery, surreal geographical landscapes of Solukhumbu, interactions with decent Sherpa locals, and observe wide varieties of flora and fauna in the Sagarmatha National Park.

          Exploring Sherpa museum, getting insights on Sherpa Culture and their daily chores of life; way of living in Khumjung Village, scenic as well as turquoise Gokyo Lake, Kangma La(5500m) Crossing Chola Pass (5300m), and Renjo –La (5400), Khumbu Ice Fall, Everest Base Camp itself, Tengboche Monastery are some major highlights of this region. 

One of the most world-renowned trekking alternatives in Everest region is Everest Base Camp trek which lies at an altitude of 5360m from the sea level and takes you the foundation or shadow of the highest mountain on the earth- Mt Everest. Moreover, astounding eye shots of Pumori (7,145m), Lingtren (6,697m), Khumbutse (6,623m), etc will be greeting us as we trek to Kala Patthar, the vantage point en route lying at the altitude of 5550m.

Best Season for Trekking to EBC:

The perfect time to trek to EBC varies with individuals. For people who like the mountains all to themselves, April – May (spring) is the best pick to go (just before the monsoon sets in). According to the records by officials at the Sagarmatha National Park, around 800 people have registered for the trek in the summer months.

Nevertheless, in October (make sure that you go in October and not November, as November is the harbinger of winter it gets much colder relatively), officials report that approximately 9000 hikers register for the trek. FYI: The trail is much more scenic and tempting with snow-cl added peaks clearly visible during the month of October.

Summary:

If you want to experience and witness the world’s highest mountain right in front of your sight, and wanna walk along the shadow of the Everest or wishing to cuddle in its high-altitude lap then you are the one who must make it to the foundation of Everest. Nepal Calls You cordially invites. :)

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