Everest – Day 5: Start of the Everest Base Camp trek

Day 5 (Wednesday)

We woke up at 4am to catch an early flight out of Kathmandu to Lukla.  One thing you have to know about Lukla is that it is one of, if not *the* most dangerous airports in the world.  Only experienced Nepali pilots are allowed to fly in and out of Lukla airport.  The landing strip was carved out of a mountain so it’s naturally not very long.  The pilots fly by sight only.  If they don’t make a turn fast enough when landing, they will crash into the mountain.  If they don’t take off fast enough when departing, they will fall into abyss…  Here is a good video I found on YouTube showing arrival and departure: link

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Once we got to the airport it was like a madhouse.  All kinds of climbers and Sherpas standing outside, waiting to get checked in.  We were allowed to take only one bag per person of no more than 20 kg (44lb).  When you think about it, it’s really not that much, so we had to leave some items behind.  My other duffel bag with climbing equipment was shipped off separately to Base Camp.

no rhyme or reason at Lukla airport

no rhyme or reason at Lukla airport

After a pretty shaky flight and lots of praying for a safe landing, we touched ground at Lukla (9200ft).  After quick lunch at one of the lodges we set off on adventure of our lives :).

Everest Base Camp trek

Everest Base Camp trek

It only took us 3 hours to reach our next destination, Phakding (8484 ft).  Oh yes, this is not a typo, we actually lost elevation the first day!  The trail was very dusty but wide, with lots of big rocks and some boulders throughout.  We encountered many yaks and porters along our way.  Funny and sad trivia here:  it costs more to hire a yak to carry a load to Base Camp than a human porter!!  Crazy!  We also crossed a few swing bridges which I really didn’t care for…

typical boulders with Nepali prayers along the trek

typical boulders with Nepali prayers along the trek

our faithful helper with our luggage

our faithful helper with our gear

one of the many swing bridges along the trek.  The yaks didn't seem to mind the see-through floor but you certainly wouldn't want to be caught in front of them =)

one of the many swing bridges along the trek. The yaks didn’t seem to mind the see-through floor but you certainly wouldn’t want to be caught in front of them =)

We went to bed after playing some cards at one of the lodges in Phakding, full of anticipation of what the next day will bring.

DAY 6

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