For the traveller who is unable to make a trekking trip to the
mountains either for the lack of time or physical fitness, and
for the less adventurous, there are mountain flights that offer
some of the best views of the majestic Himalayas. One can take
an hour-long flight with any of the five flight operators that
are presently offering the service.
flight takes you within camera range of some of the highest peaks
in the world, and cruising this close to the awe-inspiring massifs
of rock and ice is an out-of-this world experience.
The aircraft takes off and heads eastward and almost
immediately the peaks come into view. The first peak that appears
on your horizon is the majestic Gosaithan, also called Shisha
Pangma, standing at a height of 8,013m. To its right appears Dorje
Lhakpa (6,966m), looking like a massive figure of eight lying
prone and covered in snow. To its right is Phurbi Chyachu, which
looms over the Kathmandu valley.
the plane glides along, you get closer to these giants. Next on
your vision is Choba Bhamare, rather small in this company at
5,933m but singularly stubborn as it remains unconquered to this
day. Then comes Mt. Gaurishanker (7,134m) which resisted all attempts
to conquer its summit until 1979. This mountain stands out sharp
and very conspicuous during the flight and Hindus believe that
Lord Shiva (Shanker) and his consort Parvati protect this mountain.
the flight moves toward the Eastern Himalayas, a succession of
majestic mountains follows. Melungtse, with a plateau-like top
stands at 7,023m. Chugimago, at 6,297m, still remains to be scaled.
At 6,956m, Mt.Numbur resembles a breast, believed to be the maternal
source in the sky providing pure milk to the Sherpas of the Solokhumbu.
Then comes Karyolung, a gleaming-white mountain at 6,511m resplendent
in the morning sun. Cho-Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the
world at 8,021m, and appears stunningly beautiful.
last and most exciting stretch of the journey takes you close
to Gyachungkang, which stands at 7,952m and considered an extremely
tough climb. To its right is Pumori at 7,161m and Nuptse at 7,855m,
also called west peak signifying its location in relation to Mt.Everest.
Finally, there is Mt. Everest itself (8,848m), called Sagarmatha
by the Nepalese and Chomolungma by the Tibetans. It’s a different
feeling as one comes face to face with the world’s tallest mountain
standing there in all its splendid glory, beautiful and enigmatic.
Mountain flights are offered by the following airlines.
Buddha Air offers several flights a day, the others being Gorkha
Air, Necon Air, Mountain Air, Cosmic Air and Royal Nepal Airlines.
Check the timings with your travel agent or hotel. All the flights
leave Kathmandu between 7.00 and 9.30 a.m. Buddha Air flies 19-seater
American Beech 1900D aircraft. Gorkha Airlines and Cosmic Air
operate 18-seater German Dornier 228s. Mountain Air flies 1900C
Beech aircraft, RNAC operates 44-seater Avros and 19-seater Twin
otters and Necon Air has 44-seater Avros and ATR-42s. Please check
all timings with local operators.
and Aircraft are also available for charter use especially for
group treks and expeditions as well as for mountain viewing. STOL
(short take off and landing) airstrips are located throughout