Mountain Flights

From the Kathmandu Airport, daily flights to the Himalayas are accessible, offering breath-taking mountain views. All types of travelers can use these flights, even those who don't have the time or the physical capacity to go hiking. Among foreign visitors to Nepal, it is one of the riskiest and most popular activities.

Four airlines provide routine flights over the snow-covered peaks, providing hour-long panoramic vistas of the Himalayas. The first peak, Gosaithan, also known as Shisha Pangma, which towers at an impressive 8,013 m, can be seen quickly after the plane takes off and begins to fly east. Dorje Lakpa (6,966 m), a snow-covered mountain that resembles the number 8 lying down, is immediately to the right of Gosaithan.

Phurbi-Ghyachu, which towers over the Kathmandu Valley, is to Dorje Lakpa's right. The mountains get closer and closer as the plane flies by. The next mountain, Choba-Bharnare, is the smallest at 5,933 meters but is particularly obstinate because it has never been scaled. The mountain then emerges, standing out both physically and spiritually (Gauri Shanker). Lord Shiva and his consort Gauri are said to protect this mountain, at the proud height of 7,134m, and the summit had a history of unsuccessful attempts until 1979. Gauri Shanker is a jagged and therefore very conspicuous mountain during the flight. As the plane moves towards the land of the rising sun, the eastern Himalayas, a succession of glorious mountains follow. Melungtse, a plateau-like mountain, stretches up to 7,023m. Chugimago at 6,297 m is still a virgin peak, waiting to be climbed. Next is Karyolung, an intensely white mountain that at 6,511m gleams with the rising sun. Cho-Oyu is the eighth highest mountain in the world. Reaching a height of 8,201m, it appears stunningly beautiful from the aircraft. Next on the menu is Gyachungkang, at a majestic height of 7,952m, considered an extremely difficult mountain to climb. To the right of Gyachungkang is Pumori (7,161m). As passengers get closer to Everest, there's Nuptse (7,855m), which means West Peak, signifying its direction from Everest.

Finally, there's Everest (8,848m) itself, known as Sagarmatha by the Nepalese and Chomolungma by the Tibetans. Much has already been written about Everest, but to actually witness it face-to-face during a mountain flight is something else. Even while it looms there in front of the eyes, it remains an enigma, this highest spot on earth.