Bucket List Travel: Everest Base Camp Flight

Bucket List Travel: Everest Base Camp Flight

See famous peaks, including Mt. Everest, on this superlative helicopter ride By: Mindy Poder
<p>Manang Air charters helicopter rides over Everest Base Camp. // © 2016 Mindy Poder</p><p>Feature image (above): The highlight of a helicopter trip...

Manang Air charters helicopter rides over Everest Base Camp. // © 2016 Mindy Poder

Feature image (above): The highlight of a helicopter trip over Everest Base Camp is a view of Mount Everest itself – though you might have to squint to see it. // © 2016 Mark Edward Harris


Our flight was scheduled for 6:15 a.m. But at breakfast, our guide got a call: The weather in Lukla, Nepal — where we’d land after our helicopter ride over Everest Base Camp — wasn’t suitable for flying.

We gave up reading the clouds — they had a tendency to appear and disappear without much ado. So we drank more masala tea and waited for another call, wondering if we would be snowed in at 13,074 feet forever.

At about 7:45 a.m., we got the “go” call. We had five minutes to collect ourselves and make a beeline for the helipad. I was caught in what felt like a hurricane of snow as the helicopter started its descent.

It only took a few minutes to align ourselves with the Himalayas’ best. The flight was smoother than expected, altering my perception of my whereabouts. I felt like I was sailing on a glacier cruise — that’s the only time I’ve ever been directly opposite a rock face. We could see every crag, cloud and snowflake, not to mention ice falls, icebergs and glacier lakes. We quickly spotted Ama Dablam’s gorgeous twin peaks and squinted to catch Mount Everest, peeking behind fickle clouds, shy in its glory.

Photos & Videos
A helicopter ride over Everest Base Camp is a rare, but worthwhile bucket list activity in Nepal. // © 2016 Mindy Poder

A helicopter ride over Everest Base Camp is a rare, but worthwhile bucket list activity in Nepal. // © 2016 Mindy Poder

Manang Air is one of the providers of charter flights in Nepal. // © 2016 Mindy Poder

Manang Air is one of the providers of charter flights in Nepal. // © 2016 Mindy Poder

Passengers get a close-up view of glacier lakes, peaks and more. // © 2016 Mindy Poder

Passengers get a close-up view of glacier lakes, peaks and more. // © 2016 Mindy Poder

Highlights of the helicopter ride include Mount Everest and Ama Dablam (shown here). // © 2016 Mindy Poder

Highlights of the helicopter ride include Mount Everest and Ama Dablam (shown here). // © 2016 Mindy Poder

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