Flight to Lukla
The flight from Kathmandu to Lukla is the most spectacular airplane ride I have ever had. The Himalayas form the northern border of our flight path. Here is a poor representation of what it looked like out the window of our plane.
After about 30 minutes, sharp left turn just past the nearby mountains brings our 18-seater Twin-Otter down the valley. A short distance later it turns sharply right slightly above the face of a cliff now directly ahead and 2000 feet above the Dudh Kosi (river) below. The runway slopes upward from the cliff edge at a 12 degree angle. Good thing because it is short and ends in a mountain. The uphill slope assists landings and allows the planes to takeoff heading downhill toward the cliff edge. Less than a month before we made this flight in 2008, a plane didn’t make it. But that was the first fatal crash in over 4 years at this crazy airport at 9380 feet on the south edge of the Himalayas.
Here is a panorama (from 2008) of the airport and town composed of 14 vertical images.
Looking down from the area of the airport down over the roofs of Lukla shows the village we would walk through as soon as our bags got sorted and the porters were off. This image and the remainder of them on the following pages are from the 2009 trip. I hope you enjoy exploring them.