Everest Skydive reached new heights this year with a record breaking stand up parachute landing by Paul-Henry de Baere at 20,160ft MSL (6145m) at the West Col of Baruntse. The record setting skydive that occurred at 7:36AM GMT+5:45 on 19th May 2019 was made using a Performance Designs Navigator 240 main parachute with a wingloading 0.8 and into an 10kt headwind. Paul-Henry de Baere, who is the Media Director of Everest Skydive beat Everest Skydive’s all-time highest altitude landing record of 17,192ft MSL (5240m) set by Everest Skydive teammates Wendy Elizabeth Smith and Tom Noonan in 2009. The World Record jump was made from “The Dragon”, a Eurocopter B3 helicopter piloted by Deepak Jung Rana, Executive Director for Summit Helicopters and Captain Deepak Pun, with supplementary support provided by Simrik Air with Captain Siddhartha Gurung and Tsering Bothe. Everest Skydive’s Operations Director Tom Noonan managed the expedition’s oxygen support from Baruntse Base Camp at 17,857ft MSL (5443m) and Jean Yorick managed the drop zone set-up. The team of Explore Himalaya was responsible for the arrangement of the entire logistics and operation.
Explore Himalaya organized a felicitation program to honour Paul-Henry de Baere and Everest Skydive Team at Marcopolo Restaurant, Chhaya Center on 21st May. During the program, Paul-Henry de Baere, Tom Noonan and Jean Yorick were honored with garland and Khada by Bibhuti Chand Thakur – General Secretary PATA Nepal Chapter, Abdullah Tuncer Kececi – General Manager Turkish Airlines Nepal, Ramesh Kharel – Ex Nepal Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Rajan Pokhrel – Deputy Editor Himalayan Times and Abhinav JBR – Chairman of Turbo Motors Pvt. Ltd respectively. Mountaineers Maya Gurung and Pujan Acharya who climbed tallest mountains on all seven continents, international mountain journalist Billi Bierling, Miss Tourism Samriddhi Rai were also present in the program. A video of the record breaking landing was also premiered in the program. The program was moderated by Suman Pandey, the President of Explore Himalaya.
Our Words of Gratitude:
We have always been a proud partner of Everest Skydive since 2008. However, at this moment, we are brimming with joy as well to be a part of this ambitious expedition. What could be more beautiful than complementing our 12 years’ togetherness with Everest Skydive in such a delightful note! Operating an event of such stature in the Himalayan terrain is of course a serious challenge. However, we made it possible! But needless to say, it’s a team effort and the benevolence of the Mountains. Our deep reverence to the Mountains for patronizing us! In the meantime, we would also like to have an honorable mention to Everest Skydive’s Operations Director Tom Noonan, the man behind the back of the whole project. Thanks Tom and the entire Everest Skydive team for instilling us with passion and dream throughout! Thanks Jean Yorick for your great effort in drop zone set-up & welcome to the Team! We couldn’t help ourselves thanking Summit Helicopters Nepal and Simrik Helicopters also for your valuable support. Together we made it happen- you all are a treat to work with! Once again Félicitations PH- you are an inspiration! Keep living your dream!
What is happening?
Now it’s all certain! Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA)/Kathmandu Airport will close from 10 pm to 8 am every day for runway maintenance from April 1st to June 30th 2019. This operation is going to impact all international and domestic flights but the most affected will be the flights to Lukla. Every season thousands of tourists fly to Lukla to complete their dream of trekking to Everest Base Camp, climbing Mera Peak, Island Peak or Lobuche Peak. Besides, all Everest expeditions from the south side also operate via Lukla.
What does this mean to you?
During this time, all flights to/from Lukla are rerouted from Kathmandu Airport to Manthali Airport, Ramechhap as the Kathmandu Airport will be shut down completely from 10 pm to 8 am every day.
Though the flight time will be comparatively shorter (50 minutes for round trip), you are required to travel to Ramechhap from Kathmandu to catch your Lukla flight and retrace the same route while returning back to the city. Due to this new arrangement, there are certain things you should know before travelling to Lukla.
In the meantime, please be informed that there will still be a couple of flights from Kathmandu to Lukla after 8 am once the airport opens but we don’t think it will be sensible to wait for those flights. The air traffic and landings at the airport can cause delays and we all know that the weather in Lukla is slightly notorious. The later the flights, the higher the chances for the weather in Lukla to go unfavorable. So, the best option is to fly to Lukla via Manthali Airport.
Where is Manthali Airport?
Manthali Airport (493 m. /1617 ft) is situated approximately 132 km east of Kathmandu on the bank of Tama Koshi River in Manthali, a municipality and headquarter of Ramechhap district. As it is the closest airport in the eastern part of Nepal from Kathmandu, the airport poses itself as the best option to fly to Lukla in the present situation. The airport also used to operate Lukla flights during air traffic congestion at Kathmandu Airport (TIA) in the past.
How to get there?
You can travel to Manthali Airport by road. It takes about 4-5 hours to reach there depending on the traffic. As you will have to reach Manthali early to catch your flight, you can either travel there one day prior to the flight or leave Kathmandu very early in the morning around 3 am. In both cases, it’s better to take a private transfer to Manthali as the local transfer timings do not match with the flight timings. More specifically, you don’t get any early morning local buses. And in their regular run also, you can never be sure about their punctuality.
*If you have booked your travel arrangements from travel agencies or directly with the airlines, they should take care of your transportation, which in most likely case will be a private transfer.
Where to stay?
Manthali is not a very well facilitated place as it is not used to receiving a huge number of travelers. Accommodation facilities are limited and the service is basic. Due to the present situation with many travelers travelling via Manthali this season, it is very likely that you will not find an accommodation easily. Also, flight crew and staffs from the airlines will be occupying most of the hotels in the area.
So, in this situation, a better option for you is to go for accommodations at Mulkot, from where Manthali Airport is just an hour’s drive. Accommodations at Mulkot are far better and you will also save the trouble of finding an accommodation in Manthali.
What we think is best for you?
To tackle this situation, Explore Himalaya made a recent trip to Manthali to plan our operations and find the best solution for you. We think that driving early morning to Manthali for 4-5 hours and then boarding the Lukla flight half asleep will be very inconvenient for our clients. It will make your day very hectic and not leave you in a good spirit to start your trek up to Phakding or Monjo.
The best way to deal with this change is to drive to Mulkot one day earlier. Mulkot is a small settlement, from where Manthali Airport is just 37 km away (1 hour’s drive). This not only breaks the monotony of a long drive but also makes things comfortable for you as Mulkot has good standard accommodation facilities, which Manthali lacks. One can stay comfortably in a hotel in Mulkot, wake up at 5 am the next morning and drive an hour to the airport for the flight. This will not make the day tiring at all and the schedule of your trek will also not be affected.
Another reliable option – if you have pretty deep pockets – would be opting for a helicopter upgrade and flying to Lukla straight from Kathmandu. The Kathmandu helipad area will not be affected and you can have heli flight to Lukla from 6.30 am onwards. The upgrade could cost you a top up of USD 250-500 per person depending on the payload and availability.
We hope that this blog has been helpful to you. For any further queries, please feel free to contact Explore Himalaya at +977-1-4418 100, 4418 400 or write us to email@example.com
Explore Himalaya is participating in ITB Berlin, world’s leading Travel Trade Show, from 6th to 10th March 2019. We, as an exhibitor 19, will be showcasing our products at 5.2 A/105. We are represented by our General Manager Mr. Anuj Pandey. We have been regularly participating in ITB for more than a decade. During all this time, we have been having very exciting and enriching sessions with international travel communities. We are quite happy that now we share a bigger world and stronger bond with our partners and travel friends from different parts of the world. And the whole thing started from ITB! This year, we are expecting even more eventful experience. We hope to start relations that are everlasting and the experience more meaningful than ever! Do visit our stall. We look forward to seeing you at ITB.
Explore Himalaya Team had an official retreat at Annapurna Royal Camp in Begnas Lake from 25th to 27th January 2019. The two nights/three days’ break was one of the regular team building and motivation travels of Explore Himalaya. Beside refreshment, the retreat was also aimed at familiarizing Annapurna Royal Camp, which is the latest exclusive property of Explore Himalaya.
The Explore Himalaya Team Retreat started with an exciting 6 hours’ highway drive to Annapurna Royal Camp via Prithivi Highway on 25th January. After about 6 hours’ drive, the team of 23 members reached the Camp at 6 o’ clock in the evening. The team accommodated at the fully furnished luxury tents of the Camp. On the second day, the team had a hiking trip to Lekhnath museum. The hiking which started at 9:30 after breakfast lasted for about 4 hours. The hiking started through the community forest, which lies just below the Camp. The team continued through Ban Pokhari, the first neighboring community and a crossroad overlooking Begnas Lake towards northeast and Maidi Lake towards southwest. Upon reaching a junction at Lamshara, they took a local trail to Lekhnath Museum.
Following the uphill stony steps past the local settlements and savoring the amazing view of the lake, the team reached Lekhnath Museum at the hilltop at about midday. Then, the hike continued through the downhill trail and ended at the Camp at about 2 o’ clock in the afternoon. After lunch, the rest of the day was a free activity day. In the evening, the team had a campfire night out with live musical show. The last day’s delight was a short hiking of about 30 minutes to Begnas Damsite and boating of 20 minutes to the Camp bank, which lies right below the Camp. The morning’s activity concluded after the team climbed uphill through forest trail for about 20 minutes to reach the Camp at 10 o’ clock. After taking lunch, the team left the Camp at 12:30. Retracing the same highway route, they reached Kathmandu at about 6 o’clock, which brought the three days’ retreat to an end.
The three days’ trip gave Explore Himalaya Team a full-fledged opportunity to enjoy the wilderness of Begnas Lake, get the real insights of the pristine mid hill villages and have hands-on experience of Annapurna Royal Camp. As a cherry on top, the trip also allowed them to have the fondest memories with their team members that will be treasured for a long time.
Explore Himalaya took part in Adventure Travel Show held in Olympia London from 19 to 20 January 2019. Adventure Travel Show is the UK’s only specialized event dedicated to adventure and off the beaten holidays. The Event has been creating an exclusive platform for the adventure travel communities from different parts of the world for last 22 years. This Year’s event also showcased various adventure travel companies, adventure travel experts, travel photographers, travel writers and travel filmmakers along with various sessions of inspirational talks, multimedia seminars, trekking workshops and travel company exhibits offering exclusive show-only offers.
Suman Pandey, President of Explore Himalaya, CEO of Summit Heli and Director of Summit Air; and the Company representative in the Event, stated, “Adventure Travel Show offers a good exposure for Adventure Company like Explore Himalaya. We are quite happy to create a good contact base with adventure travel experts and our prospective customers. In the meantime, we are also happy that we have been able to present Nepal as a premier destination for adventure lovers. We look forward to participating in the Show in the forthcoming days also.” With the participation in the Event, Explore Himalaya has taken part in two international Travel Shows in January alone.