Everest Heli Trek (6 Days)
An elite adventure, this trip takes you to Khumbu Himal, the homeland of Nepal’s tough mountain tribe, the Sherpas. Trek to Sherpa villages that lie under the shadows of some of the tallest peaks in the world including Mount Everest and take an exciting heli tour to Kala Patthar (5242m), at the base of Mount Everest….
After arriving in Kathmandu we fly to Lukla, the ‘Gateway of Everest’. We trek for two days taking in the wonderful mountain scenery and Sherpa culture, with stopovers at Sherpa villages of Phakding & Namche ,finally arriving at Shyangboche – the site of the World’s Highest Skydiving Adventure ‘Everest Skydive’.
At Shyangboche we board the waiting Fishtail Air’s helicopter for our heli tour and fly over the towering Himalayan giants : Ama Dablam [6856m], Thamserku [6608m], Kantega [6685m] , Lhotse [8501m], Nuptse [7879m]and enter Mount Everest’s Western Cwm – a broad, flat, gently undulating glacial valley basin terminating at the foot of the Lhotse Face.
We fly close to these Himalayan giants and enter the Western Cwm. The Western Cwm, also known as the ‘Valley of Silence,’ is traversed by climbers using the southeast route to the summit of Everest. The view of the mesmerizing Gokyo Lake from aboard the helicopter is just amazing.
We stop briefly at Kala Patthar (5,545m) – one of the finest viewpoints to view Mount Everest up close and the site of the World’s Highest Cabinet Meeting (held on December 4, 2009).
After exploring and taking pictures, we leave Kalapatthar and fly towards Kongde Ri (4200m) which has the world’s highest full service luxury resort – Yeti Mountain Home, Kongde. At the resort, we sit out enjoying the panoramic views of Himalayan mountains and celebrate the completion of our Everest adventure over champagne and a sumptuous breakfast- a fitting finale to a wonderful and memorable trip.
After our meal we take the return flight to Kathmandu. Throughout your trek you will be accommodated at Yeti Mountain Homes, a chain of high end luxury resorts. At Kathmandu your address is the serene and tranquil Gokarna Forest Resort.
(Note: At high altitude , Oxygen system will always be at hand to help you deal with mountain sickness.)
A new webcam installed on top of Kala Patthar, at the height of 5,600 meters,on 15th May, 2011 by Ev-K2-CNR, will now allow anyone with a PC of high resolution to watch live images of the world’s tallest peak Mount Everest. This is the first webcam installed at the vicinity, at only 11 km from the mountain. The image is updated every few minutes, and one can also see the movements of clouds around the mountain. The camera has been installed by the Ev-K2-CNR’s Italian and Nepalese technicians coordinated by Cabbage Giampietro. The webcam was installed under the 2011 Share Everest expedition, sponsored by Ev-K2-CNR to restore the world’s highest weather station at 8000 meters of the South Col of Everest.
On 28th October, Ncell , a private telecommunication company operating in Nepal successfully launched the highest 3G station(at 5200 m) in the world at Kala Patthar, Everest Base Camp. According to English daily ‘The Kathmandu Post’ there are seven 3G base stations in the region and the one established at the base camp is the highest 3G station in the world.
Fishtail Air carried out corporate charters from Kathmandu to Shyangboche & Gorakh Shep on 25th & 28th October 2010.The helicopters ferried equipments and high ranking staffs of Ncell including its CEO, Pasi Koistinen .
On Thursday(28th October) Mr. Pasi Koistinen, Ncell’s CEO, launched the 3G service by making a video call from Shyangboche to Kala Patthar. His call was received by Explore Himalaya’s climbing guide Namgyal Sherpa, who was stationed at Kala Patthar, at a height 5,500 meters.
Now mountaineers, trekkers as well as locals in the Everest region will be able to make use of Ncell’s 3G services.3G service allows subscribers to make video calls and surf high speed internet and also provide other services such as voice calls, SMS, CRBT and MMS.
Scientists and environmental activists have been warning that Global Warming is posing a serious threat to life on planet Earth. The harmful impact of climate change can be gauged from the growing number of natural disasters like flash-floods, landslides, hurricanes etc. around the world that has resulted in loss of lives and properties. The glaciers are melting in the polar ice caps resulting in rising of sea levels. Scientists predict that in a couple of decades some of the island nations would lie inundated beneath sea water.
Everest Region- White snowy peaks transformed into rocky bare pinnacles
The scenario is no less frightening in the Himalayas. Flanked by some of the tallest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest, Nepal’s snowy pinnacles are losing their snow cover. The glaciers are melting, creating mountain lakes that threaten to sweep away villages situated at the base of the mountains. According to a report on BBC, there are 3,250 glaciers in the Nepalese Himalayas, and 2,315 of them contain glacial lakes that are increasing in size at varying rates. The disappearance of glaciers also mean that the rivers fed by the glaciers may run dry in the near future.
To bring into focus how Global Warming is adversely affecting our mountains and glaciers the, Nepal Government decided to hold a cabinet meeting at the Everest Base Camp.
Ten years before, this place used to covered with snow year round, according to locals – An impact of global warming on our Mountain Environment
Press Conference at NTB, Kathmandu
At a press conference held on 29th November at NTB’s auditorium hall, members of the press and media were briefed about the climate themed Cabinet Meeting to be held in Gorakh Shep, Everest Base Camp on 4th December 2009. The special climate- themed meeting was scheduled ahead of the UN summit on Climate Change at Copenhagen. Attended by members of the press & media, tourism officials, Everest summitteers and mountaineers, the main speakers during the conference were Minister of Tourism – Mr. Sarat Singh Bhandari, Minister of Forests – Mr. Deepak Bohara, Minister of Environment Mr. Thakur Prasad Sharma and Planning & Operation Coordinator of the event, Mr. Suman Pandey ( President, Explore Himalaya).
Answering to press queries honorable Minister of Forests, Mr. Deepak Bohara said that the entire cost of the highest Cabinet Meeting will be borne by private sector companies.
R-L : Deepak Bohara (Minister of Forests), Mr. Sarat Singh Bhandari (Tourism Minister), Mr.Suman Pandey (Planning & Operation Coordinator)
Mr. Suman Pandey – Outlining the programme schedule for the Highest Cabinet Meeting
Reports on the Preparation for the Event
World’s Highest Cabinet Meeting,EBC- Kala Patthar (17,192 ft/5242m) – 4th December, 2009
Nepalese cabinet ministers held a special cabinet meeting at Kala Patthar (17,192 ft/5242m) plateau, at the base of Mt. Everest on December 4, 2009. Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and 23 other ministers were flown by helicopters for the meeting. During the meeting, a 10-point ‘Everest Declaration’ which calls for concerted actions to minimize adverse effects of climate change in the Himalayan region was released. The meeting, which had cost around NRS 6 million to organize, was funded by private agencies and organizations from the tourism sector. Mr. Suman Pandey, Planning & Operation Coordinator of the event, said that organizing the meeting at such a high altitude was a big achievement.
World’s Highest Cabinet Meeting in progress – At Kala Patthar Plateau (17,192 ft/5242m)
PM Madhav Kumar Nepal wearing an oxygen mask
This meeting received worldwide media coverage and it showed the commitment of the Nepalese Government towards Climate Change and the mountain environment. This event gained an estimated 1.7 million media coverage!
Summiteers Summit to Save the Himalayas, Copenhagen- December 11 2009
Following the World’s Highest Cabinet Meeting, Summiteers Summit to Save the Himalayas was organized by the Government of Nepal in Copenhagen to mark the International Mountain Day on December 11, 2009. Summiteers from Nepal and around the globe, in full summit gear, marched on the streets of Copenhagen. The march was organized to celebrate the ‘International Mountain Day’ as well as to draw global attention to the impact of climate change in the Himalayas. Five ministers from Nepal and the Danish foreign minister participated at the march.This rally was an accompanying event in the 15th session of UNFCCC conference.
Since then , there have been joint efforts from individuals and organizations to highlight the impact of climate change on the Himalayan mountains.
Explore Himalaya recently organized a special trek to Everest Base Camp for an English couple, Roy and Karen.This trek was special for two reasons, firstly because the couple wished to get engaged at EBC and secondly Explore Himalaya was organizing this trek during the monsoon, an ‘off- season’ where trekkers usually stay away from the trails. It was a memorable experience for both Karen & Roy, and they share their experience with us.
“We chose to trek during the low season, risking leeches, monsoon rain and cloudy grey skies. Luck was on our side, we were rewarded with exceptional weather and great trekking conditions – not a leech in sight!! And rather than sharing the trail with hundreds of trekkers, we shared it with an occasional yak.
After an exciting flight from Lukla, we met our guide and porter for the trip and got underway … it’s a long walk to base camp! Phul, our excellent guide looked after us really well. His knowledge of the region, the mountains and the people that inhabit them is outstanding. He ensured that our trek was enjoyable, interesting and safe. The amazing Mr Uttra carried our gear with a cheerful whistle.
Day nine, and finally we were on our way to base camp! The sky was crystal clear and the views breathtaking. Fortunately both Roy and I had acclimatized, and only suffered a few headaches. Reaching base camp gave us a great sense of achievement, combined with a new admiration for those who use this as the starting point for climbing everest. Standing on the Khumbu Glacier gazing up at the huge mountains all around, one is filled with a sense of awe.
Day ten, and the best is yet to come. Our trek started at 5am – we head up Kala Pathar before the sun has risen above the huge mountains.As the sun climbs, the ice covered hill-side sparkles. Two hours later we reach the summit of Kala Pathar (5550m), the highest point on our trek; and the most magical. The view is spectacular, 360 degrees of magnificent snow covered peaks. And then the most magical moment … with Pumo Ri behind us and Mt Everest in front, Roy proposed! We’re the happiest couple in the Himalayas, we’re engaged and can’t stop grinning!”
Explore Himalaya congratulates the couple on their engagement.They literally got engaged at the ‘top of the world’ ! We wish Roy & Karen all the best and hope to organize more magical & memorable trips for them in the future.
(Photos courtesy: Karen Donald)