I am just back from my 38th Trek to Everest Base Camp and 19th Island Peak Expedition. I just climbed Island peak for the 17th time now and for a while it was looking very doubtful if we would even make the summit. There were a host of challenges placed in front of us from start to finish of this trip. Again, the weather played its part in what has proved to be a challenging start to the post monsoon season in Nepal and the Everest Region.
We roll the dice every season with the weather getting in and out of the Everest Region and what we have been finding over the past 6 years is that the monsoon either starts late which causes problems for our teams in the September and October or weather patterns in the early season February to May have been changing causing teams to miss days of acclimatization critical for safety and success. Every year the weather patterns change and cause more and more challenges flying in and out of the mountains. On any given day we do not know if there will be flights in and out of the Everest region. We are moving more and more to booking helicopters, to guarantee access to the Everest Region to make sure our trips can run as smoothly as possible. There is an additional cost to this, but worth thinking about securing your trip and booking a helicopter ride into the mountains. Check out our TOP 50 TIPS.
There have been some disturbing new changes to flights in and out of the Everest Region which is going to have a lasting effect of our treks to Everest. The two main trekking seasons into the Mount Everest Region are February through May and September to December.
The International Airport in Kathmandu has been overloaded with International and domestic flights and now there are so many delays getting in and out of Kathmandu. There is only one runway at the International airport in Kathmandu which is causing serious delays and cancellations to flights in Nepal.
There are new International Airports currently being built in Pokhara and Lumbini. In terms of trekking the New International Airport in Pokhara will help congestion and in the near future all our Annapurna Base Camp Trek and people trekking in western Nepal will be able to arrive directly into Pokhara will will help ease the congestion on Kathmandu and help with flights in and out of Lukla. We hope this is the case!
In the past few seasons all internal flight toLukla have been transferred to Ramechhap airstrip. What this means is you will have a 5+ hour drive from our Hotel in Kathmandu in the middle of the night to arrive in Ramechhap airstrip and if there are weather delays you will be stuck in the middle of nowhere with limited support and infrastructure.
Unless the government reinstate flights from Kathmandu to Lukla we are going to have to add Helicopter rides to all our trips heading into Lukla from 2021/22.
We have developed the best itinerary for acclimatization for trekking to Mount Everest. We believe having 3 nights in Namche Bazaar at 11,500 feet gives your body the chance to adapt to the low levels of oxygen so when you go higher you can be safer and have a more enjoyable experience in this low oxygen environment.
The only way to make sure all our treks maintain this critical acclimatization is to secure helicopter rides into the mountains. This means you can get a good night’s sleep in Kathmandu go straight to the airport in Kathmandu and fly directly into Lukla Airport. If the weather is bad you can usually fly into Surke at 2,300m/ 7,600 feet. Surke is below Lukla and we can start trekking from there. This means we can maintain our acclimatization schedule and give you the best chance to achieving your goal of reaching Everest Base Camp and hiking up the famous Kala Phattar for the classic view of Mount Everest.
If you need to discuss further feel free to reach out to us at any time. You can also use the search option on our the home page of our website to find out additional information on trekking to Everest Base Camp.