So you are short on time, but want to experience all the goodness that Everest and surrounding areas have to offer? You are not in your best shape but want to get a feel for what it is like to take a short trek in the famed Khumbu region in Nepal? Well, it’s your lucky day, for this trip might just be for you. The Everest Heli Tour comprises of a scenic trek for a couple of days, followed by a chopper ride providing you with a bird’s eye view of Everest Base Camp, Kala Patthar, and Gokyo Lakes, all within a duration of about a week or so!
The journey begins with a short flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, a small mountainous airstrip and usually the first stop to the Everest region. During the flight, you will be flying parallel to the Himalayas, and you will have a first glimpse of what is to come in the next few days. Once at Lukla, our Everest Base Camp short trek commences with a gentle downhill walk along the edge of Dudh Koshi River, taking us to a small settlement of Phakding.
Next day you will be walking through a beautiful pine forest along the Dudh Koshi River and enter the Sagarmatha National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Further onwards, we will have the first clear view of Everest and surrounding peaks. A few more hours walk will take us to the town of Namche Bazaar—a bustling hub for trekkers and mountaineers.
Namche Bazaar and Sherpa culture
Namche Bazaar is our last stop before our Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour takes us into higher altitudes. It is only fitting that taking a day off in this town will help us better acclimatize for the upcoming alpine conditions. As the last major settlement before the Everest adventure begins, Namche has government offices, ATMs, internet cafes, restaurants, and a vibrant mix of Nepalese and Tibetan style market area. Enjoy the day exploring the town or hike to a nearby village of Khumjung, known for its cultural traditions. If you are those curious type, you can take a peek into a monastery in Namche that houses an allegedly yeti scalp!
You probably have heard about the mountain men of Nepal: the Sherpas. You might as well associate them with all sorts of feats that involves high altitude mountaineering—from some of the most daring feats involving Mt. Everest to rescuing stranded mountaineers high up in the mountains, otherwise impossible for a regular human being other than the Sherpas themselves. What you might not have seen is the average day to day life of these mountain men that call the Himalayan Khumbu as their home. Now this will be a wonderful opportunity to get up close with this famed Himalayan tribe. Here is your chance to observe them in their native land, showcasing their culture, traditions and way of life—by being there yourself!
The real adventure begins with heli tour
Well this is what you came for: today we will be taking our helicopter tour of EBC, Kala Patthar and Gokyo Lakes. Our chopper will first take us to the Everest Base Camp. Have a feel for what it is like to have a unique bird’s eye view of the top of the world, without having to exert yourself physically to get there if you were to trek there all the way from Namche Bazaar. After gorging the vistas around, we will fly to Kala Patthar. Looking towards Everest, the view from Kala Patthar is unbeatable, even better than EBC itself. For this reason alone, it is worth taking a stop here. Along with Everest, Lhotse (8,513m), Cho Oyu (8,153m), Pumori (7,156m), Nuptse (7,864m), and other neighbouring peaks come into full view from this excellent vantage point. Time for some mandatory snaps of this spectacular panorama.
Next, the Everest Base Camp and Gokyo lake via Heli Tour will take us into the pristine blue and green waters of the Gokyo Lakes, which comprise of six glacial-fed lakes. Together they form the highest freshwater lake system in the world, lying roughly around 5,000 meters. This is certainly a treat –something different to add to the mix after plenty of sightseeing and basking of the Himalayas. As we fly along, the helicopter ride also brings in the opportunity to peer into the beautiful Khumbu Valley, Khumbu Glacier and its associated icefall region, and of course the general landscape of the Everest region. Our tour for the day comes to end when we get back to Lukla, followed by a next day flight to Kathmandu.
A luxury experience like no other
Be assured, it will be a treat of a lifetime. From the moment you arrive in Kathmandu, you will receive the best services available and as much luxury as possible. Not just in Kathmandu, even during the short trek, you will get to stay in some of the best hotels and the upscale services that come with it. Combine all that with the heli tour of Everest Base Camp, and the breathtaking view all around from high up in the air, no doubt at the end of the day you will get full value for your money.
All in all, an ideal mix of a short trek along the trail to the Everest base camp, without straining yourself too hard if you were walking throughout. A trip as such would suit anyone even with limited physical fitness and without prior trekking experience, as well as to those who are short on time but want to include Everest region in their list of travelled places.