The Mountain Flight is very popular and most visitors will want to add this spectacular option into any itinerary to Nepal. It is especially good for those tourists who have little time or who do not want to walk the high trails, but do want to see the mountains of Nepal. The mountain flight offers fabulous panoramic views and is a very exciting experience, particularly when you encounter breathtaking snowy massifs and icy spires at close range.
The flight departs from Kathmandu and heads east along the great Himalayan range to give you an eye-level view of the hundreds of snow peaks east to Everest before it brings you back to Kathmandu within one hour. Yatra Himalaya has long been offering the daily mountain flight through various domestic airlines based at the domestic Kathmandu airport. The mountain flight is suitable for all travellers, but especially those who are restricted by time or want to see the jewels of the Himalayas without putting on trekking boots.
Flights depart in the early morning to take advantage of the clearer skies after dawn. As the aircraft lifts up and heads towards the east, passengers don’t have to wait too long to find out what is in store for them. There they are – the mountains. First, to their far left, visitors see Gosaithan, also called Shisha Pangma, standing at the majestic height of (8013m). Immediately to the right of Gosaithan, there appears Dorje Lhakpa (6966m), a mountain that looks like the number eight lying down and covered with snow. To the right of Dorje Lhakpa is Phurbi Chyachu, which looms over the Kathmandu Valley.
As the plane moves along the mountains, the next peak is Choba Bhamare (5933m), the smallest one of the lot, but it is singularly stubborn, as it has never been climbed. Then you can see the mountain that is not only prominent in sight but also in spirituality – Gauri Shankar. Lord Shiva and his consort Gauri are said to protect this mountain, at the proud height of 7134m. The summit had a history of unsuccessful attempts until 1979. Gauri Shankar is sharp and very conspicuous during the mountain flight.
Similarly, as you move towards the rising sun, the eastern Himalaya appears – a succession of glorious mountains follow. Menlungtse, a plateau-like mountain, stretches up to 7023m. Chugimago at 6297m is still a virgin, waiting to be climbed. At 6956m, Numbur resembles a breast, a maternal source in the sky providing pure milk to the Sherpas of the Solu Khumbu. Next is Karyolung, an intensely white mountain that at 6511m gleams with the rising sun. Cho Oyu is the eighth highest mountain in the world. Reaching a height of 8201m, it appears stunningly beautiful from the aircraft.
Next on the menu is majestic Gyachungkang, (7952m), considered an extremely difficult to climb. To the right is Pumori (7161m). As you get closer to Everest, you can also spot other mountains such as Nuptse (7855m), which means West Peak, signifying its direction from Everest. Finally, there’s Everest (8848m) itself, known as Sagarmatha by the Nepalese and Chomolungma by the Tibetans. Much has already been written about Everest, but to actually witness it face to face during a mountain flight is something special. Even while it looms there in front of the eyes, it remains an enigma, this highest spot on earth, after all. The flight returns to Kathmandu, allowing passengers on both sides to enjoy this wonderland of snowy giants.