Helicopter Tour to Mount Everest Base Camp

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Forget the beach this year, think bigger.  Think 8,848m (29,000 ft).  What’s hot is a helicopter ride to Mount Everest.  No more walking for days to get there, certainly no blistered feet or sunburned faces.  Just the sheer excitement of being on a helicopter surrounded by the highest mountains in the world!

Getting There

Obviously one has to first get to Nepal.  Kathmandu, the capital city, has flights that go through the Middle East and others that go through Singapore.  It’s not a short flight from the US but it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable if you plan well.  

Once in Nepal there is a variety of hotels ranging from the Marriott, Hyatt, Radisson, and funky new gen ones such as Nomad and Aloft to those low budget places we very often chose to forget.  The same agency who organises the helicopter tours, can also help you with hotels if you are unsure of what and where.  

Once settled in there are plenty of things to do in Kathmandu, from the burning ghats at Pashupatinath to the old palace squares of the three old towns that make up the modern capital – Bhaktapur, Patan and Basantapur.  Meantime, it’s the helicopter tour that has caught our eye.

Breakfast on Everest 

Also known as ‘breakfast on Everest’, this helicopter tour by the local agency, Magical Nepal, to Everest Base Camp is around five hours in duration and takes you to some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. If you love the mountains this is definitely for you.  Even if your love is a little lukewarm, this ride might just change your mind.

Having booked a seat on a group tour (there is only 5 or 6 seats per helicopter) at USD 1,175 per seat, or having chartered the whole helicopter for USD 4800  be prepared for a great experience.  

You will be collected from your hotel in the early hours to be ready for take off at 6am.  First you will be introduced to your pilot. Unless you make arrangements for a guide, the pilot is your guide.  As well as being an experienced pilot, well versed in high altitude rides, he will also be, reasonably, able to explain which mountains you are seeing and what is going on down below.  Fully qualified guides are available if you charter the whole helicopter and make the necessary arrangements ahead of time.  A photographer can also be arranged – an opportunity not to be missed! 

Once you reach the high altitude airport at Lukla, aptly named Hillary Tenzing Airport after the first two men who scaled Everest successfully, its time to refuel and time for passengers to get their first breath of Everest icy air.   Then it’s off over the Sagarmatha National Park, over fields, yak pastures, glacier fed rivers and into the barren rocky upper mountains.  

The overall scenery is stunning, and the mountains outlined against the clear blue skies are even more astounding and so very close.  And they are about to get closer.  

While the helicopter circles the base camp, the pilot explains that due to the land below, which is actually ice rather than solid land, it is not possible to set the helicopter down.  Instead, the helicopter lands at a view point ridge named Kalapattar, or black rock.  From here there is a panorama of mountains surrounding you.  Mt Everest is so close that you feel you can almost touch it.  What inspiring imagery.  What Insta ready pictures.  What memories.  

It’s  hard to imagine getting to see anything so special again, and yet…  the next landing is at Hotel Everest View which has scenery to rival Kalapattar.  What’s more, there is breakfast here also!  A glass of champagne should definitely be on everyone’s breakfast menu as these views definitely deserve it. Sitting on the terrace of the hotel sipping champagne or coffee is definitely what could be called ‘Breakfast on Everest’.  How romantic if you are travelling with your significant other.  Even if travelling alone there is still a romantic feel to the place. 

On arrival back in Kathmandu you will be escorted to your hotel and have time to upload your photographs before your next big adventure!

Some Advice

Because of the short duration of the trip, there should not be any altitude related problems. However, oxygen is carried as a precaution.  Unfortunately, small children cannot be accommodated as the high altitude helicopters just don’t configure for little bodies.  Boots or walking shoes should be worn along with a warm jacket, hat, and gloves.  One can, of course, look fabulous! 



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Helicopter, Mount Everest, Base Camp