Morning for an hour’s worth of spectacular mountain scenery. As the aircraft lifts up and heads towards the east, passengers do not have to wait too long to find out what is in store for them. There they are – the mountains, as they always have been.
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 Lakpa (6966m), a mountain that looks like the number 8 lying down and covered with snow. To the right of Dorje Lakpa is Phurbi-Ghyachu, which looms over the Kathmandu Valley.
As the plane moves along, the mountains come closer and closer. Next on the vision is Choba-Bhamare, the smallest one of the lots at 5933m but singularly stubborn as it has never been climbed. Then appears the mountain that is not only prominent in sight but also in spiritually – Gauri-Shankar. Lord Shiva and his consort Gauri are said to protect this mountain, at the proud height of 7134m and the summit had a history of unsuccessful attempts till 1979. Gauri-Shankar is sharp and very conspicuous during the mountain flight.
As the plane moves towards the land of the rising sun, the eastern Himalaya a succession of glorious mountains follow. Melungtse, a Plateau – like mountain stretches up to 7023m, Chugimago at 6297m is still a virgin, waiting to be climbed. At 6956m, Numbur mountain resembles a breast, maternal source in the sky providing pure milk to the Shepas 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 Gyanchungkang, at a majestic height of 7952m, considered an extremely difficult climb. To the right of Gyanchungkang is Pumori (7161m). As passengers get closer to Everest. there’s 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 else. Even while it looms there in front of the eyes, it remains an enigma, this highest spot on earth.