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Our trek starts in the small village of Lukla in the Himalaya. The only way there is by air (or by bus, then hiking for a week).
The weather in Lukla usually clears up for a few hours before clouding over later in the morning. If you wait until too late the Lukla airport will be too foggy for flights. The weather in Kathmandu is often foggy in the morning and doesn't clear up until later. This prevents you from leaving early. There is a narrow window of opportunity when both Kathmandu and Lukla are clear enough for a flight.
On October 22 and 23 this narrow window of opportunity never occurred. By the time it was clear in Kathmandu, it was foggy in Lukla. We spent both October 22 and 23 in the Kathmandu airport waiting for the fog to lift.
On October 24 the weather cooperates and we are finally able to leave the Kathmandu airport. We fly from Kathmandu to Lukla. On the right is Linda, Sue, and Mark.
This is the Lukla airport. It is very short and is on a fairly steep sloop. There is a drop-off at the end.
This is a view of a plane taking off down the runway. The plane revs its engines to full throttle at the top, then races down the side of the mountain. The planes are airborne only a few feet before the drop-off at the end.
This is a tea house in Lukla. We stopped here before starting our hike. This is the same tea house where we spent our last night at the end of the trek. The elevation is 9,317 ft.
The first swinging bridge. There are many more to come.
Mark crossing another swinging bridge.
Yaks loaded with supplies cross them too.
A rest stop at a tea house. Loaded yaks walk by. They are a common sight.
Some rocks are carved with prayers. Some, like this one, are carved and painted. When you see these, you take the trail on the left side for good karma.
Another bridge. This one is at Phakding.
This is Phakding. We spent our first night here. The elevation is 8,723 ft.