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2009-12-12 | Day 469 | 38688 km

Daniel | 2009-12-12

From the desk chair into the hiking boots, part 1

Lukla’s supposed to have one of the most dangerous landing strips in the world. It’s the starting-off-point for most expeditions that are longing to conquer the highest mountains in the world. Many travellers have told me about the excitement that experiencing the runway first hand comes with, before I found out myself.

I still held my breath …and onto the seat tightly when the day came. I had to acknowledge, that none of the stories were exaggerated. The Lukla runway is, unlike the one in Namche-Bazar – where I would later meet and video-interview the popular, Indian News anchor Siddharth Sharma (Star-Television) in regards to the the Nepali ministers conferencing at the EBC (Everest Base Camp) – topped with smooth bitumen, but its strikingly short. Responsible for a proper flow of adrenaline isn’t the runway’s length – or better shortness, but its 12 degrees angle.

I know, the guys up there haven’t got the space to build proper airports, but if one recalls the street sign, warning of an ascend or descent of 12% to come and the inevitably, very soon following mountain road, it becomes clear what kind of feelings occur at the approach of landing. To protect the small, but daily endangered infrastructure and population of Lukla, an enormous stone wall has been built at the end of the, from the air, rather square-ish than line-like looking runway. This is probably the reason, why the pilots, seconds after touch down, take a sharp right turn at high speed, with one wing scraping the tarmac, to abruptly and finally come to a full stop on the hangar, the size of a medium-sized back yard.

I was happy to be down on the ground again, yet high up still – Lukla is located already at 2800m / 9000ft. Now I could get started…

1 Comment
  1. 2009-12-13 (13:27)

    Lutz

    Hallo Daniel !
    Freut mich, dass Du den Ausflug in den Himalaya, trotz Strapaze , anscheinend genießen konntest.

    Gruß
    Lutz

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