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Introduction to the Khumbu


There is no experience quite like visiting Nepal's Khumbu.  This region is in the northeastern part of the country and includes the Nepalese side of Mount Everest.   It's a land of steep mountains and narrow valleys, with rivers plunging down as rapids and cascades.  You'll not find any lakes here.

There are no roads in the Khumbu, except a few around the town of Lukla where the area's airport is located.  Most everyone flies in these days and lands on one of the most dangerous airstrips in the world, which we've previously discussed on Travelgumbo.  There are a few helicopter landing spots within the Khumbu, but these are not used by locals -- only wealthy visitors.

Here's a photo of our group awaiting the unloading of our gear in Lukla.  The tall fellow to the left of the photo with the orange backpack is famed mountaineer, Conrad Anker, who was one of our guides for part of our journey.  He's a very nice and kind-hearted man.

01 Khumbu Lukla.

What little farmland you'll see is terraced and found only at lower altitudes (Khumbu's altitudes range from 3300 meters (11,000') to 8848 meters (29,029) atop Mt. Everest)

02 Khumbu

As there are no roads in the Khumbu, everything the region needs must be carried in by pack animals (cattle at lower altitudes, yaks at higher altitude), or by human porters carrying heavy loads on their backs.  Everyone walks everywhere.

03 Khumbu

There are a number cable bridges that you have to cross as you move up the valley.  These bridges are shared by everything that moves, so don't be surprised to find yourself in the middle of a bridge with a herd of cattle coming your way, as I did. (Hint: grab a cable and hold on tight -- the cattle move around you).  All of these are high quality bridges built by Sir Edmund Hillary's foundation.  Sir Edmund is deeply loved by the Sherpa people.

04 Khumbu
(Porters carrying their loads to a swinging bridge)

05 Khumbu

The photo below shows the highest bridge we crossed.  Doesn't seem that bad in the photo but between the wind and people's movement on the bridge, it had a lot of bounce to it and was quite scary.  It's also where I had my close encounter with a cattle herd.

06 Khumbu

After a few days of walking, you reach the entrance to your destination!

07 Khumbu


Images (8)
  • 00 Khumbu
  • 01 Khumbu  Lukla.
  • 02 Khumbu
  • 03 Khumbu
  • 04 Khumbu
  • 05 Khumbu
  • 06 Khumbu
  • 07 Khumbu

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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