Ama Dablam 2013 - Getting There

Nov 04, 2013

Getting There

As the logistics in Nepal were taken care of by the expedition leader (Tim Mosedale (, all I needed to do was to book a return flight to Kathmandu. I chose to fly with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (because I live in Amsterdam, I can get to Schiphol Airport in 15 minutes), using the Amsterdam – Delhi – Kathmandu route.

I had some luck as, due to various reasons, I got upgraded to business class. For this flight I needed to tranfer at Delhi Airport (DEL) in India as there are no direct flights (anymore) from Amsterdam (AMS) to Kathmandu (KTM). There are other good options, depending on where you're flying from. For instance, if you're based in the UK, or don't mind transferring there, Qatar Airways is a good option.

Be aware of which booking class you book your ticket in, especially for long-haul flights! The booking class sets the conditions for your travel (min/max days of stay, dates changeable, cancellation possible yes/no). Why? Well, if you buy the cheapest ticket it won't be changeable. So if the dates of your trip change, and you have a cheap ticket (and thus low booking class) you can't change your ticket. If you buy a ticket in a higher booking class you can change it later. This is obviously more expensive initially, but can save you money later on if you need to change flights. The booking class (e.g. Y,Q,R) is not the same as the class of travel (economy, business)

I left Amsterdam on november 2nd on a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight, and arrived in Kathmandu (KTM) on november 3rd. My trip was with Tim Mosedale, and he uses Himalayan Guides (HG) as the operator in Nepal. A representative of HG was waiting for me at KTM airport and took me to the Hotel Manaslu, which is not too far from the Thamel area.

My second day in KTM was spent sightseeing and shopping. Tim had arranged a sightseeing tour in the morning. We visited the Boudhanath stupa and the Pashupatinath temple. After lunch it was time to visit Thamel and buy the last odds and ends we needed, although I already had pretty much everything I needed.

The next day had an early start. We were to take the first flight out of KTM to Lukla. As it turned out, it was a bit foggy, and so we had to wait for a few hours in domestic terminal. Let me tell you: there's not much to do there, so we just had some tea and biscuits and waited it out.Flying to Lukla, and especially landing and taking off at Lukla, is 'an experience', as it’s considered one of the worlds most dangerous airports. If you don't like flying much, you'll be in for a treat. The runway is short and steep and at the edge of cliff.

After breakfast at Paradise Lodge in Lukla, we started trekking.

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