Kathmandu to Lukla to Phakding

Trekking day 1:  Lukla to Phakding – Distance: 8.30 km – Elev Gain/Loss: 394m/-639m

Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides the recap of today’s exciting flight to the trailhead mountain village of Lukla and the first day of trekking towards Everest Base Camp:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Mountain Hardwear Everest expedition and base camp trek.  Today is September 8th.  We were very lucky this morning to have an early flight at 6:00 AM out of Kathmandu and landed in Lukla.  But not after a fun, unplanned stop in the small village of Phaplu on the way.  The clouds rolled in and the Lukla airport was closed en route on our flight so the pilot diverted and landed at a small airstrip on the way.  Then when the clouds parted our pilot took off and landed us in Lukla.


From Lukla we made our way up the start of the Khumbu Valley.  It’s amazingly green here right now!  It’s been raining so much at the end of the monsoon season.  Everything is just incredibly green and vibrant.  A lot of growth here – the vegetation, the trees, the forest…  So, we’ve got it really good here!  We are at Phakding in the Sunrise lodge.  We just finished a good dinner and are heading off to bed.


Tomorrow we are going to head up to Namche.  Everybody’s feeling great.  It’s surprisingly quite here in the Khumbu.  We have the lodge all to ourselves and we didn’t see many people on the trail today because it’s not quite the trekking season which starts up in October.  We are feeling great and looking forward to a great day trekking up to Namche tomorrow.

(photo:  Lukla airport from the Madison Mountaineering Everest archives)

In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the team as they trek to Everest Base Camp and then make their attempt to summit the world’s highest mountain on:


– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates
1 reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.