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Nepal’s death flight valley

February 25, 2016

It’s a great temptation. Take a flight out of Pokhara, Nepal’s westernmost airport, to nearby Jumla, and you cut two or three days off the popular Annapurna Circuit trek.

DON’T. The flight, which takes about 15 minutes, gained the sad reputation today of being  the world’s most dangerous…claiming three fatal crashes in as many years.

As a yearly visitor to Nepal, “Grumpy” has made the flight  twice. Never again…On the first occasion, with a dense layer of black thunder-clouds blanketing the Annapurna Range, I was stunned when  the pilot lined us up on the tarmac and took a  vote on whether or not to fly.We did.

On the second, just last year, I looked out the window and watched, mesmerised, as rivets on the port wing spiralled  up and down.

The trip to Jumla, even in good weather, has to be made before,  after which the flightpath earns its reputation as “Windy Valley”.

My advice? Walk. Or at least endure the dust and heavy traffic of the recently created “road”…




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