A friend of mine decided that before he left Nepal, he wanted to go on a helicopter tour of the Mahalangur Himal, the section of the Himalayas that contains Mount Everest. It includes four of the world's six highest peaks.
He managed to talk four of us into going on the tour. We showed up early at the airport on a Saturday morning, but the skies were completely overcast. We waited and waited and waited for them to clear. Eventually we received instructions to come back the next morning.
The next morning, we were given the all clear. As we walked out to the helicopter, I could see more snow-capped peaks than I had seen since arriving in Nepal. The entire ride out to the region, which takes just under an hour, was stunning. It was a surreal experience.
We landed in Lukla, the village where most people begin their trek to Everest. Lukla has a short and steep airstrip and is often referred to as the most dangerous airport in the world.
We refueled and continued on our way. We flew over base camp but didn't land because there's no landing pad in order to do so. (I've noted where base camp is in a caption below.) We then stopped at Everest View Hotel to have breakfast — the first time that I've had breakfast at 12,700 feet.
After a few photos and purchasing souvenirs, we headed back to Kathmandu. The sky was beginning to cloud over, and the view was no longer as spectacular as it had been in the morning. At any rate, it was a truly unique experience.