Starting at the Top: Flight-seeing Mt. Everest

                                                Do you have a Bucket List?  Seeing Mt. Everest was at the top of mine until a couple of weeks ago, when I was able to cross it off! However, the mountain you can see in the background of this photo is not of Mt. Everest. I assumed we could drive to the base of Mt. Everest the way you can drive to a good viewing spot for Denali, which at 20,310 feet is the highest mountain on the North American continent. Did you know there are well over 100 mountains in Nepal, China, Pakistan, and India that are higher than Denali or any of the highest mountains in North America? They make our beloved Rocky Mountains look like child’s play!There is no resort community where you can gaze at Mt. Everest’s grandeur out your snug hotel room’s picture window such as you can for Denali or Mt. Rainier!  (Can you see the mountain in the clouds? This is Himalchuli Mountain in the Annapurna Range of Nepal…which is only 25,896 feet high!) Although Mt. Everest is a whopping 29,029 feet tall, it’s buried behind so many huge mountains in the heart of such a remote part of the Himalaya Mountain Range that the only way you can really see it is either by mountain climbing or by taking an early morning flight-seeing tour on a small aircraft.  We opted for a flight-seeing tour with Buddha Air. We had an amazing adventure, but I will say this advertisement is deceptive. I imagined crashing on the mountain due to unpredictable wind currents and had heard rumors that Nepal has the world’s most dangerous airport.  The rumors may be true, but the pilots aren’t crazy, so they really don’t get you any closer than ten miles from Mt. Everest. Still, on a clear day, you can get some breath-taking views from 10,000 aloft! In order to catch an early morning flight, we had to get up at 4:45 am and head out to the airport.  One of the striking things to Alan and me was that the flight was listed as simply “Mountain.” Cities were named, but everybody knew: There’s just one Mountain! They charged us an arm and a leg for our tickets, but at least every passenger had a window seat, and they let each of us go up to take photos from the cockpit when we were at ideal viewing range.  The flight lasted just an hour, but I took over a hundred photos and felt totally mesmerized by the mountains’ majesty!  The Himalayas are beyond anything I’ve ever seen before, and I had absolutely no appreciation for how vast and wonderful they are!  Eventually, the clouds started to rise higher in the warm sunshine and obscured some of the mountains. Still, I will never forget the beauty of that morning!Do you know what Mt. Everest is made from? It’s not volcanic rock! The summit of Mt. Everest is marine limestone! Can you believe it? When the flood covered the earth, it even reached to the top of the highest mountains, just as the scriptures teach us: The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits” (Genesis 7:18-20, NIV). Now, the Bible also teaches that the ” springs of the great deep” were broken up, and that there was tremendous upheaval, so perhaps this accounts for the shifting tectonic plates. I’m no geologist, but to me, learning that the world’s highest mountain is topped with marine limestone is one more exciting evidence of the validity of the Bible. And, if you’re willing to believe the Bible is right about the flood, will you also believe that the Bible is right about who created the mountains? “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2). God created the mountains, God created us, and God loves us. Can you believe that?Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.
Isaiah 2:3

(I took all the photos on our recent trip, although the second photo is of a poster that was on our bus, and the photo of the model of the Himalayan Mountains was taken at the International Mountain Museum in Nepal.)