Brits among 2,000 climbers stranded on Mount Everest because of fog

Over 1,200 climbers stranded on Mount Everest because of fogRex


Around 2,000 hikers have been left stranded in the foothills of Mount Everest for four days after thick fog caused the cancellation of flights in and out of the area.

The climbers, along with Nepalese guides and porters, at and around Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, Nepal.

The airport sits at an altitude of 9,200 feet and offers an intensely nerve-jangling take-off when the runway gives way to a cliff with a 1000-metre drop.

But passengers who have been sleeping at the airport and in tents and dining halls at Lukla Hotels for four days due to heavy fog, would probably rather face the stomach-churning moment than spend any more nights stuck there.

According to the Mirror, small helicopters managed to transport some of the trekkers today, but bad weather is inhibiting efforts.

Lukla is the gateway for hikers and mountaineers heading to Everest and its surrounding mountains. Many people start and finish their treks here, where the airport is literally carved into the mountainside.

Utsav Raj Kharel, chief of Lukla's Tenzing Hillary Airport, told the Daily Mail: 'Visibility is almost nil. Fog and clouds have covered the entire area making flights by fixed-wing small aircraft impossible.

'Though a few small private helicopters had picked some tourists from nearby Sirke village, they are inadequate to clear the rush.'

Weather experts for the Kathmandu area said the conditions could continue for the next couple of days, after which authorities will make arrangements to rescue the tourists with big helicopters.

Lukla Airport actually features in our world's worst airport round-up - discover who else found themselves on the list:

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Brits among 2,000 climbers stranded on Mount Everest because of fog

The NAIA in Manila has been voted as the 2011 world's worst airport by users of the online travel website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports (sleepinginairports.net), based on reader reviews and poll votes. The website listed reasons such as safety concerns, theft, poor facilities, bribery and lack of comfortable seating. One reader said: 'You will not want to even close your eyes here! Bribery and theft exists. Airport taxes are collected, but the money does not seem to go towards the betterment of the airport.' In terms of facilities, passengers may have better luck at the newer Terminal 3, where it is clean, spacious and offers an internet connection.

It might be the largest airport in France - and one of the busiest in the world - but Paris CDG, which opened in 1974, has since frequently been criticised for its confusing layout, rude staff and ugly buildings. What's more, the seating benches have been deemed uncomfortable and insufficient, and homeless people are said to frequently disturb sleeping travellers.

Frankfurt Hahn also made sleepinginairports.net's worst airports 2011 list. They said: 'Limited seating, bucket seats, and a lack of passenger facilities. A very basic airport for budget airlines.' In a 2010 World's Worst Travel Survey, passengers also complained of 'confusing signage' and 'unpleasant ground staff'.

In a Priority Pass survey in 2010, London Heathrow was voted the least favourite airport, owing to the fact that it is also one of the world's busiest. The problems of winter 2010, when the airport was ill-prepared for bad weather and snow grounded thousands of flights, further weakened its image. Long security queues and hours waiting at  the baggage line have also been cited.

According to Independent writer Peter Popham, Delhi airport's 'carpeting is a thin scarlet runner, and stains are splattered in corners. Creature comforts are negligible. Passport control takes an eternity. Half the trolleys are broken down. They force you to x-ray your luggage coming in to the country as well as going out.' And, according to a survey by Foreign Policy magazine, it also boasts 'aggressive beggars, syringes on the terminal floor, and filthy bathrooms'.

According to reports, 'the odour of faeces and urine abound in this airport, which no doubt attract the hoards of rats, cockroaches and other bugs that scurry around the departures and arrivals area.'  There's also been talk of overflowing toilets, and passengers escaping the airport chaos only to be mugged or beaten on the tarmac outside.

The San Francisco Chronicle describes LAX as 'eight terminals connected by a traffic jam'. And, according to sleepinginairports.net, seating is limited, rude security staff 'automatically assume you are a terrorist or that you will never leave their country', bathrooms are in poor condition, signage is poor, and there are no conveniences for people in transit.... 'not even a 24 hour coffee shop.' Ouch.

This small airport in the town of Lukla in eastern Nepal is popular as it is the gateway to the Mount Everest region in Nepal. But it will give you a nail-biting landing, involving a plummet onto an uphill airstrip cut into the side of a mountain. And on takeoff, the airstrip comes to an abrupt end at the edge of a mountain cliff.

At Dakar's airport 'there is only squalor, an unnerving sense of confinement, and to some extent danger,' said salon.com's Patrick Smith. Foreign Policy magzine's survey concurred, writing: 'Dakar has no seats and travellers are targeted by hawkers, porters and security guards who move them on. Immigration takes three hours.'

Don't miss our picture gallery: world's scariest airports!

Simón Bolívar International, known locally as ‘Maiquetia’, is the main international airport in the South American state of Venezuela. It is located around 29km from the centre of the capital, Caracas, and is described as being 'situated practically in the middle of the favelas'. Hundreds of travellers have been robbed or mugged as soon as they left the airport, while kidnapping, stabbings and shootings 'have all occurred before passengers have even reached the taxi line', according to the Matador Network. What's more, you'll be charged a $53 airport tax for the privilege.

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