Every year, hundreds of people climb Mount Everest from Nepal in May. Apart from chartered helicopters, there are no means of transport up to the base camp, where trekkers start the gruelling climb up the highest mountain in the world. The nearest regular commercial flights land at Lukla in Solukhumbhu district of northeastern Nepal – about 65 kilometres from base camp. All the climbers’ equipment and belongings have to be carried this distance by yaks, mules or porters.

Yaks heading toward Namche bazaar from the Mount Everest base camp with the gear of climbers.
Yaks heading toward Namche bazaar from the Mount Everest base camp with the gear of climbers.
Yaks carrying their load towards Namche bazaar in Syangboche of Solukhumbu district
Yaks carrying their load towards Namche bazaar in Syangboche of Solukhumbu district
Porters returning from Mount Everest base camp after the summit
Porters returning from Mount Everest base camp after the summit
Porter heading toward Namche bazaar from Everest base camp
Porter heading toward Namche bazaar from Everest base camp
Yaks heading toward Lukla, the entry point to Mount Everest from the only airport, Tenzing Hillary airport
Yaks heading toward Lukla, the entry point to Mount Everest from the only airport, Tenzing Hillary airport
Porters carrying stuff from the Tenzing Hillary airport in Lukla bazaar in Solukhumbhu airport
Porters carrying stuff from the Tenzing Hillary airport in Lukla bazaar in Solukhumbhu airport
Porters carrying stuff to Namche bazaar
Porters carrying stuff to Namche bazaar
Porters carrying stuff to Lukla airport from Namche bazaar, a town on the way to Everest base camp
Porters carrying stuff to Lukla airport from Namche bazaar, a town on the way to Everest base camp
Mules carrying cements bags from Lukla to Namche bazaar. It is the major mode of transportation in the region
Mules carrying cements bags from Lukla to Namche bazaar. It is the major mode of transportation in the region

This article first appeared on Third Pole.