An (alleged) airport a snail-crawling 25 miles from Mount Everest, with no radar system and entirely comprising a single 500-metre runway built into a cliff, I read that Sir Edmund Hillary himself oversaw its construction and that locals were ploughed with liquor (no one will reveal what kind) and asked to perform a ‘foot-stomping dance’ to flatten the soil and make it suitable for landing. I can picture the whole endeavour as a garish episode lifted from a peak Werner Herzog movie, with a Klaus Kinski Svengali lording over the ‘indigenous’, the martinet a grizzly Bavarian launching battered shoes and Jägermeister at them. This shockingly isn’t an apocryphal story, and the airport, a.k.a. ‘It’s a Trap’, was only paved in 2001.
It’s an appropriate precursor to an attempted scaling of Everest. The danger aspect would overwhelm this fat bastard and inject hubris into proceedings – “If I survive this landing the worst is over and I can surely surmount the beastly mountain.”
The list of accidents on the Wikipedia entry is a most disconcerting read, and I wouldn’t recommend watching one of the many bumpy landings should an upcoming flight be on the cards. Fuck knows how a plastered Denzel would have coped. As a passenger, I’d be stammering out of my mind on crystal meth birthed from Walter White’s RV just to endure the experience.