When we booked our first trip to Nepal, a friend said, “People like you never go to Nepal just once”. He was right, we’ve been three times in the last three years for four treks and one climbing expedition.
As we do our work photographing flashy new outdoor gear, making trekking & climbing images, and telling the westerner’s story of travel in the Himalaya – day to day Nepalese life goes on all around.
“No, that can’t be right…”, is probably just about everyone’s thought when getting a first glimpse of the Lukla runway. And this as you are about to land. As the plane pitches, yaws, bucks and creaks, you wipe your palms on your pant legs and utter a nervous laugh. Once the wheels hit tarmac, you realize you are going uphill on an impossibly short runway, headed straight for a guesthouse. With a screeching of the brakes you come up short, whirl around right, nearly touch tips with another plane taxiing for take off and just like that the doors are open. Everyone off! Welcome to Lukla!
Dingboche, 4530 meters. The villages and homes you pass through while trekking in Nepal are a never ending source of interest. The people live at elevations higher than some of the highest peaks we climb in the Alps. Here, smoke drifts from a home sitting amongst potato fields awaiting the first monsoon rains.
Thuli Kharka, 4300 meters. Dawa Gyalzen Sherpa’s family farmed this land for hundreds of years until the trekkers and climbers started to pass through. Today they run the 55 bed Mera Lodge during the trekking seasons, and farm in the summer monsoon.
Chukhung Village, 4730 meters. A yak stands free of its burden after a day carrying supplies to guesthouses.