Himalayas

Heli Biking!

The idea was to helicopter up to 4000m near the lakes of Gosainkunda in the Langtang region of Nepal and bike a new route down. I was shooting, Mads Mathiasen and Prayash Tamang from Unique Trails riding, and Will Nangle riding and filming! An article of the trip is in this months Action Asia. Download a PDF of the article here. I’ll post a link to Will’s film when it’s ready : )

Pikey Peak (pronounced Peekay)

The best 3-day trek in Nepal? Probably.

Trekking in Nepal is usually associated with big peaks, icy terrain and high altitude. The big names of Everest and Annapurna draw huge numbers every year, but there are other opportunities to get away from the busy tea houses and cold nights to explore Nepal’s lower topography, which widely gets missed.

Breathtaking views from the top of Pikey Peak

Nepal’s mid-hills offer some of the most culturally rich and richly intact trekking regions in the Himalayas. Hillsides sculpted with terraces for growing rice, wheat and barley. Overgrown trails winding through forests, past chortens and beneath waterfalls. Traditional little villages perched on mountainsides and jaw-dropping views of the Himalayan range that stretch from one end of the country to the other. This is the real Nepal, and people are missing it.

Full trek report here. 

If you're interested in trekking to Pikey Peak, Lost Earth Adventures can help you.

The Mid-hills bathed in a morning glow

From the archives: Gokyo Ri

My first trek was to Nepal in 2007. I went to the Everest region and climbed Gokyo Ri – which my computer keeps auto-correcting to Tokyo Ri – but it's a world away from Tokyo. It was also my first experience in high altitude and the airlessness was immensely exhausting for a first timer. On that trip I climbed it in thick fog and all alone. I reached the top and could have been anywhere. I was freezing cold but I waited at least an hour hoping for the clouds to sweep away. I was rewarded. Just as I was about to make my way down, the clouds fell into the valley below and I was surrounded by then biggest mountains in the world. Entirely speechless, I was hooked.

My reward; sunset on Everest. Taken before I owned a digital camera with a Nikon FE2 and fixed 50mm lens. 

Minutes after the cloud cleared, the moon rose between Cholatse and Taboche. Everest is the far peak on the left.

This image is from my second visit in 2008. A fellow photographer and writer (James Vlahos) was writing a story on the newly created 'Great Himalaya Trail' for National Geographic Adventure and invited me along. I didn't need asking twice. 

This was the view from the summit of Gokyo Ri at 5350m. Everest (8890m) is the black triangular peak to the far left. Then moving to the right is Nuptse, Lhotse (the fourth highest in the world) and Makalu (the fifth). Further to the right and in the centre of the image are the peaks of Cholotse and Taboche. In the far distance is Kantega and Thermserku. 

Great Himalaya Trail posters

My photography gets used on a new series of posters to promote the Great Himalaya Trail in Nepal. They will be distributed to tour agencies and throughout Nepal.

Jump now! (and don't forget to smile!)

The Last Resort in Nepal is home to one of the world's most exciting bungee jumps. They invited me to shoot a new set of marketing pictures for posters and flyers etc. The challenge was finding someone who was prepared to look at the camera and smile while jumping off a very high bridge. In fact it proved near impossible. Step in Emily Polar. Being an adventure photographer herself, she knew exactly what to do to get the poster shot. And more importantly was happy to do it! Jump backwards, look at the camera and scream like crazy. Oh, and wear some pretty striking leggings for effect!