Nepal

Riding The Gosainkunda Trail

Filmer Will Nangle shot and cut together this fantastic little film of our adventure in Nepal earlier this year for adventure site ‘Mpora’ . Check out the film below and see the full article here: https://mpora.com/mountainbiking/mountain-biking-in-nepal-gosainkunda

In the first half of 2019 filmer Will Nangle, alongside photographer Alex Treadway and Himalayan Trails' Mads Mathiasen, rode Nepal's never been ridden 'Gosainkunda Trail'.

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. 

17-page Dolpa article in 'Himalayas Magazine'

This month sees a 17-page article from a trip to Dolpa last year go into Himalayas Magazine. Dolpa is an extremely remote and richly traditional region of Nepal. The article follows the trek chronologically starting with a hair-raising flight into Juphal, the trek to Phoksundo lake and then to the remote Kagmara valley over the Kagmara La. The story has been beautifully written by Annie Leeson, who together with Luke Everson were with me for the duration. Huge thanks to you both and also to Jane Poretsis at Himalayas Magazine for giving this feature such extensive coverage. Get yourself a copy in the UK at WHSmith and throughout Nepal and Asia. You can download a PDF of the article here.

Making a difference

NSI (Nick Simons Institute) is an organisation working in Nepal with a mission to train and support rural health care workers. They work in direct collaboration with a growing number of hospitals throughout the country. NSI really is making a difference in a country that really does need the help. It’s a compelling story and one that needs to be told with pictures as well as words. They invited me to travel to remote hospitals throughout Nepal to capture some of moments that tell these stories. It's been a fascinating journey for me to work with NSI during the last four years and see first-hand what it means to be a rural healthcare worker in Nepal. NSI are exhibiting a selection of these images in Kathmandu in March. Here's a sample of the exhibition.