Khumbu Massif

In October 2017 I arrived for the first time in Nepal intent on hiking around the famous Khumbu region Everest route on the recommendation of a friend. After faffing around in Kathmandu for a few days sorting knockoff cold-weather gear, relevant permits and observing damage from the recent earthquake, it was time board a rickety old Twin Otter bound for the Himalayan mountain town of Lukla.

It was a smooth trip at first, I teamed up with an Israeli guy who I met straight off the plane. He was a little serious and really didn’t get my sense of humour, but was at least amicable company as we hiked up through the verdant valleys that steadily give way to barren glacial fields, hemmed in by the massive spires of rock that constitute the world’s tallest peaks.

Later, things were to go not-so-smoothly as my hiking partner began suffering with suspected altitude sickness and had to descend in the dead-of-night accompanied by helpful Sherpas, leaving me to go on alone. After a pretty bleak period of self-reflection definitely not aided by my own mild altitude sickness and the freezing cold nights, I managed to meet up with an awesome couple and decided to ditch the trek to Everest Base Camp in favour of going over to the Gokyo Lakes region.

Aside from a few days delay getting back to Kathmandu from Lukla due to weather (ending up chartering a helicopter for the first — and likely last — time in my life), it was all over and I lazed around my hotel for a few days being justifiably unproductive.

Initially I wasn’t overly thrilled with the photos I took from this trip — it’s only really 5 years later looking back that I thought to check if there was any potential lurking there. These are a few of the choice cuts, taken on a battered old Nikon D7100 with equally worn budget lenses, edited cinematically which I think definitely suits this region of the world.

They won’t win any prizes for sharpness or technical proficiency, but as a testament to what amounted to a pretty personal journey, I’m satisfied.

Airport staff emptying luggage from a plane with mountains looming in the background wreathed in cloud
Road through a small village with man carrying goods on his back and mountains looming in the distance
Looking down road into mountain valley at man carrying boxes on his back. Large town and mountains in the distance
Distant view of tiny helicopter dwarfed by the mountains behind it
Distant view of tiny village perched on mountain promonotory in front of huge mountains wreathed in cloud
Shrine on top of hill in the centre with surrounded by cloudy mountains on either side
Distant view of immense snow capped mountain range forming a wall with small buildings and forested hillside in foreground
Monks in red robes with chisels carving mantras into large rocks with huge snow capped peaks in background
White and gold stupa with a painted face and a crowd of people in the background
Several rows of dry-stone walls with similarly constructed buildings in background
Tiny settlement in glacial valley dwarfed by mountains in background covered in cloud
Empty chairs and tables within a wooden restaurant, log burning stove in centre
Snow-capped peak of mountain only just visible in cloud that surrounds it
Huge mountain to right of frame with flat bathed in morning light with rocky land on left
Distant shot of huge, snow capped mountains with early morning light streaming through the gaps in the peaks forming distinct beams of light, glacier in mid-ground
Distant, abstract shot of ice-blue glacial lake with river feeding into it
Distant shot of glacial lake in fog surrounded by mountains