For the second year in a row we had a fabulous time hosting Ron Nickel and his band of aspiring photographers. After hearing the stories and seeing the images from last year’s trip to the Kham region of Eastern Tibet, it was a unanimous decision for them to return. However, not wanting to walk in the exact same steps as the previous year’s trip, they requested a trip to Lhasa and Everest to capture Tibet’s most iconic images. And of course to boast about viewing the highest place on earth!
Three full days in Lhasa allowed for the necessary time to acclimatize to the high elevation while visiting the historical sites of Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace, and Sera Monastery. Their two main highlights during this time were mixing with the pilgrims around the Barkhor Bazaar while trying to somehow capture on film the essence of a very different way of life from a bygone era, and roaming the countless rooms which make up the centuries old Potala Palace while hearing stories from their guide of religious and political intrigue from Tibet’s long history.
On day four we departed Lhasa for Everest Base Camp. The first day took us past the mystical waters of Yamdrok Lake where we did the requisite tourist must-do’s of posing with Tibetan mastiffs and sitting on local yaks done up in their festive best. Before arriving in Shigatse for the night, we were fortunate to enjoy stopping in a couple of remote villages enroute to capture locals plowing their farmland with yaks and horses. The following day we arrived at EBC with the plan to overnight at the tent hotels (5200m). As expected, no one slept very well at that elevation. However, the euphoria on the faces of the group the next morning while enjoying the reward of having the weather clear to reveal a sunrise touching Everest’s North Face made it clear there were no regrets. And this is the common story of everyone who makes the effort to reach the roof of the world: it is worth any and all associated discomfort!
*Photos on this page are compliments of Jody Wynette from Alberta, Canada.