In conjunction with the Alpine Club of Canada, I offered my first adventure photo workshop outside of Canada. It was scheduled for the first 2 weeks of December to avoid the crowds during peak trekking season.
To extend the trip, I flew to Nepal in early Nov and joined a couple old friends who had never been to the Himalaya. They were junior editors on mags like Canadian Geographic, Harrowsmith, Equinox and Ski Canada when I too was starting out. I thought it’d be fun to show them one of the many cool places they had sent me on assignment. We drove 9 hours to Paphlu and over the next couple weeks walked to Tengboche, visiting a number of Sherpa friends. Our able guide was Tseri Sherpa, son of Lhakpa Tshering, one of my Everest summit pards.
Back in KTM, Tseri and I picked up our ACC 6 pack. We flew to Lukla and repeated the “Rakshi Circuit” we had just done, sampling the local moonshine as we hiked…and oh yes, shot a few thousand pics in the process. We lucked out with near perfect weather, but got stuck for a day or two at Lukla on the way home due to an early winter snowstorm. This provided some great photo ops we hadn’t anticipated.
Apart from helping to build confidence in everyone’s handling of their cameras, and leading them to the best kickass coffee and rakshi outposts along the way, it was gratifying to share my rudimentary knowledge of the complex web of cultures that has evolved in the greatest mountain range on earth.
One of the participants was kind enough to follow up with this email: “Thanks so much for an incredible trip. It really was wonderful. I thought we had a very good supportive group and we all learnt from each other. The trip was all I expected, and more. I was quite inspired by the thoughtful Buddhist philosophy. Good for the soul!”