Friday 14 June 2013

A Mountain of Rubbish!

When Lakpa Sherpa and the Adventure14Peaks team set off for Everest with the Joint Indo-Nepal Army Expedition, they  also took with them a special team of ten Sherpas. Their job was do a big clean-up of the route between the South Col and Camp 2.

Everest is the Sherpas' mountain and is sacred to them. A Puja ceremony is always held at Base Camp for the blessing of the expedition. Offerings made to the Gods and juniper is burnt for good fortune for the sherpas and climbers.

On this year's trip, the sherpas collected and carried out 4000kg (4 metric tonnes) of rubbish, all collected on the route from the South Col to Camp 2. This is what it looks like!

Lakpa and some of the clean-up team surveying the 'mountain' of rubbish!

An excellent achievement and a job well done!

Namche is the main Sherpa village in the Khumbu and home of the famous Bazaar. Here is Lakpa, back in the village after his successful summit, with the traditional welcoming garland of marigolds and good luck scarf given to all travellers in Nepal.

And he doesn't look in the least bit tired!!

Everest Update

Back in April, you may remember, our Sherpa, Lakpa and his team from were setting off with the Joint Indo-Nepal Army expedition to climb Everest. In early May, after acclimatisation climbs as high as Camp 3, the weather closed in with snow and high winds, preventing any early summit attempts. By mid May, more settled weather was forecast and the team were able to set off. Here they are on the way up with their last camp clearly visible below on the rocky area.

Early on 19th May, on a fine, clear morning, the team makes their way on the final stage of their climb to the top of the world. What a fantastic photograph!

Lakpa celebrates the summit. For the second year running, the weather is perfect!

The view from the top - magnificent!

Makes me think of Joe Simpson's evocative description of 'the beckoning silence of great height'

We are incredibly lucky to have such an accomplished guide as Lakpa looking after us on our trips to the Himalaya.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Studio Days Are Here Again!

Up at the studio it's beginning to look as if there's some work going on! Three oil paintings on the go, all on paper at this stage - and three different approaches. At least the wall is looking lively!

All this sunny weather has inspired me to take up my watercolour brushes again!

This first painting recalls the storm over the Panchachuli range of mountains in Kumaon, the Nanda Devi area of North East India close to the Nepal border. I made a quick watercolour (second from top on right of wall), watching from my room in Munsyari.
The next morning, in sparkling sunshine, I made the large drawing you can see at the top of the wall, on which the painting is based.

Today I started another watercolour of the same view, but this time I want to capture the sunset over the mountains. The painting above was made all in one go, so that the weather and the mountains become one with each other. This time, I need to work in stages so that the clarity of light and form comes across in the final image - so just the sky and shadow painted and left to dry.