We originally planned to spend two whole months in Nepal doing two long back-to-back treks in the Himalaya. Good plan in theory. Well, after our first 20-day trek through the Everest region, despite how awesome it was we realized that doing another equally long trek was clearly not in the cards. That left us (after our shorter Annapurna trek) with roughly three weeks to spare, and we certainly weren’t going to spend three weeks dodging traffic in Kathmandu. Hmmm… what to do.
How about something completely different? After a day of googling and researching, we had our tickets to Thailand booked!
What a fantastic change of pace it’s been; and so surreal going from mountains and glaciers to beaches and warm waters. We spent a week in the Krabi area, famous for its unique limestone pinnacles towering over white sand beaches and jade bays. We’ve boated south now to the Trang region where the islands are surrounded by calm turquoise water. We have a few more days to melt in the heat here, then the Asian part of our trip is just about over and we head back to Germany to visit family and friends over the holidays.
Stay tuned for a big batch of tropical paradise photos coming in January.
We’re back in Kathmandu again after another walk into the Himalaya — this time a 7-day trek to Annapurna Base Camp. Though lower in altitude and shorter in length than our previous Everest trek, this one was actually much more strenuous, with longer hiking days and lots of ups and downs. The trail passed through a long jungle valley before finally popping out into the high alpine terrain of the Annapurna Sanctuary — a huge basin ringed by 7-8000 meter peaks, including of course Annapurna I, the 10th highest mountain in the world (and possibly the most dangerous of all to climb).
As before, I won’t be able to post all my photos until I return home in January, but then I’ll post a full trip report!
We are back in Kathmandu after a fantastic 20-day trek through the Everest/Khumbu region of the Himalaya in Nepal. We hiked the “three passes” route, through the four major valleys and over three high passes of the area. The weather was great: usually clear in the mornings, clouding up in the afternoons, then clearing again around sunset. And I did get quite lucky with many wonderful photo opportunities!
I am not able to process my photos on this little laptop I travel with, but you can be sure I will be posting many photos and an extensive trip report once I’m back home in January.
Tomorrow we take an eight-hour bus ride to Pokhara, a more mellow town next to a lake near the Annapurna range. We will spend a week there relaxing and fattening up for our next Himalayan trek!
After a grueling 36-hour series of flights, we have finally made it to the impressively chaotic city of Kathmandu, Nepal!
During our approach into Kathmandu we were treated with a fantastic view of Mt. Everest and the Himalaya range smothered in what looked like a fresh coating of snow. We soon discovered that it was fresh snow indeed — and lots of it. On Tuesday a cyclone from India hit the mountains and dumped several meters of snow. Tragically, at least 27 lives of trekkers and climbers were lost during the blizzard, mainly in the Annapurna area. [News story here].
This stunning and saddening news has us wondering about our upcoming trekking plans; we will speak with those in the know to see how all this snow will affect the possibilities. But I just wanted to let you all know that we are safe, and will play it safe while we are in the mountains. Our hearts go out to those who were lost in the mountains, and their friends and families.
Tomorrow we fly around the world to Kathmandu, Nepal to spend two months trekking in the Himalaya – the world’s tallest and grandest mountains! We plan on hiking in the Khumbu/Everest region during the first month, staying in teahouses in the small villages along the way. (No, we won’t be climbing Everest). Our plans are open for the second month, so we’ll just play it by ear. I am so excited for this trip I can hardly cope!
Although I will mostly be unplugged during our adventures in the mountains, I am still accepting print orders through my gallery website. Prints ordered in October, November, and December will be delivered according this print delivery schedule. The deadline for ordering prints for Christmas gifts is November 21. I will respond to image licensing requests and other inquiries as quickly as I am able to.
This afternoon I spontaneously decided to attempt an evening hike of Mt. Sneffels. I suppose I was overly optimistic about the weather forecast because when I arrived in Yankee Boy Basin the ominous dark clouds had me scared to get out of my truck, much less hike a peak! So I sat in my truck for a few hours, enjoying the sound of the rain and the flash bangs of lightning and thunder.
Right before sunset the storm relaxed and some sunlight beamed through the clouds, illuminating the landscape with an eerie warm glow. It would have been a stunning scene to see from the summit, though probably not worth dodging lightning bolts for!
There are few things in life finer than soaking in natural hot springs, especially when those hot springs are situated at treeline in an alpine basin surrounded by high peaks and valley vistas! Such is the case at Conundrum Hot Springs, a remote but popular wild hot springs in the Elk Mountains between the towns of Aspen and Crested Butte in Colorado. Continue reading →