Kala Patthar

Everest from Kala Patthar

From Gokyo, three long days of walking have brought us to the tiny settlement of Gorak Shep to climb Kala Patthar, a rocky outcropping rising to 5545 meters (18,298 ft) that provides the closest glimpse of Everest on the Nepali side of the mountain (that is without actually climbing the mountain itself). Continue…

Shigeo Osawa at 84

Shigeo Osawa

Boy, did we feel stupid complaining after a hard day’s climb when we met Shigeo Osawa, an outgoing and optimistic 84-year old Japanese man on his way to Gorak Shep (5170 m / 16,960 ft). We soon learnt that Osawa San was somewhat of a celebrity in Japan known for his adventurous spirit. Each year for the last 29 years, Shigeo Osawa has walked from Lukla to Gorak Shep, and, get this, has always celebrated New year’s day by Continue…


Female Pheasant

Getting a picture of the this pheasant was a challenge to say the least. These babies can move when you are trying to photograph them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t manage to get a picture of the male (the real star of the bunch), but the females are also quite beautiful.

Chola Pass Misadventure

Mistaken Chola Glacier

Moving on from Gokyo to Gorak Shep, we had two options: hike over Chola Pass and get there within a couple of days or walk around the mountain range in about three days.

Many people had warned us not to cross the pass without a guide. There was a glacier crossing that might require crampons and ice axes, there were too many unmarked paths, the lodges on either side of the pass were already closed,… and the list went on. Despite the warnings Continue…

Yeti Territory

Official Tourist Map

I couldn’t wait to see my first yeti as we were heading into yeti territory. Was I to look for packs, for schools, for herds of yeti, or for solitary ones? This was all new and our guide book didn’t provide us with much information; however, the official map of the Khumbu region did reference a yeti attack near Macherma. Continue…

Cho Oyu South Base Camp

Tony and Thomas at Cho Oyu South Base Camp, Nepal

We both love Cho Oyu – from the Tibetan side and the Nepali side! For that reason, we decided to hike from Gokyo to Cho Oyu base camp, a very long 20-kilometer (12 mile) trek roundtrip through hills of glacial rubble along the Ngozumpa Glacier up past the fourth and fifth lakes towards the sixth lake region.

Few trekkers actually continue all the way to Cho Oyu because of the length of the trip and the remoteness of the location, but that didn’t stop us. Continue…

Gokyo Valley

Thomas and Tony on Gokyo Ri

The highlights of the Gokyo valley were – surprise, surprise – the amazing mountain scenery and a series of glacial lakes situated along the moraine of the Ngozumpa Glacier. What was totally unexpected and quite eerie was the moaning of Continue…

We’re Famous

We’re famous! Well, kind of.

Sitting around the yak dung stove in a lodge in Machermo, we were telling the story about coming over that pass in Tibet and mistaking Cho Oyu for Mt. Everest. Remember when I jumped out of the car oohing and aahing about how beautiful Everest was while I was photographing Cho Oyu?

Just as I was getting to the punch line, a Malaysian guest named Kit blurted out, “Oh, and you weren’t photographing Everest, you were photographing Cho Oyu by mistake! Yeah, I read about that on the Internet.”

We looked at him in disbelief. It turns out that he had stumbled on to ContemporaryNomad.com while researching the Everest region for his trip to Nepal. How weird is that?

Sherpas are People Too

Sherpa Woman with Daughter

“Sherpa,” for many Western people, has become synonymous with “porter.” Often times on the trek I overheard people saying, “My Sherpa always eats daal bhaat…” or “When I talked to my Sherpa…” Fact is that Sherpa doesn’t mean porter, it is the name of an ethnic group living in the Khumbu region. It would be like saying, “My Californian can carry more than yours.” Continue…