It was hot and very humid, more than 35 degrees, with not a breath of wind as we began our trek into the foothills of the Himalayas. Not the kind of weather one would expect trekking to Everest Base Camp but then again we were starting the trek from the Terrai, the name given to the northern end of the vast Gangetic plain. Every valley and ridge would bring us into contact with a different ethnic group, from the colourful Rais and Tamangs of the lower hills to the world famous Sherpas and Tibetan traders of the high altitudes.

We spent the next week ascending slowly to Lobuche, the last real settlement before Everest base camp. Along the way there were two more acclimitisation days and plenty of time to photograph the snow capped peaks rising almost vertically above us. The climax of our trip was Kala Pattar, a small rock peak at a height of 5545m overlooking Everest base camp. From the top, the views of Everest were absolutely magnificent!

At this height it is hard to believe that the highest mountain on earth was still three and half kilometers above us. After the physical exertion of getting up there we spent almost two hours on top soaking in the views andvery healthy knowing we had got there on our own two feet. However it becomes cold rather quickly at this altitude so as the sun was not far of its zenith we started to descend. to Lobuche. So much easier than going up. The sun sets early up here and we were back in camp about an hour before the sun went down. 

Colin's Suggestion

One way to make friends is to spend some time "shooting" the locals. The Nepalese are only too willing to be photographed and I have often found myself in the amusing situation of being surrounded by a group of children behind me fighting to have a look through the viewfinder at an equally boisterous and eager group being photographed. The Nepalese are some of the friendliest I have met on my travels and some of my best photographs combine their smiles in front of the snow capped peaks.

Colin's Tip

October and November are generally recognised as the best months to trek in Nepal, however I love the winter months of December and January. Although colder, there are less people on the trails and the air is much clearer which means better photographs.

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