I am a 1st year law student at RGU and this winter I flew into Nepal, Tibet, China and Hong Kong. After picking up 7 different visas and passes, I was allowed to make a photographic study of the North face of Mt Everest in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. This was made difficult by flight delays as the notoriously windy weather would not allow my flight to land in Lhasa, Tibet. The delays cut out 48 hours of much needed high altitude acclimatisation, so with only a 48 hour travel window remaining, I took solace in the physical training I did before the trip and I took the calculated decision to increase my dosage of the anti-altitude sickness drug, Diamox. Once I and my guide felt I was I ready, we headed up to Mt Everest Base Camp (5,200m or 17,000ft).
I arrived 30 mins before sunrise to a sky crammed with stars and as I was at such high altitude, they looked like I could simply pluck them from the sky. For me, it was like looking through powerful binoculars except my entire visual range was full of the crystal clear constellations that appeared just out of reach.
It was -11 on the morning I arrived at Everest Base Camp, I had already been sick twice and gone through 4 canisters of oxygen to get there but it was all worth it to photograph the sun rising over Mt Everest. The two main reasons to go through the extremes of reaching the North face of Everest in the winter are that it is accessible by road and there are rarely any clouds in the sky to disrupt the view. I froze, my fingers and toes were tingling for two days and I suffered from altitude sickness fever but it was an amazing photography experience.
After two hours of taking photos around base camp, I hoisted a good luck prayer flag at the base camp prayer flag mound and then I took a break to catch up on reading my Radar magazine!
As there was no one else around for 10km, I took the chance to venture past base camp towards the advanced base camp however the higher altitude took its toll quickly and I turned around to head back to the safety of lower altitude.
48 hours after EBC, I made it to Lhasa (3,000m) and took the first flight out, it was only when I landed in the low altitude of Beijing that I could properly breath again. Once I was rested for 12 hours, it was time to head out to visit the outstanding Great Wall of China. After my trip to the breathless 5,200 metres Himalayas, it was easy to just sprint up the steps of the Great Wall to take a few more photos.
I would highly recommend a visit to Mt Everest on the North side, both the Tibetans and the Chinese were pleasant and surprisingly open about their relationship with each other. On my travels I learned a lot of first hand cultural information that I am sure will guide me in the future. If anyone has any questions about visiting Nepal or Tibet, please feel free to get in touch. Harry's email is email@example.com.