HIMALAYA – Eine Reise zum Dach der Welt mit der FUJIFILM X-T2

Niklas Eschenmoser

Niklas Eschenmoser ist ein 23-jähriger Schweizer Fotograf mit Wohnsitz in St.Gallen.

Seine Fotografie ist geprägt von stimmungsvollen und dynamischen Landschaften sowie von Bildern, die das Leben und Aktivitäten in der Natur dokumentieren.
Sein Ziel ist es, interessante Atmosphären an unberührten Orten der Natur fotografisch festzuhalten, um den BetrachterInnen neue Perspektiven der faszinierenden Bergwelt zu verschaffen und das Bewusstsein für die wertvolle Natur in unserer Gesellschaft zu stärken.

«Red light shone on the huge mountains of Mount Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. We could hardly believe our luck when we stood at 5300 meters above an endless sea of ​​fog and the highest mountains in the world rose in front of us. »

We spent 16 days between the giants of the Himalayas. During these days we experienced a breathtaking mountain landscape and physical exertion like never before. Together with two friends I hiked the route to Gokyo, over the Cho La Pass, to Chukhung and then back to Lukla.

To capture my trip, I used my three year old FUJIFILM X-T2, which is still working well and still delivers impressive image quality.

Together with the FUJIFILM X-T20 as a backup camera and the Fujinon lenses:

10-24mm F / 4, 16mm F / 1.4, 35mm F / 2, 50mm F / 2 and the 55-200mm F / 3.5-4.8 I was well equipped for the trip.

The trek started on wide trails towards the Namche Bazar, where innumerable yaks, donkeys and porters stayed to ensure the infrastructure for tourism.

It is incredible how heavy loads these people can carry. Certain porters have up to 100kg on their backs. With great curiosity we ran the way along many small villages and a few suspension bridges ever deeper into the high mountains. After a stopover in the village of Namche Bazar, we hiked on dusty paths into the Gokyo Valley and slowly left the tree line.

Here we saw for the first time the mighty Ama Dablam, which is probably one of the most impressive mountains in the world. The conditions in the accommodations became easier and the nights colder. A double room in Dole cost the equivalent of just 80 cents.

The path continued along the Ngozumpa glacier into the valley. At 36km in length, this is the longest glacier in the Himalayas. Due to the thinning air and our heavy backpacks, hiking at over 4000 meters was a challenge. Fortunately we did not feel any signs of altitude sickness and on the 5th day we arrived in Gokyo at 4800 meters with a magical sunset.

For further acclimatization we decided to stay in Gokyo for three days and to do day tours from here.
Despite the now slight headache, we decided to climb the 5417m high Renjo La Pass, where we were rewarded with a magnificent view of the highest peaks of the Khumbu region.

The 5553 meter high Ngozumpa Tse is a rarely climbed peak at the end of the valley. The next day we crept up the mountain on challenging terrain. The feeling of being on the top was overwhelming and emotional. We were surrounded by countless 7000 and 8000 meter high mountains in one of the most spectacular mountain worlds on earth.

Due to the increasing headache and slight dizziness, we had to descend 200 meters and waited for the hoped-for sunset light despite great uncertainty. For a long time we were surrounded by thick fog, but suddenly we noticed that the layer of fog was thinning a few meters above us. We ran the 20 meters high, which at that height felt like my body was going to explode.

We could hardly believe our luck when we stood over an endless sea of ​​fog and the highest mountains in the world rose before us.
The last light shone in a glowing red on the huge mountains of Mount Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. Thanks to the high focal length range and the good image stabilizer of the Fujinon 55-200mm lens, I was able to take the following pictures out of my hand.

The moment lasted only a few minutes and I felt incredibly privileged and grateful to be able to experience something unique.
The glowing light on the mountain peaks continued for a long time when we started the several-hour return trip in the dark.

Our time in the Gokyo Valley came to an end, but before we left this insane area we wanted to climb the Gokyo Ri summit at 5357 meters. Shortly before the sun cast its first light over the mountain top, we reached the summit. The prayer flags blew in the wind and the morning light enchanted the landscape in a turquoise paradise.

We continued our way over the Ngozumpa glacier to the village of Dragnag, from where we started the next day to continue our way over the 5420 meter high Cho La Pass. There was a lot going on on the pass. Countless tour groups and porters looked at us in amazement as we carried our luggage ourselves. The expanse on this clear day was very impressive and aroused our anticipation to soon explore the area ahead of us from a shorter distance.

I suffered from an upset stomach in Lobuche, which made the other days in Chukhung very uncomfortable. I was disappointed that there was an insane mountain world outside the door, but I lacked the strength to carry out the planned activities.

Despite the low point in health, I managed to photograph a breathtaking sunset above Chukhung. From this vantage point I got a good view of the massive ice wall with the Ama Dablam.

After more than two weeks in the Himalayas, our time in the high mountains was over and I looked back on an adventurous and unforgettable time with high and low points.

The immense landscape, tipped by countless peaks that rise from the ground with their steep flanks, has exceeded my imagination. The valuable time that I was able to spend with my friends Adrian and Ramona and the courteous and exciting Nepalese culture were an asset. The many sunrises and sunsets where the glow on the 8000s almost didn’t stop were unique. So unique that I feel the urge to come back.


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