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Photographer's Note

For those who can make it: I’ll show a Powerpoint presentation on Tibet, with over 160 pictures and informative notes on March 22nd, Thursday, at İFSAK Istanbul.

10 Days in Tibet

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Mount Everest or Mount Chomolungma, is the world's highest mountain above sea level at 8,848 metres. It is located in the Himalaya on the Nepal – Tibet border.

In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon recommendation of Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India at the time, who named it after his predecessor in the post, and former chief, Sir George Everest.

Chomolungma had been in common use by Tibetans for centuries, but Waugh was unable to propose an established local name because Nepal and Tibet were closed to foreigners.

The highest mountain in the world attracts many well-experienced mountaineers as well as novice climbers who are willing to pay substantial sums to professional mountain guides to complete a successful climb. The mountain, while not posing substantial technical climbing difficulty on the standard route (other eight-thousanders such as K2 or Nanga Parbat are much more difficult), still has many inherent dangers such as altitude sickness, weather and wind.

By the end of the 2008 climbing season, there had been a cumulative of 4,102 ascents to the summit by about 2,700 individuals. Climbers are a significant source of tourist revenue for Nepal, whose government also requires all prospective climbers to obtain an expensive permit, costing up to US $ 25,000 per person.

By the end of 2009 Everest had claimed 216 lives, including eight who perished during a 1996 storm high on the mountain. Conditions are so difficult in the death zone (altitudes higher than 8,000 m) that most corpses have been left where they fell. Some of them are visible from standard climbing routes.

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I took this picture in front of the Rongbuk Monastery, in Tibet, a few kilometres from the Everest Base Camp. Rongbuk belongs to the Nyingma sect, the oldest school among the four major Buddhist sects in Tibet.

For Sherpas living on the south slopes of Everest in the Khumbu region of Nepal, Rongbuk Monastery was an important pilgrimage site, accessed in a few days travel across the Himalaya. The monastery was also regularly visited by the early expeditions to Mount Everest in the 1920s and 1930s after a five weeeks journey from Darjeeling in the Indian foothills of the Himalaya. Most past and current expeditions attempting Mount Everst from the north Tibetan side do establish their Base Camp near the tongue of the Rongbuk Glacier about 8 kilometres south of the Monastery.

Cropped, applied gradual toning and retouches.

Sources: Everest, Rongbuk, Nyingma

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