Tags / Sherpa
On the 27th of April 2015 a second earthquake of 6.5 magnitude struck 17 km south of the village of Liping on the Nepali - Tibet border. Eleven months after the destructive earthquake the northern border with China remains closed. Nowadays the main Sino - Nepal border crossing point is at Rasuwagadhi - Kerung north of Kathmandu. Liping village, which was once a busy crossing point for businessmen from China, India and Nepal, looks today like a ghost town. Around 75% to the population left the village and moved to nearby villages or Kathmandu. The Nepal government is still assessing the damage but the area looks untouched since the quake hit. The Chinese decision to close the border for security reasons has affected the local population whose livelihood depended on trade and tourism. Is not clear when the road will be reopened. At the moment there is still a big risk of landslides, especially with the coming raining season. Liping residents who remain in the village try to have a normal day by day life and keep the spirit of the community alive.
People fled their homes leaving their belongings, not knowing when the situation would normalize.
A pharmacy remains mainly as it was on the day the earthquake hit Liping.
Kahn Sherwin, 51 in front the ruins of her house. During the earthquake a giant rock hit the roof of the building. She is now living in a nearby village.
A food and tea shop on the main road of Liping that was abandoned after the earthquake.
A four wheel drive vehicle drives toward the border where cars are not allowed to cross into China.
Two local people walk along the main road of Liping, moving quickly and watching carefully to avoid rocks falling from a landslide.
Several big landslides destroyed houses after the earthquake.
A local woman cooks in an improvised outdoor kitchen in front her damaged house at the entrance to Liping.
A local Sherpa woman stands in front of a closed bank in Liping.
Thirty seven year old Sasha Magar stands in front her destroyed house.
Her husband died in the earthquake, leaving her with a two year old daughter. She and her child now live with her brother in a nearby village.
A pool table remains intact inside what was once a pool club on the main road of Liping.
Every year around 50,000 trekkers trek around the Annapurna Massif making it one of the more popular treks in the world. Despite the number of trekkers introducing tourism as a stable source of income in the region, some of the inhabitants are still going about their business as they have done for hundreds of years. This collection is a visual journey following the Annapurna Circuit from Buhlebuhle to the world highest pass, the Thorong La Pass (5416 meters above sea level) and down to Muktinah on the other side depicting the scenery, while pausing to explore the life of the local inhabitants as they navigate in an ever changing world.
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Old Nepalese woman carding wool on the main street of Muktinath (3800 meters altitude) 121 kilometres into the trek. As with Manang Muktinath is the main hub coming down from the pass and as such largely dependent on tourism.
Grandmother and grandchild at the former's shop in Muktinath (3800 meters altitude) 121 kilometres into the trek on 24 March 2015. With 50,000 tourists passing through Muktinath every year money has made Muktinath into a somewhat prosperous town and most inhabitants are in one way or another engaged in the tourists industry.
Thorong La Pass. 5416 meters above sea level and 111 kilometres into the trek on 23 March 2015. Highest point on the Annapurna Circuit and highest pass in the world.
The track to Thorang La Pass having passed 5,000 meters altitude on 23 March 2015.
The entrance to the village of Thorang Phedi at 4450 meters altitude 105 kilometres into the trek on 22 March 2015. The region had received more snow than in the preceding 30 years and the access to Thorang La Pass, the highest pass in the world, had been blocked until a few days before.
A cow on the slope of the Annapurna Massif after Manang at 3540 meters altitude 90 kilometres into the trek on 20 March 2015. Cows/Yaks still provide the people in the mountains with milk, cheese, meat, and wool. From Manang and onwards it is mostly just inhabited in the tourist season as the snow stops other activities most of the year.
The view from the village of Gunsang (3,700 meters altitude) of the peak of Gangapurna Himal on 20 March 2015.
The village of Yak Kharta at 4,050 meters 99 kilometres into the trek at night. Without light pollution the stars are highly visible in the sky.
Further up from Manang (3540 meters altitude) a woman is selling beads and religious figures to trekkers passing by flanked by a prayer wheel on 20 March 2015. Local production and sale of merchandise is another way to tap into the market generated by increasing tourism.
The village of Manang at 3540 meters altitude 90 kilometres into the hike. Manang is the main hub when heading for Thorong La Pass and as such packed with tea houses and restaurants. A bad snow storm killed at least 43 people in October 2014, and with heavy snowfall in the region in March 2015 the Nepalese authorities chose to close down the pass for a number of days in March until it was deemed safe to continue.
The village of Braga (3450 meters altitude) with the peaks of Annapurna III (7555 meters) and Gangapurna Himal (7454 meters) in the background on 19 March 2015.
Prayer flags at 4,300 meters altitude above the village of Bhraka (3450 meters altitude) 88 kilometres into the Hike on 19 March 2015. The peak of Annapurna III (7555 meters) is clearly visible in the background on 19 March 2015.
Bhraka located 3450 meters above sea level and 88 kilometers along the trail is a small town at the foothill of Annapurna III (7555 meters) and Ganggapurna (7454 meters). The village consists of a newer part along the road with tea houses and an old part clustered on the side of a small mountain. That progress has reach Bhraka is discernible by the number of satellite dishes on the roofs of the buildings in the old part of town (depicted).
Buddhist shrine on the way to Ghyaru (3730 meters altitude, 74 kilometers from start). Religion still plays an important part of many Nepalese's lives and shrines are found all along the trek.
At 2,710 meters altitude Chame lies 56 kilometres into the Annapurna Circuit trek. Chame, Nepal, 17 March 2015. Chame is a hub on the trek and houses numerous tea houses, which are mostly full during the peak season between September and November. Tourism in Nepal contributes just below 10% of GDP and employs around half a million people.
Trekkers trekking towards Upper Pisang at 3,310 meters altitude 70 kilometers into the hike on 17 March 2015. Trekkers have brought certain wealth to the region from the hiring of guides and porters to the numerous tea houses and restaurants that can be found along the route. With an expected 25 USD per person per day for just food and lodging the 50,000 trekkers are a source of survival for many Nepalese both in Kathmandu and around the Annapurna Massif.
Nepalese baby in Chame (2710 meters altitude), Nepal on a toy vehicle on 17 March 2015. As tourism creates jobs and a source of income an increase in the standard of living is discernible along the route. Many locals wear North Face (Fake), while the children play with modern toys.
Where before the Annapurna Circuit was accessible solely by foot, a road has now been build that makes it possible to move people and goods all the way to Chame (2710 meters altitude). The road has opened up for quicker access, but has also made it possible to bypass many small villages along the trek losing the family owned establishments precious income.
The village of Bhratang (2850 meters altitude, 63 kilometers from start). Along with the road the small villages along the trek have received power as well making life somewhat easier along the trek. The snowfall was particularly heavy this year, the worst in 30 years, making access to the villages more difficult and increasing the fear of lavines and landslides.
Nepalese lumberjacks cutting up trees on the slope of the Annapurna Massif close to the village of Chamche (1385 meters altitude) on 15 March 2015. Using depleteable natural resources like timber remain a source of income for many poor families in Nepal.
Little Nepalese girl breaking rocks for construction work on the slope of the Annapurna massif close to the village of Bahundanda at 1310 meters altitude on 14 March 2015. The Annapurna Circuit is one of the most popular treks in the world and around 50,000 people hike around the massif per year.
Little Nepalese girl breaking rocks for construction work on the slope of the Annapurna massif close to the village of Bahundanda (1310 meters altitude). Despite the many tourists and the money it brings to the region the local residents still carry on as they have done for hundreds of years.
Old Nepalese woman carrying branches to her village on the slope of the Annapurna Massif close to the village of Ghermu (1130 meters altitude) on 14 March 2015. Some 30% of the Nepalese population live on less than half a dollar per day with poverty increasing the further away from Kathmandu you go. Most Nepalese live in the rural areas and depend on subsistence economy using the natural resources to provide for clothes, food, and heat.
Kancha Sherpa (left), the only survivor of 1953 Mount Everest expedition, and Kame Sherpa (right), who reached the summit three times in nine days in 2012, participate in the chariot procession organized in Kathmandu by the Nepal government in honor of them on May 29, 2013.
Kancha Sherpa (left), the only survivor of 1953 Mount Everest expedition participates in a program organized to mark the 60th anniversary of the first ascent on Mount Everest.