‘Expeditions’ 2014 Calendar


Posted on Sunday 15th December, 2013

I have been very busy of late creating a 2014 calendar of my expedition photos, complete with the stories behind them. It is now available for purchase here and $5 from every calendar sold will go towards my ongoing support of The Australian Himalayan Foundation’s ‘Quality Education’ program in the Lower Solu Khumbu region of Nepal. The rest of the profits made will go towards paying off my expedition debts!

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‘Expeditions’ has images that have been captured during my journey’s to some of the highest and most beautiful mountains in the world. Each month offers an insight into different climbs, mountains or regions that I have ventured to during the course of my mountaineering career so far. The calendar includes images from the New Zealand Alps to the Andes and the Himalaya. In the back of the calendar you will find ‘The Stories Behind the Photos’ where you can read more detail and information about each month. For example here is January and the story behind January-

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Everest Base Camp Puja Ceremony Nepal 2011, 5350m– The Sherpa climbers will not set foot on Sagamatha (Mt Everest) without her permission and blessing and so every climb begins with a Buddhist Puja ceremony. A small tower of rocks called a Stupa was erected in our base camp and covered in various offerings, decorations and a photo of the Dalai Lama. A local Lama came to chant Tibetan prayers from an ancient prayer book to ask permission from Sagamatha for a clear and safe passage for our expeditions. As Dawa and I shared our Base Camp with two other foreign teams and many other Sherpa, we had quite a crowd at our Puja. Dawa asked me to place my ice axe, crampons, helmet and boots at the base of the Stupa to be blessed. Juniper bush was burnt which created a fragrant smoke across the camp.

Surprisingly, we were also offered cans of beer which I graciously declined as it was still morning! A pole was held in place in the middle of the Stupa and prayer flags were tied to it then strung above all the tents in our camp. Each flag has a different meaning: yellow-earth, green-water, red-fire, white-air, blue-sky. After this we all rub tsampa barley flour across each other’s faces, which resembles a grey beard symbolic of a long life. Lastly, once the Lama finished chanting all his prayers, the Sherpa stood in a line to sing and perform their traditional dance. The mesmerising song made it a profoundly moving experience; I felt honoured to be let in on a part of their culture. I felt for certain that along with the blessing of the Lama Geshi from Pengboche, our sacred Puja ceremony and my lucky summit necklace from Cho Oyu, that we were blessed, and that Dawa and I would have a safe and successful climb.

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I want send out a massive thank you to Nathan from Ablaze Print Race Bibs for all the hard work to make this in time for Xmas!! Also a huge thanks to Sophie Vivian and Kirsty Mckenzie for the editing and Julian Andersen, Dawa Sherpa and Conor Ashleigh for helping with the photos.

Purchase your copy here and for all my latest news be sure to ‘like’ my Facebook page.

 

 

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