Nostalgia and wistfull thinking

Nostalgia and wistful thinking are in league during the winter with tales of the past turning in ones minds to flights of fantasy in the future, The past 3 seasons have seen me either in the Western Himalayas or Karakorum's , biking , hiking, and climbing. fulfilling some of my past flights of fantasy. It's an area no bigger than the Southern Alps in New Zealand but a whole world of vertical difference!. The Northern subcontinent is one of the most fascinating places on Earth where one finds such a diversity and often a clash of races , linguistics , philosophy, religions and in this current era politics but the dominating factor is the landscape and terrain itself  which have shaped the human minds and cultures there. Towering over all are the mountains - results of that titanic clash between the Northward thrust of the the Indian continental plate and its massive collision with the Eurasian plate thrusting the Earths surface skywards whilst the forces of water and gravity try to destroy them. It make's the World of Humans far below seem as petty and insignificant as I daresay it often is.

It was a privilege to spend some time in that world and apart from memories the remains of those voyages remain in photographic form. Though I am  no photographer, with the benefits of modern technologies I am able to snap hundreds of photos on the  basis of that eventually some must be good. Here in mid winter with little else to do I sorted out some of the best images of the vertical world to put in blog form.

 Sublime Masherbrum 7821m , like a bejeweled fairy tale ice castle this peak soared heavenwards, no amount of photography could capture its true beauty.

Sublime Masherbrum 7821m , like a bejeweled fairy tale ice castle this peak soared heavenwards, no amount of photography could capture its true beauty.

 Masherbrum from another angle hiking down the Baltoro.

Masherbrum from another angle hiking down the Baltoro.

 Ethereal Rakaposhi, or Dumani, 7788m , if there was one mountain to compete with Masherbrum in terms of beauty it is Rakposhi - here the west face , the largest mountain face on Earth rising almost 6000m above the valley below.

Ethereal Rakaposhi, or Dumani, 7788m , if there was one mountain to compete with Masherbrum in terms of beauty it is Rakposhi - here the west face , the largest mountain face on Earth rising almost 6000m above the valley below.

 The incredible West face of Rakaposhi!!

The incredible West face of Rakaposhi!!

 Nanga Prabat 8125m - mountain of superlatives , the largest mass on the Earths surface , rising the greatest vertical distance with the largest mountain wall , the Rupal face at 4600m. Its mountaneering history is superlative as well, no other mountain has such a history of triumphs and tragedies and hence its descrpition as the"Killer mountain" or the  "Devil mountain". The only Superlative that NangaPrabat does not have is highest altitude but as its also growing faster than any other terristial mounatin it will own that one day too!! 

Nanga Prabat 8125m - mountain of superlatives , the largest mass on the Earths surface , rising the greatest vertical distance with the largest mountain wall , the Rupal face at 4600m. Its mountaneering history is superlative as well, no other mountain has such a history of triumphs and tragedies and hence its descrpition as the"Killer mountain" or the  "Devil mountain". The only Superlative that NangaPrabat does not have is highest altitude but as its also growing faster than any other terristial mounatin it will own that one day too!! 

 Nanga Prabat at dawn -       "this mountain is a Paradox , at once so completely pure but also so brutally harsh" - French mountaineer,   Elisabeth Revol

Nanga Prabat at dawn - 

 "this mountain is a Paradox , at once so completely pure but also so brutally harsh" - French mountaineer, Elisabeth Revol

 Looking up the Hispar Glacier from the Rush ridge. The high point is Snow lake at 5100 m , Far beyond in Silhouette K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum 4 and Gasherbrum 2. I changed this too Black and White as the scene reminded me of photos the first explorers had taken of these areas over a century ago.

Looking up the Hispar Glacier from the Rush ridge. The high point is Snow lake at 5100 m , Far beyond in Silhouette K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum 4 and Gasherbrum 2. I changed this too Black and White as the scene reminded me of photos the first explorers had taken of these areas over a century ago.

 K2 - Mountain of Mountains ( from Broad Peak Base camp)

K2 - Mountain of Mountains ( from Broad Peak Base camp)

 Gasherbrum 4 7925 m from the Baltoro Glacier. 

Gasherbrum 4 7925 m from the Baltoro Glacier. 

 Broad Peak - actually 3 peaks Broad Peak North 7490 m, broad peak Central 8011 m and Broad Peak main 8051 m.  This photo taken from northern end of Goodwin Austin Glacier at its confluence of the Savoia Glacier.

Broad Peak - actually 3 peaks Broad Peak North 7490 m, broad peak Central 8011 m and Broad Peak main 8051 m.  This photo taken from northern end of Goodwin Austin Glacier at its confluence of the Savoia Glacier.

 Chogolisa 7668 m, a beautiful snow mountain above Concordia. Photo taken from Broad Peak Base Camp. 

Chogolisa 7668 m, a beautiful snow mountain above Concordia. Photo taken from Broad Peak Base Camp. 

 Rush Lake 4600 m at Dawn, Karakorum's in the Hunza behind.

Rush Lake 4600 m at Dawn, Karakorum's in the Hunza behind.

 Spantik or the Golden Pillar 7027m.

Spantik or the Golden Pillar 7027m.

 the Zanskar mountains of the Great Himalayas, Kun and Nun behind.

the Zanskar mountains of the Great Himalayas, Kun and Nun behind.

 the same Mountains but from the East - opposite direction of the previous photo. This Photo is taken in Rungdom.

the same Mountains but from the East - opposite direction of the previous photo. This Photo is taken in Rungdom.

 Kun 7077 m

Kun 7077 m

 Nun 7135m

Nun 7135m

 Mustaga Ata 7509 m  from Krakol lake on the Karakorum Highway

Mustaga Ata 7509 m  from Krakol lake on the Karakorum Highway

 Shispar Sar 7611m from the Karakorum highway, a spectacular Pyramid.

Shispar Sar 7611m from the Karakorum highway, a spectacular Pyramid.

 On the ridge to Mount Siguniang in the Qionglai mountains of the Sichuan alps. It's not in the Himalayan ranges but they are part of the great mountains of central Asia. I spent 2 weeks in this beautiful alpine area in 2014 and this photo of man meeting mountain provided a fitting ending to this photo series.

On the ridge to Mount Siguniang in the Qionglai mountains of the Sichuan alps. It's not in the Himalayan ranges but they are part of the great mountains of central Asia. I spent 2 weeks in this beautiful alpine area in 2014 and this photo of man meeting mountain provided a fitting ending to this photo series.