2012 Photo Contest Weekly Gallery #3
From the Highest Peaks
These travellers reached just a little higher to get that perfect mountain view. A selection from the Verge 2012 Travel Photo Challenge.
Please click on any thumbnail to open the image gallery.
Beautiful morning light falling on the top of the Tunganath, with clouds like flying white birds. The beauty of the Garhwal Himalaya is a real attraction to true travellers.
Prayer Flags and Mountains
In all my years of travel from continent to continent, never has there been a place that has moved and inspired me as much as Tibet. The people, each one with a great story to tell, often full of suffering or heartache—but never without hope—are the kindest people I have ever met. Theirs is a faith that is unbreakable despite a history of turmoil, heartache, war and suffering. Their resilience is strengthened by their loyal bond with their leader, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. To me, it seems there has not been any other nation that has, in this century, suffered greater than the Tibetans have. Despite everything, they openly welcomed us into their homes, their lives, and their hearts. It was truly a humbling and beautiful experience that I will never forget. These images are but a small glimpse of how I came to see Tibet; a beautiful smiling monk, breathtaking mountain views with prayer flags blowing in the wind, children aged beyond their years and elders whose stories would surely bring anyone to tears.
The road to Monte Verde is known to many as the worst road in Costa Rica. The unpaved road is riddled with giant potholes, rocks, mud and more. As you are jostled up the mountain, the slowness of travel allows you to really take in all the beauty of the hills and valleys. As the sun set, the Nicoya Peninsula reflected the fleeting sun, setting the hills in golden hue and making the water appear liquid gold.
Taiwan has over 150 peaks over 3,000 metres. After spending the night atop Mount He Huan, the skies cleared to reveal some of the country's most beautiful landscapes.
Remains of a once-great civilization, Machu Picchu has stood as an enduring reminder to the ingenuity, beauty and brilliance of the Incan Empire. Unfortunately, due to the brutal acts of the Conquistadors, much of the Incan heritage and mark has been destroyed. The Spanish were known for having destroyed brick-by-brick every building and town that did not adhere to their beliefs. Fortunately for the world, Machu Picchu was undetected and therefore spared from this brutality and stands on relentlessly to this day, providing us with some of the greatest insights that we have as to who the Incans were.
Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan and is among the largest in the world. The landscape in Kumamoto was surreal and I felt like I could be exploring another planet—let alone Japan.
The Bay Area
Though it has become a popular tourist destination for visitors to Vietnam, Ha Long Bay was first home to the local fishing families. Popularity, however, brings with it commercialism, as the business of the Bay has shifted to tourism and related activities. Fishing villages, still a common sight, are being overcome by houseboats and junks that carry multi-day visitors looking for an escape. How then should the locals preserve their cultures and traditions while accommodating the changing nature of the landscape?
A view of the Himalayan green range from the trek route to Dzukou valley, situated in Nagaland, India.
Beauty of Tipon
Tipon, Inca ruins outside Machu Picchu, are surrounded by beautiful mountains. In this photo I wanted to capture the beauty of the mountains. I also wanted to be able to show how big they are by doing a long shot to include part of the archaeological site in the foreground.
To The Top
Mohan, a trekker, passes under the shadow of an unnamed peak of the Jogin massif on his way across Auden's col. The col, named after British surveyor J.B. Auden, who pioneered the route in 1939, joins two of the holiest shrines in India—Gangotri and Kedarnath. Only 13 teams have crossed this trecherous route since.
A Day Ends
A day ends at Auden's col base camp at 4,900 metres.
Ladakh is a cold mountain desert, almost cut off from the rest of the world for seven months—then only reachable by planes—leaving the small population without any basic supplies like fresh food. Taken at an altitude of approximately 3,500 metres, this picture shows a villager on the way to his training in the wilderness for an upcoming polo game. The mountains in the background reach as far as 5,000 metres.
Of the 8,000-metre mountains I saw in Nepal, Dhaulagiri is unequivocally the most beautiful and impressive. It stands head and shoulders above its satellite peaks and is geometrically blessed with several aesthetic ridges, and majestic fluted faces. This is this south face at sunrise as viewed from Poon Hill.