Category: South Asia

Tibetan Dropka nomads portrait in Namche Bazaar in the Everest region of Nepal

Tibetan Dropka Nomads Portrait
NEPAL Namche Bazaar — Oct 2007 — Tibetan Dropka traders from Ting Ri in Tibet at a market in Namche Bazaar in the Everest region of Nepal. These traders bring various goods over the Nangpa La pass from Chinese-controlled Tibet to sell to Nepalese Sherpas in Khumbu — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

This is one of my favourite portraits from my travels in the Khumbu Himalaya ( Everest region ) of Nepal. These Tibetan Dropka nomads bring cheap Chinese goods to sell to Sherpas over the Nangpa pass and sometimes establish temporary markets to sell their wares. Mostly, they come from the Tibetan village of Ting Ri in Chinese-occupied Tibet. Although a separate ethnic group from the Sherpas, they do share their religion and some customs. Perhaps less so with the Chinese controlling the frontier than when Tibet was an independent country, the Sherpas and the Dropka sometimes marry. The arduous journeys undertaken by these nomads make them the highest traders on Earth and the Dropka of Ting Ri have for around a century been the backbone of many a Himalayan mountaineering expedition, especially the British attempts on Mount Everest from Tibet before it was climbed by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. Notoriously light-fingered, these nomads are the biggest tinkers I’ve ever encountered and I would often see them during many of the treks I did in the spectacular Khumbu Himalaya of Nepal. The image above is part of a photo essay on the Sherpas I am in the process of re-editing.

You can now find this image and others from this blog plus many more from my stock archive on my new high res stock image database.

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Amazing Himalayan mono landscape from Sagarmatha National Park in the Everest region of Nepal

NEPAL Everest Region -- Mount Nup La swathed in clouds in the Everest region of Nepal -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell
NEPAL Everest Region — Mount Nup La swathed in clouds in the Everest region of Nepal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
To some extent you can say it is a great honour for a photojournalist to work up in the high Himalayas of Nepal. In my case it was greater, as I got to spend over a year up there. During the various treks, I took a lot of great photographs, so many in fact, I am still editing them years later and recently have been loading them onto my new high res stock image archive database, where they rarely sell at the moment (buried perhaps!). Hence, I have decided to feature some of them here on the blog for people to enjoy and hopefully a few clients to see.

I recently got news from Alamy that my collection is being deleted. For no logical reason I can discern…Hence the images will no longer be available to license on that system in January 2014. You can now license increasing numbers of the digital collection on the new searchable stock image archive database.

This image was shot in the autumn as I trekked out of Namche Bazaar and shows the wonderful landscape surrounding Nup La, the first large peak as you ascend up the Mount Everest Tenzing-Hillary trail (or Everest Base Camp Trail as many term it).

Sagarmatha National Park has some of the most amazing landscapes I have ever seen and once above the treeline at 4,000 metres it does feel a bit like being on another planet. Photographing at this altitude is not easy and when I took this image I was carrying a 28kg rucksack.

I have many other great landscapes from the Everest region and if you are looking for any for your creative projects, then please contact me via email on lightroomphotos [at] icloud.com or jonstmchl [at] gmail.com

I can also now offer mono images as platinum limited edition art prints. Please email for prices.