By Renan Ozturk
I'm just returning from a North Face supported expedition to Nepal, reeling in the inspiration of the mountains and culture at the roof of the world. Nepal is a place I first visited in 2001 as part of an intense language program and I'm been back almost every year for expeditions of all shapes and sizes. I can honestly say that it has molded my moutain experience as a TNF athethle more than any other place!
This time around instead of focusing on the big projects like the Khumbu Climbing Center, Caves of Mustang or a climbing objective we were lucky to be just zoning in on capturing the beauty of Nepal through film and artwork. I was humbly working with ultra talented Dave Mossop, one the main founders and creatives of Sherpas Cinema.
Our main goal was to capture footage for Sherpas Cinema new ski feature film that will be realed in the fall of 2013. Judging by the beauty and aclaim of their last film All.I.CAN it is bould to be utterly mind blowing! Along with cutting edge ski footage the film will be a creative depiction of intense environmental and social themes that are relevent in this day and age. For us, Nepal was the ultimate target rich environment to play with for such symbolism. The fact that we didn't have a big ski/climb objective also allowed us the "dork out" the full extent and go a lot heavier with cutting edge film gear to elevate the visuals we captured :)
Among the many highlights of our oddysey included shooting with one of the oldest Sherpas of the Khumbu, Karma Tsering (pictured above). At 80 years old he is one of the happiest and strongest people I know, still hiking the 5 hours to market each week with his Yak to buy goods. I've known him for years and was still sporting the classic TNF himalayan parka we gave him years ago :) The special light and moments we captured with him were pure magic!
Also pictured above (another iphone shot) is a Lama at the Upper Pangboche Monestry, the oldest in all of Nepal. He gently swung the burning pot of juniper doing his morning Puja (blessing) in the sacred upper chamber, ambling slowing across the old creaking wooden floorboards. The small skylight window above happened to catch the first rays of sun in weeks, creating a shaft of light, a slintered god beam like I've never seen before in my life. We rolled the cameras with all our facy equipment in slow motion, not even whipspering during his chants. After he finished the ritual we exited the monestary and into the glowing the vistas of the high himalaya, stunned to have catptured a few moments that could have been the most epic images of out lives.
There are no words that can do these experiences true justice, I'm just just trying to share the inspiration with a few photos and then the eventually film :) Thanks for checking it out and stay tuned! ~renan