Posts tagged “Alfred Gregory

How much do we know about the places we go?

How much do we know about the places we go?

Long before someone conjured up the name 'workshop'

Long before someone conjured up the name ‘workshop’

Since all the workshops left the park we’ve had some rather unpleasant weather in El Chalten. This past week the clouds have been so low they’ve obscured even the peaks surrounding the town. On these occasions you don’t know whether the clouds are sitting low in the valley, it could very easily be the case that Fitz Roy is poking out with a sea of cloud beneath. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to head out and get up high. As such I’ve been out wandering around at dawn, unfortunately, there’s not been enough heat from the sun to burn down the cloud layer. You’d think I could shoot the forest and the fog may indeed create some interest, but it just doesn’t inspire me when there’s no interesting light.
I went out to the gorge one morning at 6.00am, I didn’t leave until the afternoon but nothing happened. It’s quite hard to stay enthusiastic when it’s like this; I just have to hold on till it clears.

With time on my hands, I’ve been thinking about how travel has changed in the twenty-first century. I add here an article taken from my local paper. Back in 1981, my father went out to the Everest region of Nepal on what was surely one of the earliest commercial photographic workshops. Nepal opened to foreigners in 1952 nearly 20 years before my father’s trip, however, Alfred Gregory’s 1981 photographic holiday was the very first tourist group to enter via the south by flying into Lukla.

Alf Gregory who organized the trip. He was the photographer on the first successful ascent of Everest in 1953

Alf Gregory who organized the trip. He was the photographer on the first successful ascent of Everest in 1953

I was barely ten years old, but I remember my father’s preparing for the trip. As a family, we would go hiking in the English Lake District at weekends and he’d wake earlier so he could walk to work.

My father was fascinated by stories of the early climbs in the Himalaya; prior to his trip, he’d read everything he could. Bookshelves were stocked with titles from climbers such as Eric Shipton, Chris Bonnington, Mallory and of course the 1953 Hillary, Tenzing ascent. A map was purchased showing the route the team would take, upon his return it was framed with the route carefully drawn out. It still hangs in my parent’s home today.
As a married man this was the only trip he took away from the family.

Now in this generation I see people wandering all over the globe, jumping on a plane

Incredibly this article made it into the national newspapers in the UK

Incredibly this article made it into the national newspapers in the UK

on a whim to photograph wherever they please. That’s all well and good, but I wonder how much people truly appreciate the places they visit. Frequently I meet people here in El Chalten with no idea of the names of the peaks they point their cameras at. I like to think I’ve absorbed as much as I can about the places I visit, particularly here in Los Glaciers National Park.

When my father returned from the Everest region he made a number of prints, many of which were hung in his camera shop. Some stayed at home, certainly, those early prints had an influence on me, 25 years later I went trekking in the same area.

This article was taken from the local newspaper. The month long trip cost £1225

This article was taken from the local newspaper. The month long trip cost £1225

Finally here’s a quick shot I took this morning, it’s not particularly well processed. I don’t have that much time to work on images so it’s just a quick shot.

For the first time in days the clouds open up a little

For the first time in days the clouds open up a little

And here’s a simple black and white, the peak in the back is Cerro Rosado.

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