The greatest adventures in life are often when all of your plans completely fall apart. I came to Nepal on April 3rd, 2015 to photograph a climbing expedition on Annapurna; the 10th highest mountain in the world and certainly the most dangerous. My mind was prepared for the emotional and physical suffering that came along with climbing one of these 8000 meter peaks; I was far from being prepared for what what was about to happen next.
We found ourselves in the middle of a country that had just suffered from one of the largest natural disasters in decades. On April 25th a 7.9 earthquake hit Nepal devastating many of its remote villages as well as claiming thousands of lives in the country's capital, Kathmandu. We felt hopeless sitting at base camp, cut off from everything happening down below.
Our team made the decision to retreat from our expedition and do whatever we could to help. I personally came down from the mountain with some apprehension about whether or not we would be effective in the relief efforts or if we would be in the way of other organized NGO’s who already had logistics and people in place. I thought to myself, ‘we are just a group of climbers’.
It’s been over two months since the earthquake ravaged Nepal and I am so thankful that our team made the decision that we did. Expedition leader Don Bowie was able to keep our team focused on the task at hand, to do whatever we could to help this beautiful country. I had a hard time seeing the vision at first. I often felt that I wasn’t a valuable part of the machine, but now after a few months have passed, it is amazing to look back at what has been accomplished in direct results of our efforts.
Our rag tag team of type-A climbers, paragliders, trekkers, and all around bad asses have all come together to form a group of incredibly motivated people who will stop at nothing to help this country. I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity and hope that through my experiences you will feel inspired to do what you can to help better the lives of those around you.
Every decision you make will affect those who surround you. Allow your plans to fall apart and experience the life that is waiting for you just around the corner.