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Big RedTravel with Big Red

2 -13 May 2010

Chamonix Mont Blanc

With my exhibition in Kendal in August in mind, we set off for Chamonix Mont Blanc to re-acquaint myself with the Chamonix valley and make some new drawings.
Trips to the Sikkim Himalaya, the Khumbu in Nepal and the Dolomites since our last visit four years ago had left my visual memories and feelings for the Chamonix Alps somewhat hazy so it was with great anticipation that we headed south!


1 - 25 February 2010

The Khumbu, Everest Region, Nepal

Our long awaited return to the Himalaya, this time to the Khumbu area of Everest with our favourite Sherpa, Lakpa and our porters, Mingma and his younger brother Dorinjay.
From Kathmandu we flew in a tiny plane to Lukla, where we started walking. After a night at Monjo we made the steep climb to Namche, the Sherpa village at 3440m where we spent three nights acclimatising. This included a visit to Namche Gompa and a walk to Panorama Lodge above the village with its fine views of Ama Dablam, Everest, Lhotse and the Nuptse Wall.
From now on we felt as if we were really in the big mountains! We headed for Dingboche 4410m next, spending nights at Tengboche and Shomare on the way. More acclimatisation with a walk up to Nangkart Gompa. Next stop was Chukhung 4730m, my favourite place of all, surrounded by big mountains, all ice and snow and blue skies - and a freezing wind!
Returning to Dingboche, we then set off for Gorak Shep 5170m, for the viewpoint at Kala Pattar 5554m, staying at Lobuche for a night on the way. Thukla Col with its memorials to those lost on Everest was a sobering sight. Also from here a great view of Pumori, the surprise of this trip.
Lots of drawing done, often in freezing conditions. We felt as if we spent the whole time smiling! The pictures say it all!


5 - 8 January 2010

The Cairngorm - or the Scottish Alps!

Alpine conditions turned Aviemore and the Cairngorm into a winter wonderland


25 December 2009

A magical Christmas Day in snowy Buttermere

We woke by the shores of Crummock Water to a sparkling Christmas morning.


20 June - 16 July 2009

Summer (nearly!) in The Dolomites Part Two: 30 June - 16 July

Don't forget, you can see all the drawings I made on this and previous trips by visiting the 'Sketchbooks' section of the website and clicking on the Dolomite sketchbook.

With the weather very unsettled, we decided to head for Misurina and our favourite Sport Hotel in search of some warmth and sunshine. One advantage of visiting early in the season is the chance to wander through the wonderful alpine meadows overflowing with wild flowers, including the rare vanilla orchid.


20 June - 16 July 2009

Summer (nearly!) in The Dolomites Part One : 20 - 30 June

To see all the drawings I made on this trip, visit my Dolomite sketchbook in the ‘Sketchbooks’ section of the website.

June found us on the ferry heading back to the Dolomites for some summer expeditions. We spent the first few days exploring ‘Prosecco country’ around Valdobbidiene. After a day or two driving through hillsides covered in lush green vines, reminiscent of the tea plantations around Darjeeling(!), we decided to head for the hills!