Mt. Everest Kangshung face / Kharta Valley photography expedition
19th Sep – 9th Oct 2025 | USD$8600 per person | Max 6 Participants
Give me 20 days, in return you will have an unforgettable journey of a lifetime… …
Kharta is an unusually vibrant region lying to the east of Mount Everest, and starts at the Kangshung Glacier at the foot of Everest’s Kangshung Face. the valleys and ridges below the snowlike are covered with thick vegetation that turns golden in the autumn, and rhododendron flowers blossom in late May for 2-3 weeks, the whole region embellished by alpine lakes and meadows, all making an unique picturesque setting for such a high altitude terrain.
Having lived in Tibet for 7 years and made pilgrimages to some of its holiest peaks over the years, I feel a sense of heavenly bliss in front of these sacred mountains. That the region’s people find these astonishing places spiritual is long known, what is not known is how you will feel. The towering and majestic rock, its gorgeous greys you can lose yourself in, its snowy peaks where spirits reside and where clouds flow below the summits and a remarkable blue, as well wondrous lakes which at night take in the whole immense sky, all combine to make this a profound and unforgettable experience where you can capture what you’ve seen and, perhaps, felt.
You will be travelling with someone well experienced in high altitude mountain and valley photography, who has detailed cultural and practical and linguistic skills for this region, and will be taken through this challenging terrain with support of a specialised local crew to make this heady expedition a safe and enriching experience. Having been on 2 Himalaya treks on the Nepalese side and many more on the Tibetan side, I’ve found the Tibet side of the Himalayas much drier, making it more likely to have clear vista views and a more relaxed experience.
Organising a trip like this requires a guide who has high altitude expedition experience, and able to work with last minute changes (due to government policies e.g. getting Tibet entry permits), local authorities, weather conditions, and assessing the client’s health progress on the trip. I have been on this trek 3 times, twice on my own and the other was a collaboration with Alister Benn and Marc Adamus for a group of 8 people. I have lived and travelled in the Tibet Region extensively since 2012, with deep knowledge of and experience in it and Nepal, and led trekking expeditions to Mt. Kalaish. In 2019, a further Kharta Valley expedition that I was collaborating with Marc Muench had to be changed to a Mt. Kailash trek (agreed by the group) 3 days before our departure, because the high passes covered by winter snow made it unsafe for yaks which are the key element of all Himalaya expeditions. This expedition is the only one I know that focuses on photography and that caters to international trekkers.
To sign up to a trip like this means you need to prepare for last minute changes to the itinerary or, in extreme cases, a full cancellation. In terms of an itinerary change you can choose to have your payment (deducting bank charges) partially refunded if you wish to end your trip, or you may decide to continue your journey with an alternative schedule. I know this region like palm of my hand, it’s easy for me to come up with an excellent alternative plan within hours of a no-go scenario.
Who can join us? You must be in good physical and mental health. Risks is high for pre-existing medical conditions: Heart and Cardiovascular disease, Bronchitis, uncontrolled Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Very High Blood Pressure, Bypass Surgery or Angioplasty, Coronary Artery Disease, or other major illnesses or conditions. Please check with your doctor if you are not sure of your own medical conditions
What about altitude? This trip has been planned specifically for acclimatisation.
What about fitness level? You need to have a healthy diet and start some fitness training at least 3–6 months prior to the trip. Walking around hilly monasteries and other hikes at high altitude will require more energy than usual, and hiking at 4500m is far more strenuous than steep hikes at sea level. This route is a fairly easy trek, most moderate fitness levels can finish this route without too much hardship, but the fitter you are the more you can spare your energy for photography.
Day 1 – Arrive Chengdu airport (meeting point) | Day 2 – Fly to Lhasa ( 3600m ) | Day 3 – 4 Lhasa – We will take day trips to Namtso and nearby hills to help us to acclimatise. Day 5 – Lhasa to Shigatse @3950m | Day 6 – Shigatse to Qudang @3650m | Day 7 Camp 1 Xiao Wu Tso @ 4650m – 5 to 6 hours trek, ascending 750m | Day 8 Camp 2 @ 4740m – 3 to 4 hours trek, ascending 250m, descending 160m| Day 9 Stay camp 2 @ 4740m | Day 10 Camp 3 Zhuo Xiang @ 3900m – 5 to 6 hours trek, descending 840m today | Day 11 Camp 4 Tangxiang @ 4550m – 6 to 8 hours trek | Day 12 Camp 5 Er Ga @ 4650m – 6 to 7 hours trek, descending 200m ascending 320m | Day 13 – Stay Camp 5 Er Ga – One hour hike to Sunrise Location Bai Dang | Day 14 Camp 6 LangMuTso @ 4770 – 1 to 2 hours trek Ascending 120m | Day 15 Stay Camp 6 | Day 16 Cam 7 Re Ga @ 4200m – 4 to 5 hours trek| | Day 17 Stay Camp 7 Re Ga @4200 | Day 18 Camp 8 Tso Xue Reng Ma @ 5000m, 5 to 6 hours trek – Ascending 800m | Day 19 Trek out 8 to 10 hours trek – Ascending 400m, descending 1150m | Day 20 – Quango to Shigatse | Day 21 – Shigatse to connect flight out of either Shigatse or Lhasa Airport
Included: Accommodation | All meals | Vehicle Transport | Park Entry Fee, Tibet Permit Fee | Single/double tent for each participant |Flight from Chengdu to Lhasa
Excluded: Chinese Visa Application cost | Travel/Medical/evaculation Insurance (required) | Flight out of Lhasa/Shigatse | you need to bring all expedition equipments such as suitable clothing, sleeping bags, waterproof backpacks for your own use according to our packing list near the time
Photographic Level: Intermediate and above. Beginners and non-photographers welcome, however, as with the more experienced, I will not be able to provide photography instruction, because I will be fully busy with aspects of the journey. Regardless of your level, please come with good knowledge of and capability with your equipment. I am more than happy to share my own approach at each significant stop, and discuss techniques/concepts via the camera screen at the end of the day as we gathering for a drink/meal.
Booking Process – due to nature of this expedition needs to be flexible, it has different booking process from other trips.
Submit your application form – even if you book for shared occupancy as a couple, separate application forms need to be submitted | Confirm your place has been reserved | Confirm government/travel policies in place 4-5 months prior to your trip | Deposit of USD$1300 payment to confirm your place after receiving the invoice | Chinese Visa Application process should be done as early as possible, which can start 90 days prior to your trip, and this is the time you need to have your international flight booked to support your visa application | The balance is due no later than 60 days prior to the trip | Fitness preparation is essential this trip.
I will send a PDF with clothing and equipment recommendations. Tibet Entry Permits Application will be submitted as for the group 35 days before our trip. You need to have your Chinese Visa and Passport scanned to us no later than 45 days before the trip, I will ask you for this at the right time. Updates on our permits will be given. Meeting at Chengdu Airport and off we go!