|Mt Everest, 30 July 1988, from the ridge above Kala Pattar (c. 18,400')|
My maternal grandfather, Ambrose Wood, had been interested in Everest from boyhood and had climbed the mountain many times from the comfort of his armchair, possessing a good collection of the early accounts of attempted climbs. I was thus familiar with the Everest story from an early age and as soon as I could, aged 20, I went to Nepal to see the mountain and experience the joys of exploring the Himalaya for myself. And it really was by myself - two months alone and carrying my own kit made it as much a journey of self-exploration as anything else. By then I was also immersed in the writings of the great plant-hunters and my two goals were to see Everest and blue poppies. Both were achieved, with a miraculously cloudless morning permitting spectacular views of the mountain from my highest point, and finding Meconopsis horridula to be really quite abundant in the upper Khumbu valley.
|Meconopsis horridula, Khumbu, July 1988|
|Primula sikkimensis, Khumbu, July 1988.|