Trailing Everest's Heroes

On assignment in the Himalayas

To capture the images and stories of the legendary Sherpas of Mount Everest for our April 2003 Exposure Special "Tigers of the Snow," Outside dispatched New York photographer Martin Schoeller and Kathmandu-based writer and filmmaker Jenny Dubin on a daunting journey through the Himalayas. Their 19-day adventure included a 30-mile trek with a crew of seven Sherpa porters through Nepal's Khumbu Valley at altitudes of up to 13,500 feet, and several plane and helicopter sorties that had them weaving precariously between the world's highest peaks.

Gotta love this job: Martin Schoeller high above the Khumbu Valley

As they traveled and worked, Schoeller and Dubin, along with Schoeller's assistant Jason Colquhaoun, recorded their steps with Schoeller's MiniDV camera. From the airports of London and Lukla to the streets of Kathmandu to the trails and villages of the Khumbu, they taped hours of remarkable—and sometimes hysterical—behind-the-scenes footage as they tracked down three generations of Everest Sherpas.

"Martin is one of the most sought after image makers out there right now," says Outside photo editor Rob Haggart, who spent a week with Schoeller and Colquhaoun on a 2001 shoot in the British Virgin Islands. "The amazing thing about him is that he's so intense in his work and produces such unbelievably complicated photographs with this elaborate setup, but he's also fun-loving and very easygoing."


Tigers of the Snow: On Location with Martin Schoeller
Join Martin Schoeller, Jason Colquhaoun, and Jenny Dubin on a wild ride through Nepal, from Kathmandu to the heart of Sherpa county. (3min 40sec)

More Travel