Rombuk Glacier and Mount Everest

This is a panoramic photograph I took of Rombuk Glacier and Mount Everest on June 9th, 2000. We are in Tibet on the north side of the earth's tallest mountain (8,850 m or 29,035 ft), the summit of which is visible at the far right of the view -- it is the most distant of the peaks. The photograph was taken at an elevation of 5800 m (19,000 ft), not far short of Advanced Base Camp where the real mountaineering begins. Although the monsoon season was underway, we were blessed with extraordinarily clear weather -- even in the dry season travellers often spend days in this area without ever seeing the peak of Everest emerge from the clouds. The previous day our party had climbed from Base Camp, which is at an elevation of roughly 5000 m. The trail we walked was a well-worn one, used by many parties every year attempting to summit Everest. But because the climbing season was over, we had this wonderful landscape all to ourselves. The unusual ice formations resemble rows of sharks teeth and are called seracs. They are typical of Rombuk and a number of other glaciers in the Himalaya. The rocks in the foreground lie atop ice, and we had to push similar ones aside to pitch our tents. In the night we often heard the glacier groaning and cracking beneath our heads.

The panorama extends more than 270 degrees and was constructed digitally from 16 separate vertical format 35mm exposures through a 50 mm lens. The camera was panned on a rotating tripod head. The film was Fujichrome Velvia slide film (ASA 50). The image has never been published, but would make a fabulous wall poster...

The Panorama

An enlargement of the panorama (228K jpeg)

Below is an even higher resolution version. At optimum viewing size, this 1 MB image measures 18 centimetres high by 1.45 metres wide. (Most browsers, including older versions of Netscape for both Windows and Macintosh, can cope with this, but I notice that Explorer 5 for Macintosh can only display the left third of it. If you encounter such a problem, try opening it in Adobe Photoshop or a similar program that allows you to scroll left and right through very large images.)

View higher definition version (1MB jpeg)

If you don't have a program allowing you to view an image exceeding a certain width, you may have to look at this one in sections.

The left third of the panorama (170K)

The middle of the panorama (130K)

The right third of the panorama (180K)

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Last Updated: 08.07.01 WebMaster: Ian Mackenzie
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