OF THE HIMALAYA
By Meghan J. Ward
After capturing 22,000 images over the course of 33 years of travel in the Himalaya, Pat and Baiba Morrow’s intimate relationship with this region of the world culminates in Heart of the Himalaya.
As travellers it is tempting to claim that we got to know a place, even after just a few shorts weeks of touring, trekking and glancing out of bus windows. But the longer we spend somewhere, we realize how much our bias has affected us, and how our assumptions about another place and its people may have been incorrect.
It takes months and years in a place to understand the complexities of another country and the inner workings of its culture.
That being said, it’s fair to say that after 33 years of travel in the Himalaya, Wilmer, B.C.-based photojournalists, Pat and Baiba Morrow, have earned the right to claim that they have extensive knowledge of this region, and rich relationships with its people.
Heart of the Himalaya is a photo tribute to the people of the world’s highest mountain range, and includes 170 high-resolution photographs handpicked from over 22,000 images in the Morrows’ collection. The e-book helps us to understand the real meaning of “Himalaya” and the various ethnicities and geographical regions that exist outside the more well-known ones, such as the Sherpas of the Khumbu and Mt. Everest region in Nepal.
Born from a 2014 photographic exhibit under the same name at Banff’s Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Heart of the Himalaya gives the reader a window into Himalayan life through the raw experiences of its inhabitants – from the baby riding on mama’s back in a basket to yak herders, monks and Tibetan refugees.
Through video and text, written and produced by the Morrows, a larger story is told about these Himalayan cultures and the Morrows’ personal experiences interacting with them.
In the chapter, “A Never Ending Trek”, they provide a synopsis of their more than 20 trips to the Himalaya, including Pat’s ascent of Mount Everest as the photographer on the Canadian 1982 expedition and the pair’s 10,000-kilometre journey on Asia’s Silk Road in 1987.
Heart of the Himalaya may be an e-book, but it functions as a coffee-table book, inviting the reader to enjoy it in stages and come back to it as they please. If you’re keen to learn about a magnificent part of the world through the eyes of people who have come to know it intimately, I highly recommend you download a copy of Heart of the Himalaya.
Writer, adventurer, outdoorsy mama and summit cartwheeler. Meghan J. Ward is the editor and co-founder at Crowfoot Media and lives for backcountry getaways.