Ama Dablam sunrise shot from summit of Island Peak.

The Most Beautiful Mountains on Earth

Island Peak, Nepal (20,305')

First light on Ama Dablam and the mighty Himalaya as shot from the summit of Island Peak (6189m / 20,305 ft). Known as the 'Matterhorn of the Himalaya', Ama Dablam is one of the most iconic peaks on Earth, and I climbed the peak in November 2023 on a monthlong expedition. See here. Standing on the summits of both Island and Ama were two of the happiest experiences of my life but also the most difficult. To summit Island by dawn we started climbing at 11:45 p.m. the prior evening, which meant having to withstand frigid conditions up high for hours in the dark. The summit was tiny so I had to be tied into a snow anchor while shooting. It was tricky making sure I didn't knock my camera and tripod off the mountain given everything was icy and I was drained.

At 20,000’ there is roughly 45% of the air pressure relative to sea level, which presents difficult shooting conditions. You’re very tired but need to keep focus. Your hands are numb, your batteries die within minutes in the cold and your body is worn out given you’ve been climbing for the past 6-7 hours. Everything is hard… But so worth it.

Island Peak is one of the most popular peaks in Nepal and you can view the huge line of climbers making their way up far below. We were the first ones to summit that day and descending was a mess given there is only one fixed line and heaps of climbers were all trying to come up at once. It was somewhat similar to the infamous Hillary Step photo on Everest taken by Nimsdai.

This is one of my all time favorite images and is an image I've wanted for the past few years. It was the top objective from my 2022 trip to Nepal and am grateful we were able to get up there by sunrise. A huge thanks to my friends Lakpa Dorji Sherpa, Tenji Sherpa & Caitlin Charlton for their help in making it happen.

A vertical version of this image is available here.
Photo © copyright by Jason Weiss.

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Luxury Metal Float (Ready to Hang)
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The Most Beautiful Mountains on Earth print
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