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An audience with the King of the Himalayas

After a good six months of preparation, I traveled to the Himalayas for several months to photograph snow leopards. I was consciously traveling alone and without a helper, because every additional noise or smell is perceived by the cats and worsens the chances of an encounter. In contrast to summer, the landscape in winter is very barren, but no less beautiful - of course it was also cold, but ultimately that's just a question of having the right equipment. It is always astonishing under what conditions animals can survive.

Der Himalaja

[@4300m -15°] Karg und doch atemberaubend schön – der Himalaja

I always set up the tent in such a way that at least one side was protected by a large rock or something similar and the view from the tent into one of the side valleys was possible. So I could then take photos from the tent if necessary. This is particularly useful in the late evening and early morning, because then the cats often roam their territory. For weight reasons I did not use a tripod and used some of the equipment to stabilize the heavy lenses.


Die Ausrüstung musste als Stativ herhalten

Extreme exertion and only small meals every day have pushed my body to its limits. It was clear from the start that I would not be able to meet my calorie requirements, because I would have had to take twice as much and other foods with me, which was not possible for weight reasons. So it was only about keeping your own body on the "back burner" for several months. As an energy supplier, I also used chocolate in some cases, a companion that should not be underestimated ... 


Eine Tagesration…

Even simple things like cooking became a challenge because the lack of snow meant that water was only available in a tiny trickle. Then you learn to appreciate simple plastic bags, because without them I would hardly have been able to catch the water. Compared to snow, however, this had the advantage that I needed a lot less fuel. Igniting the stove was also sometimes very difficult due to the altitude and the cold. Incidentally, like everything else, I had estimated the fuel requirement with a thumbs-up. Of course, this can also catch the eye, because you can't just organize replenishment. 

Als Wasserversorgung diente ein winziger Rinnsal

Als Wasserversorgung diente ein winziger Rinnsal

You might think that it would have to be boring to sit alone in a valley or rather in "nowhere" for weeks, but that's not the case - on the contrary - it was incredibly exciting months. Every day I searched all accessible areas around my camp for traces of the cats and covered many strenuous kilometers with heavy equipment, all in the hope of getting the "King of the Himalayas" in front of my lens….


Stundenlanges absuchen der Felswände bestimmte den Tagesablauf

In principle, you have to say that it is a great success to find one of the rare cats at all. Not only are these extremely rare and shy, it is almost impossible for an untrained eye to spot the cats in the rock walls. It is an unbelievable feeling of happiness when an encounter occurs after all the exertion. And I was incredibly lucky, I was able to observe a whole family of snow leopards with 4 (FOUR!) Members. An unforgettable and breathtaking sight that more than made up for the incredible effort.


Wer hat hier wen zuerst gesehen ?


Es ist unmöglich den Schneeleoparden zu entgehen

Soon I'll be going back to the region on my own for several months and then maybe shooting a little film ...

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