Sherpa's smile steals the photo show at café

Images from travel photographer Briana Gallo’s recent trek to the base of Mt. Everest are on display through November at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters Art & Music Collective, 5627 La Jolla Blvd.

The La Jollan’s travel blog was published in the Huffington Post and highlights the photos on display. Many of them feature Basan, a 42-year-old Nepalese sherpa and one of the few female porters with the will and endurance to carry hikers’ bags and trek through the Khumbu Valley to Everest Base Camp.

In Gallo’s blog, she writes, “Each porter is limited to carrying 66 pounds, in my case, two bright yellow duffle bags. The bags were tied together by Basan, who lifted them to her back, sometimes (with help from) her fellow porter, and secured by a strap across the top of her head. The sight looked impossibly uncomfortable, but the grin and enthusiasm in Basan’s expression each day did not indicate discomfort.

“When Basan was 22, she met sherpa Tshering Tendi. She started working exclusively for him so she could send her son to Monastery School in Kathmandu. Basan wanted her son to have the education she did not receive growing up. She did not want him to have to work as a porter. Her dedication to her son shows that her love is like that of any other mom, no matter what cast or what country. Basan continues to work in the high season so she can support her son’s training as a monk.”

Gallo will lead a group with Basan and Teshring on a trek to the base of the Annapurna, April 17-29. This is a cultural immersion trek with a focus on photography. For more details, visit brianagallo.com or e-mail photography@brianagallo.com

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