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Thread: Tripod questions, chamonix 045N-2, hiking

  1. #41
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Tripod questions, chamonix 045N-2, hiking

    He did a book on the Nepal Himalaya too. Not as creative as the famous work of Shirakawa using a Pentax 6x7 system, which included a lot of aerial shots and infrared b&w photography as well as Ektachromes (some blatantly colored with filters). But if Shirakawa's work is marvelously gritty and bold, Shirahata's work is LF precise, highly detailed, and realistic. Both men took multiple big budget expeditions with many porters. My uncle would have been incensed. When he was in Nepal, his helicopter rescued the frostbitten climbers who returned from the first ascent of the NW ridge of Everest, itself a big budget gig involving hundreds of porters. Natl Geo never even reimbursed his fuel cost.

  2. #42

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    Re: Tripod questions, chamonix 045N-2, hiking

    They definitely picked the wrong guy for those Dos Equis commercials.

    Drew is definitely the most interesting man in the world!

  3. #43
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Tripod questions, chamonix 045N-2, hiking

    Thank you. Dos Equis was my favorite, at least until a backpacking pal introduced me to Pliny, which does have a kick at high altitude.

  4. #44
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod questions, chamonix 045N-2, hiking

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Bingo! David Rockerfeller became the poster child for it. But just thirty years ago, when my nephew was living with me and getting his Geography degree at UCB, he was awarded a grant from an early GPS satellite venture to do the first full north/south traverse of New Guinea on the untamed Indonesian half via a maze of rivers. But one of his Geo classmates was son of a governor there, and strongly warned him not to do it due to the fact that cannibalism was not a mere rumor. Just a few months before an overweight German tourist got behind the trekking party and became smorgasbord. So he turned down the offer, but later accepted an invitation to a wholly unexplored section of the Chinese Karakoram by the GPS firm. All that GPS technology failed miserably, and two sherpas flown in from Nepal got lost on the glaciers. Remarkably, they were both found alive and not in a crevasse, even though snow-blinded. Nor were they allowed to take any film pictures. By contract, any images had to be live-transmitted via satellite for publicity purposes. Lots didn't get through, and the ones that did were horribly fuzzy. Sad,because what was lost included some first ascents of very high remote peaks. Somebody did sneak a film Nikon in a jacket but got sued afterwards. Bob, have you seen the big coffee table book of the Karakoram done by Shirahata using a 4x5 Technika? Quite a project!
    I've seen the Karakoram from the Pakistan side and its just breathtaking. That was pre LF days sadly. Wouldn't go back to the area given the current political climate but the people there are very nice and Ismailis who follow the Aga Khan and are supposedly descendant of Alexander the Great's men. Very handsome people with striking light colored eyes.

  5. #45
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Tripod questions, chamonix 045N-2, hiking

    My nephew always traveled on a Dutch rather than US passport. His climbing partner at the time, John Climaco, was kidnapped on the upper Baltoro Glacier and later published a book called Dangerous Liaisons about his harrowing escape. My uncle was inducted into the Explorer's Club for being the first person of European descent in modern times to explore much of northern Afghanistan. He was sent over as an engineer by the US to modernize Kabul's water system. This involved both the selection of the site for their version of Lake Powell, a huge blue lake in redrock desert called Band-I-Amir, and even more interestingly, the repair of Alexander's original waterworks which had been largely functional for over two thousand years. People often think of Alexander as a roving bandit, but he was actually the most brilliant logistical general in history and a remarkable city planner equipped with his own extensive engineering division, plus Greek shepherds who were the world's first special forces with rock-climbing skills, necessary to sneak up Afghan fortresses atop peaks. The blue-eyed inhabitants of western China are decendants of Alexander's troops for the Caucasus - you either joined his forces or got killed - that's
    how he insured he wasn't going to be seriously opposed on his return trip. I have an elderly cousin who grew up in Kabul. The city was so safe prior to the Russian invasion that nobody even had either doors or doorlocks, just a blanket hanging in the doorway. No crime. But remote hill country was a different story, with bloody tribal feuds going back centuries, and even roving wolf packs attacking and eating people, something nonexistent with wolf behavior in the Western hemisphere. My aunt witnessed one of those incidents. When she passed away in Oregon about 25 years ago, her walls were still covered with
    Afghan copperwork and the floors with multiple layers of handwoven Persian rugs from their 18 years there. I was invited to live with them a year in Nepal when I was twelve, but had serious food allergies at that time, so it was not deemed wise. Their house overlooked the Kali Ghandaki gorge straight at Annapurna. Much later, when I was about 40, a famous Himalayan climber offered to give me the world altitude record for a large format camera by taking me as high as Camp Two on Dhaulagiri, near Annapurna but even higher. But I fell in love instead and had to settle for lesser misadventures here.

  6. #46

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    Re: Tripod questions, chamonix 045N-2, hiking

    I never realised that this post would go on....

    and I'm quite liking reading all the posts by Drew too!

  7. #47

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    Re: Tripod questions, chamonix 045N-2, hiking

    Well, wanted to thank everyone that contributed to this thread.

    In the end I treated myself to a Gitzo 3 series mountaineer long tripod, GT3542L. Added a lighter but still capable ballhead, an Arca Swiss P0. I managed to save around 500g on my old tripod/ballhead and have hopefully a lot more stable support. Very expensive though! Hopefully they'll both last me the 10 years which my old set-up did, and hopefully longer.

    Cheers

    Graham

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