Heart of the Himalaya is a rich photo tribute to the people of the world’s highest mountain range by Pat and Baiba Morrow, two photojournalists who have travelled extensively through it for the past 33 years.
The 170 high-resolution photos (optimized for the iPad’s retina display) featured in the book are a distillation of more than 22,000 images that the Morrows have captured during their travels.
The book also includes:
— three videos
— a synopsis of the Morrow’s 20+ Himalaya trips
— diary excerpts
— a resource section useful to trekkers
While readers will recognize some of the region’s landscapes, the focus is on the people who form the heart of this mountain world. This project was born from an acclaimed 2014 photographic exhibit of their work (also entitled Heart of the Himalaya) at Banff’s renowned Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.
Perhaps this “coffee tablet” ebook’s most treasured images are from Tibet, a country under tight Chinese control that has seldom been open to foreigners since the early 1950s. The Morrows’ photos of its monks, monasteries and market places capture a world that is being destroyed by a government intent on homogenizing an ancient civilization.
Pat and Baiba have travelled to the Himalaya for many reasons.
— Climbing Everest in 1982 before guided expeditions created crowds and line-ups on the world’s highest peak.
— Journeying 10,000 kilometres (partially by bicycle) around the Himalaya from Lhasa to Kashgar, and into Pakistan, northern India and Nepal in 1987.
— Filming mountaineering expeditions and medical/educational organizations from Pakistan to Tibet and Bhutan.
— Visiting shepherds in the craggy passes of Gilgit Baltistan and Tibetan refugees in Ladakh.
— Meeting Tibetan refugees in the remote settlements of Arunachal Pradesh.
— Trekking for the joy of endless walks at the top of the world.
Wherever they have taken their cameras (both video and still), the Morrows have focused on the people they meet — and have been particularly drawn to displaced Tibetans who have fled their homeland for safer lands.
“Heart of the Himalaya” is a beautiful tribute to the people who are indeed the heart and soul of one of the world’s most challenging and magnificent environments.
Pat Morrow is also author and photographer of “Everest: High Expectations,” a multi-touch ebook.
The search goes on.
Much has changed during the last four decades in the Himalaya; and much has not. In the changes, we see both benefit and loss. Roads push ever farther into remote regions once reached only by days or weeks of walking, and bring quicker access at the cost of ancient values. Children find educational opportunities far beyond what their parents knew, and disappear to cities and other countries, tearing at the social fabric of their ancestors. A rising sea of plastic trash, air pollution, and industrial-world noise finds its way into ever-higher elevations until, in the words of mountain people, the magic dies – the fairies, the spirits, the mysteries, the ineffable, heart-stopping beauty fades away like the day’s last rosy light on a Himalayan summit.
Yet so much remains. Pat and Baiba Morrow’s Heart of the Himalaya takes us on a hopeful journey across decades of change, from a time when it was still possible to be the first Canadians local people had ever met, to now when trading email addresses is a standard form of greeting. In these beautiful photographs, and carefully chosen words (which seem to increasingly feature people, not scenery, as the Morrows push into middle age themselves) we see a human-scale progress. Old ways meet new ways. Jeans and fleece jackets mix with native dress. Young mountain people look more knowingly, more worldly, into the camera lens. They do it with an evident optimism that causes this old skeptic to reassess.
The 12-minute film included with the book (these enhanced iBooks can be amazingly rich) called Hocky Night in Ladakh speaks volumes about the frontier between time-tested tradition and the inexorably powerful modern world. Don’t worry, play hockey! The larger lesson, for me at least, is that we should never underestimate the ability of any people, anywhere, to make appropriate decisions for themselves. We western pilgrims have always thought of the Himalaya as a place where people know something we don’t. This excellent book suggests that the search is still worth making, even if, like a beyul, we never find the answer.
Sacred World Explorations
Review of ‘Heart of the Himalaya’ by Pat and Baiba Morrow
Whether you are an armchair explorer, old Himalayan hand, a techie, or simply enjoy fine photography and a good story, ‘Heart of the Himalaya,’ by Pat and Baiba Morrow, is a book that will thrill you and make you want to travel to the Himalaya either physically or visually.
For over 30 years Pat and Baiba have weaved their way through and across the Himalaya region exploring, developing lifelong friendships, inspiring and supporting humanistic and environmental causes, with wide open eyes (cameras) and zeal.
With their long-time friend and Bungalo Book publisher, Frank B. Edwards, they have created a cutting edge “Coffee Tablet” eBook, which is multi-media/multi touch, and launches from Apple’s iBook platform. For the best results view on an iPad. With ‘Heart of the Himalaya’ you will experience the wave of the future in multi-media publishing.
Pat and Baiba Morrow have climbed (Pat was the second Canadian to climb Mount Everest in October 1982 and would later go on to become the first person the successfully climb the Seven Summits), bicycled, trekked, and have often spent extended periods hunkered down with locals or on extended remote journeys.
During these amazing trips Pat and Baiba amassed an archive of over 22,000 photographs, sound recordings, and unique videography (Hockey Night in Ladakh is my favorite).
‘Heart of the Himalaya’ uses this extensive archive to bring the viewer a magical multi-media experience that documents the Morrows unprecedented explorations into ancient cultures, esoteric rituals, lofty summits, and the most sublime landscape on earth. I applaud Pat and Baiba Morrow’s achievements and I have been inspired by them for years; their journeys often fueling my own to that sacred part of the world.
‘Heart of the Himalaya’ is the real deal, created by an extraordinary couple, and I wholeheartedly encourage readers to pull out their iPads, settle into a comfy place, and prepare for the journey of a lifetime…The adventures of Pat and Baiba Morrow. Thumbs up and six stars! Rob “Tor” Torkildson
Heart of the Himalaya: in the right place
Pat and Baiba Morrow have created an experience in this tablet eBook like the beyul described early on by Dr. Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa in a video interview. With the right preparation you’ll have new insight and find amazing material in this iBook.
Many people come to the Himalaya looking for something. A few come and see. The Morrow’s photography and text bring much meaning to the Himalaya. Their photo captions act as a guide to material you might not see such as on pages 6, 8 and 33.
The format allows you skim through, or pause and scroll through panels. But you have to engage to find the beyul. This book is a guide in that journey. No matter how much of the Himlaya you have been to, there is much to be discovered in their ultra-modern incaration of long lost scrolls.
Disclaimer: I have done trips with the authors and am mentioned in the book.