1. “Nepal: Before and After the Earthquake.” Confronting nature’s extremes on Everest and in Katmandu.
“Three weeks ago, the photographer Giles Price was on Mount Everest, taking pictures of climbers and their camps—the provisional little tent cities that sprout on that brutal frontier for several weeks every year, during climbing season, and then disappear. These settlements are determined but fragile, heroic but also insignificant—a bunch of colorful little spots on a very large mountain, like splattered paint. Photographed from a helicopter overhead, Price says, the tents ’very much start to look like mankind’s footprint on another planet.’ Price was back in Nepal’s capital, Katmandu, asking for the check at lunch, when the first temblor hit on April 25. For a second, no one seemed sure what was happening; your imagination has to do a lot of work before you can accept that the ground is actually convulsing beneath you. But the shock had a magnitude of 7.8. People caught on quickly. Avalanches on Everest, triggered by the quake, killed at least 18 people, some of them Sherpas hired as guides. But the most crushing stories of devastation continue to come from Nepal’s remote villages, many of which were initially cut off from aid by landslides. The accounts hint at the trauma of seeing an environment mostly taken for granted as stable and secure suddenly disintegrate. There was the house that fell on a little girl who had just walked inside to fetch water. There was the nursing mother who looked up and saw the unthinkable: ’The hills all came down.’”