While other climbers slept, Saikaly took several Canon DSLRs out into the dark and frigid nights to document the Himalayan skies seen by climbers trying to reach “the top of the world.”
Here’s what Saikaly has to say about the experience:
These time lapse images were captured as high as 6200m (camp 2) above sea level on Mt. Everest. We slept at 6000m for three consecutive nights on the summit of Mt. Lobuche East waiting for a glimpse of Everest from that vantage point. Around 11pm on the 2nd night, the skies opened up and the top of the world revealed herself in all of her glory.
Nowhere else on the planet have I ever seen the Milky Way so clear, so vivid and so very much alive. It takes a great deal of discipline to stay up all night capturing the magic for the world to experience. Cameras freeze. Shutters freeze. Batteries freeze. Humans freeze. The high altitude environment is debilitating at best. Your body is taking a constant beating by the low levels of oxygen in the atmosphere. The higher you climb of course, the worse this becomes.
Everything was shot with a Canon 1D C, two 5D Mark IIIs, a 5DS R, a 24mm lens, a 16mm lens, and an 11-24mm lens.
Saikaly released an earlier time-lapse short film about Mt. Everest five years ago, and that video has since received over 1 million views: