Misty valleys and mountains in Himalayan dawn; Nagarkot Tower, Nagarkot, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Description: Nagarkot, north of Bhaktapur, and on the edge of the Kathmandu Valley, is the nearest place to Kathmandu that Everest can be sighted, though only the tiniest part of it, and at considerable distance. At 2195m (7201'), it is pleasant, clean and cool, and is famous for its fabulous dawn views of the Himalaya, before the mountains become slowly obscured by cloud over the course of the morning. On two previous visits over the years I had managed to see very little, but on my third visit I was able to spend a week there just after the end of the monsoon, enjoying some great mornings, and one truly exceptional one, that ranks as my best dawn shoot ever. This shot was taken looking due north to the Langtang Himal. Mists, lit by crepuscular rays ('godbeams'), fills the valleys of the foothills in the foreground whilst a band of the high mountains is revealed by the cloud, over 50km distant but incredibly foreshortened by some atmospheric effect that I am unable to explain. Sheer magic.