Author Archives: JeffFuchs

About JeffFuchs

Bio Having lived for most of the past decade in Asia, Fuchs’ work has centered on indigenous mountain cultures, oral histories with an obsessive interest in tea. His photos and stories have appeared on three continents in award-winning publications Kyoto Journal, TRVL, and Outpost Magazine, as well as The Spanish Expedition Society, The Earth, Silkroad Foundation, The China Post Newspaper, The Toronto Star, The South China Morning Post and Traveler amongst others. Various pieces of his work are part of private collections in Europe, North America and Asia and he serves as the Asian Editor at Large for Canada’s award-winning Outpost magazine. Fuchs is the Wild China Explorer of the Year for 2011 for sustainable exploration of the Himalayan Trade Routes. He recently completed a month long expedition a previously undocumented ancient nomadic salt route at 4,000 metres becoming the first westerner to travel the Tsa’lam ‘salt road’ through Qinghai. Fuchs has written on indigenous perspectives for UNESCO, and has having consulted for National Geographic. Fuchs is a member of the fabled Explorers Club, which supports sustainable exploration and research. Jeff has worked with schools and universities, giving talks on both the importance of oral traditions, tea and mountain cultures. He has spoken to the prestigious Spanish Geographic Society in Madrid on culture and trade through the Himalayas and his sold out talk at the Museum of Nature in Canada focused on the enduring importance of oral narratives and the Himalayan trade routes. His recently released book ‘The Ancient Tea Horse Road’ (Penguin-Viking Publishers) details his 8-month groundbreaking journey traveling and chronicling one of the world’s great trade routes, The Tea Horse Road. Fuchs is the first westerner to have completed the entire route stretching almost six thousand kilometers through the Himalayas a dozen cultures. He makes his home in ‘Shangrila’, northwestern Yunnan upon the eastern extension of the Himalayan range where tea and mountains abound; and where he leads expeditions the award winning ‘Tea Horse Road Journey’ with Wild China along portions of the Ancient Tea Horse Road. To keep fueled up for life Fuchs co-founded JalamTeas which keeps him deep in the green while high in the hills.

Darjeeling Chronicles (2 of 2) – Jungpana

It is a day of rest for the workers with only a few finishing up with a newly finished late harvest offering. The nearby high Mahalderam estate makes up the famed ‘quad’ of formidable tea providers joining Goomtee, Jungpana, and Muscatel in this valley of the leaf. Continue reading

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Darjeeling Chronicles 1 (of 2) – To Jungpana Slowly

A joy is sometimes not having a huge frame of reference nor expectation. There are no cues, limited preconceptions, and there is that wonderful feeling of slight ignorance. It is in this ‘not knowing’ that there is some room to … Continue reading

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Glaciers’ Breath ll – Gangotri Update V – A Descent

Berinder is impatient and staring in his mournful way at Saurabh and I to hurry. He wants to move and it is our day to make another incursion into the Chaturangi Glacier valley and then head south up a smaller … Continue reading

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Glaciers’ Breath ll – Gangotri Update lV – Nandanvan (Paradise)

Camp Nandanvan (or “Paradise”) is the first of a series of camps within the greater valley that shoots northeast out of Gangotri. Gangotri is one of 4 “dhams”, or places of pilgrimage for Hindus. To the west, Yamunotri is where the Yamuna River is worshipped, Gangotri where we are is where the Ganga or Ganges is worshipped, Kedarnath where Shiva is worshipped (Kedar is another name for Shiva, who is considered not a god, but rather a yogi), and finally Badrinath where Vishnu is worshipped (Badri is one of the names for Vishnu). Continue reading

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Glaciers’ Breath ll – Ganges Gangotri Update 3

The line is uneven. Random dark and bright spots lie along a long diagonal path that at times is nothing but some smudges in the sand. Our team is spread along a kilometer long portion heading south further into the … Continue reading

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Glacier’s Breath Expedition – Gangotri Update 2

Berinder is his name. Tiny, unsmiling, and topped off with a vibrant pink woolen cap I’ve locked onto him and his intense energy. These porters can take the breath with their abilities to pirouette on little more than rubber soles, … Continue reading

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Glaciers’ Breath ll – Gangotri Update l

First steps towards Gangotri Glacier involve words from an impeccable source. For six decades Swami Sunderland has climbed, wandered, and worshipped the great bodies of ice and stone from his simple home in Gangotri. He arrived here and was held … Continue reading

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Glaciers’ Breath ll Update – Ice, Ganges, and Shiva

the name Ganga or Ganges was given to the River Bhagirathi which originates at Gomukh. The wonderful tale continues that the Holy Ganges River was once a celestial river called the Akash Ganga (Akash – sky or space, and Ganga – river). Akash Ganga is the Hindu mythological equivalent of the Milky Way. Akash was convinced to come down from the heavens by King Bharigath. She descended into the locks of hair of Shiva and broke up into several channels. Thus in many paintings of Shiva, one can see the Ganga River issuing from his locks. Continue reading

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The Glaciers’ Breath ll Expedition – The Ganges’ Source

Sources of rivers are rarely seen or acknowledged and it is perhaps more clearly in the sources that one can feel the absolute core vibrancy and life of what is known as पानी – paanee – ‘water’ in Hindi. It is said often in India that “water is life”. This journey is to travel to a source of so much life. Continue reading

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He Kai Ancient Tree Puerh – A Long Walk

Nothing quite ‘scars’ the palate like a magnificent hit of a powerful tea. From that moment forward something has changed and it might as well be an actual mark or scar because it is memorable and it changes everything for … Continue reading

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