Martin Edström@martinedstrom

Feeling small // @NatGeo Explorer and photographer // I like to put people in other people's shoes // VR & 360 // Founder at @ivarstudios

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Martin Edström

If you missed it, our story on Socotra is finally out on @natgeo - link in bio.
We tell the story of an enchanted archipelago that's threatened from storms both political and literal. Climate change seems to be affecting its weather patterns, and armed forces are claiming larger patches of land in what might turn out to be a modern day land grab of one of the most unique islands on the face of the Earth: Socotra in Yemen.

It's one of those pieces where we got to the limit of our grit after spending almost a week in total on the Arabian Sea to get back and forth to one of the most magical places I've ever experienced.

Read the masterful words of my dear friend @leonmccarron where he describes our journey to the island together with stars @littlemsfossil and @rhystj.
Link in bio.

#socotra #dragonsbloodisland #yemen #middleeast #natgeoimagecollection #treeoflife #natgeo @natgeo


Martin Edström

We're in the land of yaks and buddhist scripture. Glad to be back in this little haven after several years, only to see things have changed for the better.

Despite two earthquakes in 2015 and 2016 the Sherpas of the Khumbu have made sure to bounce back, and Nepal is as famous a trekking destination as ever.

I'm here with @ivarstudios and @sagarmathanext to work with telling the story of the challenges that are still growing, as this remote valley beneath Mt Everest is reaching record levels of visitors - probably reaching over 60 000 visitors this year.
Compare this to the few hundreds that used to live here, and you can probably figure out the amount of pressure on these trails.

#nepal #natgeo #natgeoimagecollection #yaks #scripture #buddhism #asia #khumbu #sagarmatha #everest


Martin Edström

Hanging out in the temples of Nepal is quite an experience on any given day.

If you happen to find yourself atop the sacred hill of Swayambhu on the birthday of a Buddhist lama (leader of the temple and faith), it's even grander. Since this temple is an important hilltop to both Buddhists and Hindus, everyone helps out to light up tens of thousands of candles that set the golden stupa on fire - cutting through the thick Nepali night.

It's one of my favourite places to be, and the first place we went to as we just arrived in Nepal for a project with @ivarstudios and @sagarmathanext

#nepal #kathmandu #buddhism #natgeoimagecollection #awakethesoul #adventurenotwar #temples #spirit


Martin Edström

Never a dull moment. Randomly meeting new people when you least expect it is one of the best parts of working in different places.
I met this woman the day before we headed out on our expedition to Son Doong in 2015, and it stands out in that image collection. Just a pure moment of laughter, as we basically couldn't understand a word of each other's languages.

#vietnam #phongnha #sondoong360 #adventurenotwar #awakethesoul #natgeoimagecollection


Martin Edström

A region at a crossroads, where stark wilderness and increasing tourism has converged in a hotpot of challenges both mental and environmental. At the base of the crazy business of Mt Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, sits the once tiny village of Namche Bazaar at 3400 meters. Nowadays, over 50 000 tourists can pass through here every season.

Excited to be heading back here soon, for the first large production phase of a new project with @ivarstudios for a new initiative in town. While my mental space is all geared up for the storytelling challenges of this majestic area, I'm also upping my trail running sessions to prep for the lack of air; all the while knowing I'll soon be standing there again - out of breath for several reasons.

#altitude #namchebazaar #sagarmatha #everest #natgeocreative #nepal #himalayas #adventurenotwar #awakethesoul #sagarmathanext


Martin Edström

A still moment beneath one of Norway's most impressive granite mountains in Nissedal. As fall is raging on, I can't help but dream back to this summer's moments of rest.

While arguably our most important moments on this great cliff involved conquering climbs we never thought we could, the nights at the river below were just as special. That sweet spot between when the adrenaline has ceded and the mosquitoes are starting to come out.

As always when traveling, even with a measurable goal ahead, it's often the more mundane moments that stick.

#climbing_worldwide #nissedal #mittnorge #adventurenotwar #wymtm #awakethesoul #natgeoimagecollection


Martin Edström

Working on horseback seems a rare pleasure, but turns out it's the only way to navigate some parts of the wilderness we want to survey. These mountains are to steep for cars, and on foot we can't bring enough gear for speleology and photography.

As we're wrapping up our two week long expedition to Tien Shan and the valleys of Naryn, we're tallying up our findings of small caves and potential ones. We've made advances - mapping and 3D-scanning multiple findings - but in many ways just scratched the surface.

My main takeaway though, is the potential discoveries still out there. There are several places we couldn't even reach, that would require weeks in the field. We're going to come back, to this unchartered land of horses, and find what the Soviet scientists didn't... -(More stories will come soon, when we reach regular internet. Massive thanks to @thurayatelecom for helping us do some of these posts from the field!)- #natgeocreative #horseback #kyrgyzstan #expedition #caving #speleology #unchartered #adventurenotwar @ivarsthlm @natgeocreative


Martin Edström

Me and @katjaado (who took this photo) are following a group of international speleologists and scientists looking for caves in remote Kyrgyzstan. This is me and Cecilio, a speleologist from Spain, guiding the drone to a cave opening 2 kilometers in the distance.

We're with the expedition to follow their work on the ground, hoping to document their findings and lending a hand with drone surveys, 3D-scanning and mapping. And to me, it's all about telling their story.

With basecamp in the remote Tien Shan mountains, on the border to China, we spend our days exploring limestone canyons and valleys full of holes - some of which might lead to caves never before explored by man.

Photo by @katjaado

#expedition #natgeocreative #adventurenotwar #tienshan #kyrgyzstan #centralasia


Martin Edström

A sister teaching her 6 year old brother how to ride on the grassland plateaus of the Tien Shan.

We're settling in basecamp #1 of our expedition in Kyrgyzstan. We're here together with the Kyrgyzstan Speleological Association to look for caves and map out parts of the region that has been left pretty much unsurveyed since the Soviet era.

This was our first impression of the place, as these young nomad siblings came riding through our survey area. Can't wait to explore more.

#tienshan #centralasia #horses #basecamp #exploration
#natgeocreative #mountains


Martin Edström

Learning to navigate rivers and rapids is a whole new science to me, and we're taking our first trembling steps. Just like with climbing or any other sport everything seems impossible at first, as you tremble at the thought of trusting yourself to do something that is one notch harder than what you've already done.

You stand there, at the edge of your ability, and have to decide if you can pull it off. Often held back by fear: a fear that seldomly stems from a life-or-death scenario (hopefully) but rather a fear of failure.

Getting into one of the great rapids in the Kvenna river system in Hardangervidda National Park, me and @katjaado came out safely. One notch further up the ladder.

#thisispackrafting #packrafting #kvenna #adventurenotwar #awakethesoul #mittnorge #riverrafting #whitewater #natgeocreative


Martin Edström

I often wonder when the first person thought to build a cairn, marking a trail over the mountains. That person has helped me so many times.

I'm usually quite the gadget guy on the trail, using a GPS-watch and both trail and satellite maps synced to my phone(s). We have a satellite device for emergencies, that can also give us coordinates.

But on those trips when my brick of a USB-battery gets totally discharged, when my phone has cracked and when a GPS device fails for no apparent reason (it happens), I'm very glad that some person who's most probably dead by now decided to put a few stones on top of each other to create a visible path through the wilderness.

It's such a rudimentary system, but it's brilliant. Because it just works (always bring a paper map, though)

#cairn #awakethesoul #mountainexperience #thewilderness #preparation #lowtech #natgeocreative


Martin Edström

Photo by @katjaado, as we're out getting that last bit of summer recharge in the great north.

Me and @ivarsthlm are soon gearing up for our busiest season yet - with everything from 3D-scanning caves in Kyrgyzstan to making a film and VR story about waste management in the Everest region of Nepal. So it's a much needed time-out before the storm.

#awakethesoul #greatoutdoors #natgeoadventure #natgeocreative #greatnorth