Y.Chroma Journal

Join us on our journey of midlife male re-invention. The places we go, the brand we build, the clothes we wear and the craftsmanship that drives us.

Nepal: As Gorgeous As It Is Challenging


Nepal: As Gorgeous As It Is Challenging

By Max Israel · Jun 26, 2024

I'm back after a few weeks of exploring Kathmandu and the mountains of Nepal.
Nepal was the perfect place to clear my mind, push my body and put a series of pieces and fabrics to the test as we do the grunt work of designing rugged outdoor pieces for next year.

 Special thanks to my pal, nature photographer Alex Bogaard, and the amazing people at Madison Mountaineering. I couldn't ask for better friends and collaborators with whom to explore the world.

Katmandu, love the colors.


One of my favorite memories of this trip was Alex and my night roaming Kathmandu. We had been at our group dinner in that city the night before heading up toward Everest Basecamp and, as we returned to the hotel, I was really feeling the jet lag.

Alex made it clear that the night was far from over. We would grab camera equipment and head out into the late Kathmandu night in search of photos. I was tempted to argue that we shouldn't go, but after all these years I knew that this would be futile.  So, off we went into the night.

Alex is a remarkable artist, so my role in this kind of misadventure is usually carrying his gear and watching his back as he invariably finds his way into off-the-beaten-path areas.

The photos we captured were magic, but the cast of characters we met was what really made the night special.

The trip up valley using planes, oxen and the occasional helicopter was amazing. We stayed in boarding houses which started as cute, cottage places and got progressively more primitive the higher we got. I was sure glad for that extra thick sleeping bag!


Temperatures and conditions along the Khumbu Valley are as varied as the stunning terrain. And that was part of the point.  

My mission was both enjoying this part of the world for the first time, and to test a collection of serious, adventure-ready pieces that bring the Y.Chroma aesthetic and build quality with us when it's time to get rugged. 

I've always felt that most activewear felt cheap, and even the "good stuff" is generally mass produced to mass market standards. So, I'm going to build us something better.

Our route was a memorable couple of weeks trekking through the Himalayas from Lukla (2804m) to Everest Base Camp (5365m). I highly recommend it and, in particular the Madison Mountaineering guide company.