Seen across the border from Tibet, the north face of Mt Everest is a steep, towering mass of frigid rock and ice. But, even from a distance, Chomolungma, as it is known to the Tibetans, has a tangible and dignified timelessness that is a definite match of myth to reality. The largest, most-famous mountain on earth lives up to all expectation on clear days, or wreathed in storm clouds, or with a high plume of snow swept sideways from its peak. Up close for climbers it must be daunting as much as exciting; the north face is the more difficult and spectacular route to the summit. But from Tibet, with the Rongphu monastery in the foreground, you’ll still experience its significance as the earth’s closest point to the heavens.