During the month of September I was trekking around the Western Himalayan region dubbed ‘little Tibet’. Briefly I based myself in the town of Leh at 3500m above sea level.
My first trek was from Jingchan near Leh over to the mountain town of Chiling and then onto the monastery village of Lamayuru over 6 days passing over several passes up to the height of 4890m.
My second trek was for the peak of Stok Kangri at 6137m. However things didn’t go plan and after camping at the base camp at 5000m I awoke at 3am to make my way to the summit. I was going well over the glacier at 5400m and passing parties that had left earlier. But then there was the snow slope where most of the height was gained. It was on this slope that I felt my worst with the altitude and after digging deep I made it onto the summit ridge with only about 150m of ascent to the top. However I was far from well and after making my way slowly along the ridge I knew it wasn’t on and called it a day at about 6000m. So with a splitting headache I made my way back to base camp in an hour. Still with a headache over brunch I needed to head down further so I made my way back to the village to Stok at 3600m in 2 hours.
After a few days rest I went on the ‘baby trek’ from Likir to Temisgam over 3 days visiting many villages and monasteries and learning a lot about the culture by living with the locals.
Finally with just under a week left with the average temperature dropping I made my way from Hemis over the GonmaruLa Pass at 5260m to Nimaling the high shepherds settlement at 4700m with the view of going up Kang Yatse shoulder at 6200m. However upon closer inspection of the snow slope up to the shoulder the snow was too fresh and loose to attempt it on my own so I headed back from the base camp to Nimaling. And good decision it was as the next morning I awoke to a blizzard and had to wait a while to get back over the GonmaruLa Pass.
But in good spirits and without regrets I headed back to Leh. It was with great sadness that I had to leave for Delhi after a month of very friendly, welcoming people and amazing landscapes. A unique place in the world that can teach the world a lot.