For this trip, the weather was kind. We only had to endure one lightning and hail storm at 5000 meters, and only lost one member of the staff (long and humorous story, he's fine now and still with us). We climbed nine 6000 meter peaks as a group. Images below highlight the experience.
We began our trip in Zanskar, trekking through pretty country and getting used to the altitude. We moved above 4500 meters on the third day of our trek, and remained above this elevation for more than two weeks. Images below of the beginning.
Beautiful Tso Kar lake
Our first 6000 meter experience on peaks around Tso Kar.
Abseiling and descending after traversing.
Yalung Nong, we climbed these two high altitude bumps next to Tsomoriri, bringing a good view of the lake
Ana walking down through loess from the Rupshu ice cap
Our next objectives
Our base camp for the peak behind, 6272 m
Our camp on the other side of the Korzok Range, in Zozogong
Peaks we plan to climb in 2012
Tsomoriri Lake from Yalung Nong
This gang carries tents, food, and climbing gear for the trek; over high passes and through difficult river sections. They are nice, tough, and friendly with each other. In each camp, they are set free to roam around in the high mountains. They are the reason we are able to climb so many peaks, allowing us to conserve our energy for climbing. Harish rises up at 4 each morning and goes to find them. Sometimes, they can be over in another valley. They have an affinity for the finest of grasses. Each animal is from the Kullu valley, although Jhontah is quite special. He's a riding horse from the Spiti valley. All the others treat him with equal respect though. We bring along a riding horse for resupply, and also if someone is injured and can't continue trekking. Ram Lal rode Jhontah to Tsomoriri Lake this year to resupply our rice and obtain a few beers to celebrate our traverse of the Rupshu Ice Cap. Great coworkers.
Roster: (in order of appearance) : Mastoo, Shanti, Biloo, Gurtoo, Rani, Rupa (leader), Bobii, Kali, Raja, Lakoo, Ichor, Tipti, Nilah, Phaul, Jhontah.
Pack Team staff:
These men own and run the horses for our treks and climbs in the Indian Himalaya. They are hard workers, great friends, and aren't too shabby at cricket. We usually have a daily cricket game in camp, and Harish usually spearheads its impetus. Harish is one of the happiest people I know. When he isn't sleeping, he is either singing or laughing. Ram Lal is the wise one, always with with his two cents to provide to any conversation about the mountains. Mamoo is quiet, and a solid worker.
Roster: (in order of appearance) : Harish, Ram, and Mamoo
Crew and Staff
Tenpa, Vivek, Tashi, Yeshi, and Phuntsok joined us again for the Tsomoriri trip. See them on the Kang La trip report.
Stay tuned! We head into the Markha valley to climb in four days! A small trip, we'll move light and quick to accomplish as much as we can. Nav Brah has already arrived, and he and I plan to ride Enfield motorcycles around the Indus valley over the next few days. Aga arrives from Poland on Saturday, and is bringing her rock climbing shoes along so we can do some climbing here in the valley. Then, off to Markha! See you in three weeks..