Saturday, September 3, 2011

2011 Kang Yatze climb and Markha Valley trek

Kang Yatze

We left the town of Leh on a splitter clear morning, and wound up the Zanskar River to Chilling. Heading into the Markha Valley, we crossed the river on a suspension cable and began moving high.

Markha Valley

Expedition members

Navdeep Brah

Agnieszka Pilarczyk

walking through the village of Skiu in Markha.

moving high out of the Markha Valley, we began our climbs. Dawn on Reponi Mallai Ri below.

Early morning views down the Markha Valley from Reponi Mallai Ri, the Karakoram beckoning on the distant horizon. So comforting to live in such a massive world, where there simply is too much to be explored. In a lifetime, if you search and go and see and find; you come to the end of your life to realize the places you once knew as familiar are new again.


views from our climb of Kang Yatze II.

The crew: Tenpa Tsering, Ram Lal, and Harish Kumar; stand on top of our final pass; the Matho La.

The view down in to the Matho valley, where we would share our final days of this experience with a snow leopard couple. Never seen, the local shepherd man, Namgyal, explained with wide eyes how they had taken 9 of his sheep. A tough summer, he had moved to the far side of the valley and holed up in a tight corner to keep a close eye on his flock. Feeling bad, we purchased some of the mutton from him from one of the sheep the snow leopards had killed. Mutton Thukpa for dinner, mmm, thank you , leopards.

Safely down from high altitude, we celebrate around the fire in the Matho gorge; swapping stories and laughter as the moon rises.

Camp in the
Matho gorge

We opted to not go to Stok Kangri this year. More than 1000 people climbed the peak before the end of June. I found the base camp year past to be trashed and heavily hit by over use (and that was after cleaning the area for an hour with sterile gloves on). I believe it needs to be left alone, simply because of overuse. We are working to set up clean up in the Stok base camp area with local agencies. We will move into more remote areas and continue to explore Ladakh. Stay tuned! We head in to Mustang in a few weeks, then the Khumbu for October and November (Nepal) . Get out and go hiking and climbing! -Luke : )

check out a video view of base camp for Kang Yaze.