Saturday, October 15, 2011

2011 Upper Mustang Wild

We flew to Jomsom, and began our ascent into upper Mustang; the modern world quickly falling behind us as we took in the immense views of glaciated peaks and high, cold desert.  Our purpose was to visit the kingdom of Lo, and then explore the area between it and Dolpo, to the west.  Hence, an expedition.  An expedition is roughly defined as a journey undertaken for an exploratory purpose.  While there are maps on much of the Himalaya, the majority are a far cry from accurate. We set out to find out on each trip.

 Mustang is culturally a piece of Tibet, politically landlocked in Nepal.  We were lucky enough to meet the king and prince of Lo (the capital and also the local name for the region),  explore some wild valleys on the fringe between Dolpo and Mustang, and climb some new peaks. Images below highlight moments of an incredible experience.

our camp in Kagbeni with an immense view down the Kali Gandaki

trekking in to Syangboche canyon

Chungsi cave monastery in the Syangboche gorge

trail scenery between Samar and Chele

Chele Canyon

 looking towards the Nilgiri peaks from near Samar

one of several large chortens along the route to Lo Manthang

Lo Manthang

brass bowl in the old palace capital of Lo

a cave gonpa in the village of Chosor

climbing out of Lo Manthang for some peak exploration

a few of the many wild peaks of Mustang

Brocken Spectre 

crossing into a wild section of Mustang, Annapurna I (8091m) in the far distance

climbing a remote peak near the Tibetan border

returning from the climb

full moon rising over wild Dolpo

trekking down the Ghemi Khola valley at dawn

escaping the Ghemi Khola gorge over a pass

almost free from the clutches of the wild Ghemi Khola gorge

Trek Members

Raewyn Moss , Ornella C.

Deborah Lepore

Carsten Nebel -

Luke Smithwick - trip leader

Pik Chun 

Rhonda Martin, Heidi Laki, Katrina Mead


Bim - lead horseman, quiet

Dawa - sirdar (lead guide), confident and self assured

Karma - local guide, resourceful 

Da Norbu -  guide,  good sense of humor

Da Lhakpa - kitchen helper, jack of all trades

Nima - guide, intuitive

Nawang - guide , strong and patient

Pack Team - These mules are the cream of the crop in Mustang, and owned by Karma's family in Samar.  They are highly skilled at their trade and extremely strong for their size.  They enabled us to climb higher and trek farther.  Good coworkers.

Roster (in order of appearance) : Tsering, Tikri, Thoma (riding pony), Tashi, Samden, Mugri, Moti, Kyo, Kesang, Kansah, Kansah 2, Jamling, Gover, Davrah, Balu, Nani, Phuche, Kangru.

Stay tuned!  We're currently in the Everest region exploring side valleys and preparing to climb Island Peak, then the Amphu Labtsa, and finally Mera Peak.  It's amazing stepping just five minutes off the trail how wild it feels up here. : )