Wednesday, April 4, 2012

2012 Changtang Winter Peak Exploration

Stephanie Schnieder flew in to Ladakh in February with a singular objective to climb to 6000 meters, in winter.  Day one, we quickly began acclimatizing; exploring old town Leh, and visiting with locals.  We developed our objective based on weather for the week, and current road conditions.  Planning ahead for winter 6000 meter ascents in Ladakh can leave you searching for consolation prizes, as passes close overnight, and where you can get in, you may not be able to get out.  After meeting with our local expert jeep  man, Angchuk, we hatched our plan.  We would head in to Tso Kar lake, over 5250 meter Polokongka La, and go for a quick ascent of 6053 meter Tukje Ri.  We knew that the pass could close any day due to wind drifting snow, and made sure the skies kept clear and nothing harbingered a change on the horizon.

A herd of more than 100 Kiang graze on the plains of Tso Kar.

Angchuk Changpa - 4 wheel drive specialist , Stephanie Schneider - climber , and Lobsang Otzer - local guide

Tso Kar lake in winter (4400 meters)

In the end, Stephanie accomplished her goal of getting to 6000 meters on Gursak Ri, and we toured Tso Kar lake in winter, all in 7 days.  The weather was on her side.  Stay tuned! We head to Shishapangma in Tibet in two weeks for an 8000 meter climb on the north ridge. .  Gyalzen, Nima Tenzi, Kaji, and I are busy preparing for Shishapangma now..