Saturday, September 8, 2012

2012 Tsomoriri Peaks Exploratory

Our second trip to the high and wild Tsomoriri region, this journey was nothing short of spectacular, with the right amount of exploring, excellent cuisine, and some good laughs in the dining tent.  We're excited to return to this region in July of 2013.
Looking east from the summit ridge of Lanyar peak. The Great Himalaya range in the far distance.
the team on our first morning in Pang.

a trout living at 15,000 feet (4300 meters).  We still haven't identified this little guy. It's challenging to peg a species name on juvenile salmonids due to their markings not being fully developed.

Our first day trekking on the braided Tsumkar Togpo river. We spotted a new species of fish (above) that we've yet to identify; while weaving our way through the grazing yaks and river crossings.

As you trek along in this high nomadic region, you can see evidence of the prevalence of livestock etched into the landscape. Here, the numerous trails of the Pashm goats that locals work are seen on a small pass. View a video of locals tending their flocks.  "Pashm" is a Persian word meaning "wool", and Pashmina is the product produced from the wool that is sold internationally as scarves, blankets, and apparel; hand made mostly in Kashmir.  Ladakh is one of three regions where the goats reside, requiring long, cold winters with freezing temperatures for the goats to grow the fine wool, which is 7 times thinner than a human hair. 

If you look closely in this image, you can see our tiny camp adjacent to the gur (yak hair) tents of the local Changpa nomads.  They work these high altitude valleys (~16,100 feet, 4900 meters) in the summer months, giving their sheep, goats, and yaks adequate nutrition to ride out the sparse winter months.

This particular image depicts the views looking south from the summit ridge of Lanyar peak.  We first viewed this peak in 2011 while crossing the Lanyar La ('La" means pass in Tibetan), with one member climbing it from the pass.

the sun comes as we approach Kharpa Ri.

The scrambling section on Kharpa Ri.

ascending a hand line on a steep bit of Kharpa Ri.

Lake Tsomoriri.

moving through the Pare valley with some high 6000 meter peaks above.

Our camp in the Pare river valley, ringed by 6000 meter peaks and wild valleys to explore.  There is tremendous potential for exploration in this area.

a storm approaches as Kunsang crosses a tributary of the Pare river.

high camp at the Parang La

cleaning up Parang La high camp.

the summit of the Parang La after an overnight snowfall.