Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Part 2 - Markha Valley Trek

I'm a bit slow to post, but here is the second part of my trip to Ladakh. 

After three days of acclimatization, we took off on an 8-day trek through the Markha Valley. Although I battled a stomach flu the first few days, the trek was entirely a success. We traversed valleys, forded glacial rivers, and crossed two passes at 16,000 and 17,000 feet. We saw a bit of rain and snow, but mostly the sun was consistently strong and the skies an intensely beautiful blue. 




Indus River Valley







Ponies taking a break



The crew at the top of Ganda La Pass (16,000ft)


Starting the descent to the valley




Day 3: Three tents at Shingo Campsite

Parachute tent selling tea and snacks.

First glimpses of Skyu - the monastery and stupa.
 
Huge Buddha in a 1,000 year old monastery in Skyu.

Metal smith in Skyu.

Ibex horns and other items stacked and hung to protect the valley and its travelers.
 
The Markha Valley.

Markha Monastery.
 
Ladakhi woman coming down from the high sierra and trying to sell us some "fresh" sheep meat.

Baby in a basket!

Day 5 Stars! Psyching up for a climb up near the snow in the background. 

Rinchen taking in the view.

Tents at Nimaling (15,500 ft) with Kang Yatse peak (21,500ft) in the background.

Evening ritual - the sheep coming down from grazing for the night.

Hundreds of sheep and one tiny bridge!

Shephard

Last one across. 

Pony men tent. 

Warming up with hot chai!

The group at the top of Gongmaru La Pass (17,000ft)! 
Laura, Marie, Nicole, Amy, Guide Rinchen, Me, Chris.





Triumphant!

360 view


Lunch Break at the pass.


Clouds clearing.

Reaching flat land again.

Back to the green valleys!

Tea Tent





1 comment:

Bill K. said...

What a fantastic trek you've experienced!! Theres absolutely no place that equals the Himalayas for wild, almost unadulterated beauty, especially in the high places.

When you're an old woman these pictures, the memory of these places, and the people you met and shared them with will comfort and warm you.

I'm so grateful that in these my later years there is a mechanism that allows me to see and experience vicariously places like this with you. Thanks for sharing.
Bill K..