Day 20: Crossing the glorious Nango La Pass and a very rare red panda sighting

Posted on 17 Mar 2017

Olangchung Gola 3200m. 17 March 2017

The 14th saw us head up to camp below the Nango La, where we were treated to more snow as we were pitching camp.

We arose on the 15th and followed the trail, we presume made by the New Zealand team, but made into passable steps by our heroic sherpas leading us up and over Nango La (4776m). It was a steep climb that tested lungs and balance and everyone was pleased to reach the top after three hours of climbing though the snow.

Descending was an interesting, slippery, and precarious trek, often through waist deep powder snow that hid obstacles below. This four hour descent led us down to a pleasant Kharka, grazing area, for our nights camp.

The next day we headed down the valley through numerous land slip sites and past beautiful waterfalls for Olangchunggola. On the trail we were extremely lucky to see a Red Panda perched in a tree next to the trail. These animals are very rare, it was Judda's first sighting in 24 years of trekking, so we were very privileged.

Olangchunggola is a Tibetan village that was only attained after a 90 minute climb, one section of which was a precarious series of switchbacks up a near vertical slope, we then became inadvertent yak herders unable to pass four of the beasts as they followed the track to the village. It was nice to be able to set out the tents on the ground rather than snow when we arrived, and we all looked forward to today's rest day and a chance to do some washing and charging.

Downtown Olangchung GolaUnfortunately, the gods of the Himalaya had different ideas and we arose this morning to a covering of snow, which continues to fall. We heard news that the New Zealand team passed through here a few days ago, and have turned back; presumably due to the conditions ahead. Tomorrow we plan to move forward towards Lumba Sumba pass; snow, weather and the gods permitting. From a freshly snowy Olangchunggola, till next time.

De nou la boira i la neu s'han presentat transformant el poble d'Olangchunggola en una imatge fantasmagorica, mentres els habitants es reclouen i els yaks busquen aixopluc. El hivern encara no vol abandonar-nos pero confiem que la fortalessa dels porters i de tot l'equip del World Expedition seran claus per superar el Lumba Sumba pass. A Gola sembla que el temps s'ha aturat, les families a cada casa es dediquen amb afany a la fabricacio d'alfombres artesanals de vius colors amb motius budistes i dracs Tibetans. Fa fred i la humitat se't fica a dins el moll dels ossos, cal pero aguantar I no defallir, la vida en aquestes muntanyes es dura, molt dura, inimaginable per molts dels que habiten en paisos en els que l'aigua surt a l'obrir les aixetes i graduen la calefaccio amb termostats.

Ian, Martin, Jordi, Matt, Campru & T Leader Juddha Rai.

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