Day 35: Seven days out in the wilderness and several high passes

Posted on 01 Apr 2017

Grazing Kharka 3960m. 1 April 2017 

Seven days in the wilderness...

Crossing Adventure passCross Moulin Pokhari

We were prompt leaving the campsite as we were wanting to get over the pass early before the snow softened. After rain in the night we departed at 7.30am and managed to get over the pass in around 2 1/2 hours. The snow was crisp first thing in the morning but the sun soon would start to melt the snow and turn it into the all too familiar slush. After ascending over 500 meters we had a quick break at the top to take photos. Soon we were descending around a frozen lake before we start to climb over the second pass of the day. The weather was starting to close in but after a few more hours we descend below the snow line to our campsite.

Dhunge Khola

Another day another trek. Very soft slushy snow was waiting for us as we start to follow the trail through the forest. We struggle through the deep snow which hides a lethal assortment of rocks, shrubs, fallen timber and streams just waiting to swallow legs and twist knees. We fought our way through this indistinct "trail" for over 3 hours and after many a tumble we descend down the valley to a large river for lunch. As we leave the river and the bamboo, rhododendron forest behind we walk for another hour before heading uphill again for our campsite.

Saldim Khola

Left campsite and starting to climb through the forest in the snow until we get past the tree line. Today was to be a very long steep climbing day. The snow was the usual "slush puppy" consistency which made it hard work again. We pass several sections in the climb which have been hit by avalanches and have to take extra care when traversing these sections. The climb is very steep but continue until we reach the top. The whole day's ascent is around 1100 meters and all of it was in deep unstable slushy snow, but we arrive at our campsite, well only just as the afternoon mist and cloud make it very hard to find. Probably the toughest climbing day to date. Not the longest day but extremely tough conditions.

Adventure Pass Base Camp

From our tents we can see the pass which we are going to go over. We wake up to a beautiful morning with the sun rising early to greet us. We luxuriate over an al-fresco breakfast - with sun - a real treat! and observe Lapka's progress soloing the pass and fixing the protection. After striking camp, we set off up the snow slope with the hot sun on our backs and reach a point in the climb where we put on our safety gear, harness, and take to the ice axes. Before long we reach the fixed rope section which Lakpa had installed for us all earlier and ascend the rope section until we reach the top of the pass. Amazing views were there to greet us at the top, and after a short stop for photos we set off downhill then traverse round to climb up to another another "small" pass and onto our campsite around lunchtime, where we are treated to some intervals of hot sun for a couple of hours before the afternoon mist and cloud roll in leaving us in the familiar featureless landscape, unable to appreciate the mountains around us we have worked so hard to see.

Ready to cross the technical part of Adventure PassGrazing Kharka

Left campsite early to start the climb up to the first of today's passes. Again the soft snow was there for us but after a couple of hours we had reached the first pass of the day. The sun was trying to break through but for most of the day it was misty and low cloud. After the first pass we descend very steeply down through deep snow,before we start to ascend again for the start of the second pass of the day at an altitude just shy of 4,500m. The temperature today was cold with no sun, but we work hard in the snowy conditions until we get to the second pass and stop for a quick break. From the views we could see the valley behind, and we knew our campsite was little more than an hour away, so again we descend down the valley and reach camp at around lunchtime. The weather here is cold, windy and some snow but we are all in good spirits and looking forward tomorrow to meet up with the other members of the stage 2 and a rest day to look forward to.

Aquests rovellons anglesos es foten un fart d'escriure de l'hostia ! Fa una hora que m'espero ! Res del que diuen es veritat " l'unica realitat es l'arrelament dels meus dubtes ...( Raimon dixit ) avui es el penultim dia del primer tram de la Great Himalayan Trail, dema a Yangla Karka i passat dema comencem el segon tram cap a la base del Makalu i a passar els tres colls. Ara mateix les forces de la natura estan desfermades..des de Milarepa al Dalai Lama actual milers de lames galopen per l'espai i neva fort, el vent bufa amb forca i la tenda menjador on soc va d'una banda a l'altra... Avui fa uns vuit dies que varem deixar l'ultim poble i per boscos nevats I colls, alguns de perillosos no hem trobat a ningu, ni tan sols els Yacks...on son els Yacks ? Sembla que el mon s'ha aturat aqui...no sabem res del que passa a fora d'aquest univers de roca, boscos, neu, els sorolls, les veus, les olors, la neu, i la humitat han passat a formar part de la nostra existencia...dema trobarem gent i segurament trobarem Yacks...tot tornara a ser al seu lloc, baixem o sigui que potser sera un dia lluminos en que podrem estendre tot la roba, tendes, sacs i demes estris al sol...o potser fara mal temps i no podrem fer res de tot aixo...i en Jordi Vinyoli no es podra dutxar amb l'aparell que porta. Les coses teoricament importants aqui no tenen cap valor...molt mes important que altre cosa es tenir el kid toilet sempre apunt, de dia o de nit i poder puntuar ( Tenim un campionat obert ) el resultat de l'acte d'evacuacio de 0 al 10...de moment guanyen els anglesos. Be, m'estan atabalan i no pic escriure tranquil...plego.

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

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