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Karakoram Story Part I

A Trek to Karakoram Pass

I stopped there watching in awe what was in front of me. I had just taken a U-turn after climbing the final slope leading to the top of a ridge, and faced a big lake. The huge glacier coming from right side abruptly stopped at the lake and had a vertical drop into the lake, as if someone had cut the final slope. Well, I had not seen such scene earlier and it reminded me of Antarctica where the sea is next to the vertical ice wall. I was on the Central Asian Trade route's summer trail, which used to link Yarkand with Leh.

I reached Leh by air and and what a change it was. In flat two hours I had been lifted off the hot and humid Delhi to the dry and cold high altitude desert of Ladakh. The cold air greeted me as I moved out of the plane, though there was no wind as it starts usually by afternoon. The lungs still did not feel the impact of high altitude as ironically, it was still rich of the Delhi's oxygen. Having been to Leh earlier also, I knew of what was to come and so after moving into the room I slept off, the only job was to have plenty of water even if I did not feel like having it and taking light food. The lungs also by now had realised that they were in oxygen deprived land and were giving enough signals to the body to behave accordingly. The day passed off without any activity and so did the next day. On the third day I decided to take a walk to the near by village to check my self. Though the body still felt run down on sudden activity but was comfortable to slow activities. Evening a visit to Leh city was a welcome change. Though three days acc is alright for other places, I felt it to be less for Ladakh as the place is having less oxygen for quite an area. In-fact after Rohtang and Zozila the area is high and barren. However, after three days acc I moved out from Leh and took the highest motor able road in the world to move into the famous Nubra valley across Khardung la. The site of Shyok river brought memories of the stories written about the river of death. Oh! what a river, it was vast and water was flowing in different channels. Crossed it to the other side and moved along the left bank of Nubra river to reach Sasoma by evening. The walk starts from here since the road under construction is closed, even though Army vehicles move on it. The daunting path to Tulumputi la moves over the rock face seen from the road and takes nearly three hours to cross. The crossing of Tulumputi river is no longer a problem as a bridge has been constructed over it. Thereafter a small climb up and we are in open country with the trail moving up at an easy pace. Another few hours walk and we reach the camping place next to the river.

Top Story continues : Lamakheti to Murgo

Karakoram Pass Photos Part I

Karakoram Pass Photos Part II

Karakoram Pass Photos Part III

Karakoram Pass Photos Part IV

Karakoram Pass Trek


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Published on: 2008-01-10 (15663 reads)

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