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Karzok to Kibber Part I

Part I

I was just waiting to reach Leh on completion of KK Pass trek, but I had not thought that I will have to move on the next trek immediately. I reached Leh by late evening and other three members for the next trek were desperately waiting for me. Well, they had spent few days at Leh and by now were quite fed up with the waiting. They had decided to leave for Karzok the very next day and so the moment I arrived I got on the job of organising the transport to take us to the road head at Karzok. We were moving on the Karzok to Kibber trek across the famous Prang la at 5580 m. It has been long on my list and I wished to complete it during this trip to Ladakh.

The next day we got up and started the preparations to leave Leh at the earliest. Despite all our hurry we were able to leave the place only by 1030 and since the vehicle was supposed to return back the same day, driver drove at good speed and was reluctant to stop frequently for us to take photos of the scenic landscape we were traveling through. We moved along the Indus river towards Upshi leaving the road to Chang la on our left. At Upshi stopped for tea while the driver made the necessary entries at the police post. Then leaving road to Manali which crossed over Indus at Upshi we kept moving along the river on its right bank. The scenes started to change with every bend and we kept moving along the good road passing through small villages. Late afternoon we reached the village of Chumathang where the hot springs exist next to the river, but again could not visit the place due to the driver's time limitations. Just outside the village a very old bridge was seen on the Indus and we forced the driver to stop at the place to let us take the photos. Few km later we left the Indus and crossed it over the much mentioned Mahe bridge. The main road continued moving along the right bank of Indus to Noyma and Henla. The good road moved along the narrow valley having red bushes to our right side and finally the valley opened up as we reached Sumdoh village. We did not enter the village as our road moved away from the village. There is a road going from this village towards the Manali Leh road which it joins just before the climb to the Taglang la starts as we approach the la from Manali side. As we moved ahead we saw a lake and shortly we were on Namshang la which had lots of flags on top and the road moved around the central structure. There was a big lake in front of us and we thought that we had reached the destination however, we were mistaken. In front of us was a big lake and our destination was still some 25 km away. The good tar road turned into a dirt road and our speed came down as we moved to the other side of this lake. Finally as the sun went down we reached the shore of the famous Tso-Moriri lake. The village is located on the west side of the lake and as we reached the village the sentry at the check post stopped us for checking the inner line permits, which had been issued form the Commissioner's office at Leh. Formalities over, we settled down for the night as strong winds started to blow. Horses were arranged for the six days trek and with every thing in place we went to sleep.

Next day dawned with a clear sky and we immediately moved out for the photos of the lake, the surrounding area and the snow covered peaks. The large ground which was empty, when we had reached the place the previous evening was now teeming with life. There were large number of sheep, horses, yaks in the open grazing ground. Few of the handlers were also to be seen and the peaks of Chhamser Kangri (6622 m) and Lungser Kangri (6666 m) were standing tall on the opposite bank of the lake with sun rising from behind the peaks bathing the Karzok village and the Mentok group. It was quite cold but the scenes were so good that we kept on moving around for good shots. The village was visible from here up along the slope and seemed to be a big one. Earlier it used to be a temporary settlement but now is a permanent one.

The horsemen took time in coming and so we were late in leaving the village. After some last minute purchases from the village shop we moved on to realize that all this time we were seeing only a part of the village and major portion of the village was not visible to us till now. Soon we were on the other side where the tents of Nomad Life Camping company stood in neat lines. Walking along the rough road we reached the Gompa but continued on our way as we had a long walk in front. The rough road ended after sometime and then there was a small trail to be followed along the lake where Mani walls had been erected for quite some distance. The peaks of Chhamser Kangri and Lungser Kangri kept us constant company as we moved sometime near the lake and sometime away from it. The lake did not seem to end and the level walk also turned to a small climb to a pass. Still from this high point we did not see the end of the lake. Got down to the other side to have some lunch and then we continued down the trail with the sun beating us down with all its might and sapping our energies. The lake water is not good for drinking and very soon we ran out of water and this added further to our miseries. The only way was to keep the head down and keep moving along the lake. Though the end of the lake was not coming in view the place started to open up and also the peaks were now far to our back and left. As the trail started to turn around the lake it was clear that we had nearly reached the end of the lake after a walk of nearly 18 km. Far away a structure which seemed like a big stone came into view and some movement on the shore of the lake was also seen. As we moved near to the objects it became clear that it was a camp with few trekkers. Our horseman continued beyond this camp and crossed the Phirse Phu river flowing into the lake in a number of channels. Seeing the horses a lone Kyang came very near to the place we had selected for setting up the camp. The Kyangdom camp was established at the earliest and I collected water, as rest of the team members were feeling the affects of walking in hot sun with hardly any water. One by one all the members trouped into the camp and lied down exhausted. One hour's rest with water and tea brought back the energy and the preparations for the dinner started in ernest. After good food we retired for the night.

Karzok to Kibber via Prang la Top Story Second Part

Karzok to Kibber via Prang la Photos Part I

Karzok to Kibber via Prang la Photos Part II

Karzok to Kibber via Prang la Trek Plan


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Published on: 2008-03-23 (2369 reads)

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