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Karzok to Kibber Part II

Part II

The next day dawned sunny and cold as we were camping quite near to the lake. The place was quite uneven where we had camped but was grassy and as such a perfect place for the Kyang, which are found here in quite a number though they were elusive. The water channel was right next to the camp and so did not have to go long for water. After breakfast, wound up the camp and loaded all our material onto the three horses. The walk was again on a level ground and we kept turning around to see the lake which was slowly moving out of site with each step. Due to the long distance we had covered the previous day my feet had developed hot spots on the sole, which started to give trouble soon after we had left the camp. The long walk brought us to a point where the lake was out of site and bare mountains stood in front of us. A big group of Kyang were grazing in the early morning sun at a distance towards our left. The snow covered peak of Gya also moved out of site with only the Chhamser Kangri and Lungser Kangri silently observing our progress from behind our backs. We crossed a small water channel which was coming from right as we walked on a easily identifiable trail. In the small lake this stream, made the ducks were floating around. We had reached Nubra Sumdo which is used for the camping purposes as the place has good supply of water. The big Pare chu river was flowing at a distance from here and we moved towards it after some rest. The flat trail moved along the mountain slope and finally we reached a small climb, which took us to a flat table top. At the other end of the top was a big stone structure which is falling apart and immediately thereafter the trail moved down to the river. The river was quite broad but the water was flowing only on the right side and so we crossed the river at a suitable place in knee deep fast flowing water. The trail on the other side was quite clear and we moved up river along this trail. The river is flowing into Tibet which is only a dayís journey from this point. We choose to walk on the trail moving towards Himachal and so started the journey along the river, which was to end only after our crossing into Himachal over the Prang la. By early afternoon we reached a camping ground just above the river and we stopped there for the night. Only two tents were put up and kitchen started for tea and food. Time was spent in relaxing and for me it was time to give some treatment to the feet which were in bad shape due to big blisters on the soles. Turmeric powder (Haldi) was applied and the tape put on the blisters.

The night was quite peaceful and the horses were at the camp in the morning ready to move, however we took time in getting ready and left the camp after a good breakfast. The trail moved along the river's right bank and was some time next to the river and some time above it. The trail rose up a slope and then dropped down to a camping ground next to the river which we were told was the Umlung camping ground. All these grounds are used by the local Chang-pa nomads as their camping grounds during the grazing summer season. At present not one was occupied since winter was round the corner. We continued on our way to the further camping ground as we still had lot of time on hand. The weather though cloudy was fine and moving along the river was not a problem. A group of bharals were grazing a bit away from the trek and did not move from their spots as we moved along the trail. The trail again climbed a slope and then got down on the other side. A big nala was coming from left and joining the Pare chu on its right bank. As there was no water it was not a problem to cross but it was huge in size. The mountain slopes on both sides had different kinds of formations and the one on the far side looked like a small fort having structures of all sizes. As we reached near they became individual structures of huge proportions which may crumble down on the trail any moment. We continued on our way and again climbed up the slope to avoid the river which was flowing on its right bank. Again dropped down to the river bed and then continued along it till we reached a camping ground a metre high from the bed. The camp was established and kitchen started. Time was spent lazing around and as the temperature fell all moved in the tents for rest and good sleep, as next day was supposed to be a long one.

At dawn the sky was not as clear as we had wished for but it was alright. We got ready and were on the trail by 0905 hrs. The trail moved up a bit along the mountain side and then it dropped down next to the river. The river was flowing like a huge snake and we continued our walk along its right bank. Again the trail climbed up and then remained there for some time till we reached a very vast open plain ground through the center of which we moved. On the other sided a big nala came and joined the Pare chu, but luckily it also did not have water and we had no problem crossing it. It was a huge nala and it may be a big problem if it has water. We continued walking along sometime next to the river and sometime above the river trail. A group of Bharals was grazing up the gentle slopes of the mountains and only threw glances towards us rather than running away. The weather had started to close in and we still had long way to cover. The trail moved right on to the river which had started to flow near the left bank and here the valley was also closing in. Snow covered mountain peaks looked upon our progress. The team also got stretched out in effort to keep pace behind the horses. Visibility dropped as strong cold wind started to flow down the ever narrowing valley. I suddenly noticed three small dots on the river bed in front of us. In poor visibility it was difficult to make out what they were. As by now all of us were walking alone and quite stretched out I was a bit scared of wolfs which are present in these hills in quite a number. However, out horseman had already moved beyond them and that was a bit comforting feeling. Slowly two dots began to increase in size and finally I realised that two mounted horses and a dog were moving from the pass down the trail. As they crossed us at some distance it became clear they were coming from Himachal and were on their way to Karzok. So no wolfs but human beings where ever you go. By this time we had moved to the left side of the river and crossed the water where it was flowing in many channels to reach the left bank of Pare chu. Still there was no sight of the campsite. The weather had closed in completely and the signs of coming snow were everywhere. Time to be in camp and not on a trail. We had been walking for quite long and were tired, however there was no stopping in this kind of weather. We followed the river from high up as the trail snaked along the mountain side. Sleet started to fall as I sited the horseman unloading the horses. As I reached the horseman was struggling to raise his tent. I immediately put on my warm clothes and joined him in erecting the tent as snowfall started. All the bags were pulled in and then stove was started for making tea. I opened our tent and started to pitch it as other team members were still to reach and it had become too cold. Halfway to the pitching of the tent Dewan came in and helped in putting the remaining lines. By this time water had got heated up and tea was prepared by the time remaining two members reached the camp. The weather was down and it was snowing but lightly.

It seemed we were the only five souls sitting in that enclosed place. As we sat cooking food there was some sound outside and to our amazement three horses with one horseman came to the camp from the pass side. Our horseman immediately moved out for his help and we made tea for him which was good for him as he had been moving over the snow for quite sometime. He setup his small tent and started his stove. He was returning after dropping a party at Kibber and as weather had turned bad he got late in reaching the camping ground. Our horseman was quite happy with this turn of events and sat in his tent chatting. He obtained the latest info about the pass conditions and what all was required to be done. We had food in our horsemanís tent as had been the practice. However he went to the new comers tent for food and continued chatting. We could understand his condition since he had hardly spoken from the time we had left Karzok. The snow which had fallen on the tent was shaken off as we went to sleep with a prayer on our lips that the weather improves the next day.

Karzok to Kibber via Prang la Top Story Third 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 (1451 reads)

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