055 Skiing on Patalsu - Hanuman Tibba in bsckground

Crossing the Himalaya

We’re in the Indian Himalaya and there’s a billion people around here somewhere, but we can’t find even one to sell us a cup of chai. As we chew on our last chapatti we mull over the 11 days that had got us to this point – somewhere on a high altitude, snow covered and […]

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089 Bridge over Chandra to Chhatru_cr

Stopped in our tracks

We’d spent many hours working on dropping weight in our gear – with no porters, donkeys or yaks to share the load we couldn’t afford any extras. Our final load included extra-short, lightweight skis, alloy crampons, a special polar-fleece insert that allowed us to share a sleeping bag, modified telemark bindings using spectra cord instead […]

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136 Crossing Chandra above Bara Shigri, after Camp 6_4_cr

Battling the Chandra

With the storm clearing we’re faced with another dilemma. Should we continue or head back the way we’d come, given that this was already day 7 and according to the sign outside the building, we still had 120km to travel to the next guaranteed food. Reluctant to go backwards, we decided that we could spin […]

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150 Chortens at Kunzum top, looking towards Chandra_cr

Saved from starving

Finally on day 11 we emerged at the top of Kunzum La, jubilant. We gazed into the Spiti Valley – a completely different land to the Chandra with its sedimentary layered rock reminiscent of the Grand Canyon in winter. The night was not so friendly as the temperature plummeted to the lowest we’d experienced on […]

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214 Sonampalbre and sister, Kaza, Bodh guesthouse_cr

World famous in the Spiti

We were in Losar, not marked on our map at all, but inhabited by 400 people throughout the year, despite the road being cut off for months at a time in winter. The two of us were bemused to be told the village’s main income came from Green Peace. Further explanations and all was revealed […]

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265  Push start the vege truck 2_cr

Heading for the Ganges

We were running behind schedule so we abandoned the second leg, which would have taken us up the Pin Valley, over Bhaba Pass and into the Sutlej. Instead we caught an empty vegie truck to the Baspa Valley – an adventure in itself – first, the driver lit a fire under the engine to warm […]

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325 At the pass 5200m_cr

Finally some downhill

After a couple of days, we had a reasonable idea of where we were, but were still unsure about the pass – we could see a low-point in the ridge that looked good enough on this side, but what about the other side? At least conditions here were more favourable – typical spring conditions with […]

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374 Schoolkids and teacher at Lewari_cr

We made it!

2000m of downhill took us initially through wide open basins, then beside tumbling rivers and finally battling through trees to eventually pitch camp under some conifers below the snowline. It was a novelty camping on something other than snow, and the first time we had used our tent pegs (why did we carry them all […]

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