Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The First High Altitude Pass

Day 3: Shang Phu (14,250 ft) to Matho Doksa (14,500 ft) via Shang Phu La (16,750 ft)

Today was going to be the first real test - the first high altitude pass of the trek. As usual we had breakfast and started off. The trail went through a nice green meadow.

The ascent was gradual. We made steady progress. A couple of hours later though I started tiring out. Shang Phu La was not very steep but I was visibly tired by the time I got to the top. Perhaps my breathing technique was not right.

The pass offered great views all around. An interesting mix of barren mountain faces and snow-clad peaks, made more beautiful by the interplay of the sun and the shadows.

At the pass, our trek leader made it seem as if the day's work was almost over. We assumed the campsite was just a quick descent away. However that was not to be. It took us almost an hour to get there. Towards the end it almost seemed like a mirage! At every moment I was hoping that it is round the next bend :)

20 minutes before the camp... the Matho turtle? a la Khardungla frog

Though I was quite tired and the high altitude pass did require a lot of effort, I was quite happy today - no signs of AMS, not even minor ones :)



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