The road less travelled – Base Camp

Mountain exploration is such fun. After I’d sent yesterday’s blog, a nomad arrived in camp who told us there was a road through the hills east of the Kading Kangri range to the route we’d seen on Google Earth that might bring us round to the west of our mountains. We’d figured this would be the best side from which to reach the summit. He also told us the peak has several names, none of which we caught.

Everybody knows now where the bottom of Everest is, but in 1921 when the first expedition went there they were largely in the dark about the best approach. We were in that position this morning with these not quite so grand peaks. A yak herder however confirmed the existence of a track to the east and so we changed plan again and drove north into the hills to the west of the Kading Kangri range, still not having yet seen our objective.

Luckily they were right, and we rejoined our intended route after a tricky crossing of a steep rocky pass which then led down onto a flat plain featuring two huge sacred lakes. The track continued in the direction of Mount Kaliash far to the west and not along the valley we were trying to reach. We stood in the middle of the vast plain feeling defeated, still 25 miles from our objective. Then we saw a truck coming from the direction we were heading. Success, or so we thought.

Alas the track peters out at the northern end of the range and we can go no further, still 12 miles from the bottom of the highest peak in the range. With no yaks in sight, we’ll have to content ourselves with the mountains above our base camp, which, luckily, look more interesting than Kading Kangri, or Tsebon Ri, itself. Tomorrow we’ll do a reconnaissance and find out more.

Ed Douglas

This despatch was delivered via satellite phone to Rohantime using GMN’s

Read Ed’s journey plan

Read Ed’s daily updates to Rohantime on the journey so far

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