Bhutan Day 10 and 11
Apologies we could not get a signal last night……
Philosophical musing – Two roads diverged in a wood and I….took the road less travelled and it has made all the difference Robert Frost
Bhutan Moment – if in doubt go up
Altitude – 13, 861; down 2000 feet and up 3000 feet
weather – beautiful morning – glorious sunshine – clouded over by end of day; brief rain but mostly just overcast
Everyone is well – all saturations tested and no significant difference between people
Shout Out – Sylvain Bedard – we love you!!!!! and wish you were here…..
Last night was eventful – all hell was breaking loose outside the tent with the local dogs stirring up a huge ruckus – Dave had a personal protector dog that stayed outside his tent. The verdict was bear!!
Woke to frost. We started out of camp and went down, down, down, down, down (springsteen) about 2000 feet (bummer or as Suneet said who put down in my up?) and then the paths diverged and we formally entered the path that is historically the Snowman Trek. We had done the Bale-la pass which is a common version. The path of course once on it – only went up for about 3000 feet.
We wandered up and up by a river. Waiting for our beautiful ponies to go by (totally selfish as we wanted camp to be set for arrival). It was another 8 hour day – with me pulling the rear. Suneet kindly stayed back to keep me company. We are now in snow leopard country.
As we climbed the topography changed. The trees became more and more stunted, gnarled, twisted pines – very much out of Tolkien. They slowly gave way to brush – dwarf rhododendron. Ultimately we went over a rise and saw the camp up ahead nestled in between a cleft of two large mountains. Of course that only means that tomorrow we get to go up again…..
As always a big chill post exercise – so have the big OSC down jackets on and staying warm.
Weather: Dawned bright and sunny
Peak Altitude 15, 975
Camp at 15, 797
We started straight up out of camp in the sun and frost. The good news was that it was cold enough that the mud was frozen; the bad news is that it was cold enough that the mud was frozen.
We hit our second pass and Brian and Dale tied a prayer flag.
The weather then changed quite dramatically – turning into a very challenging day as the initial prediction was for 5 hours and 8 hrs later we rolled into camp; the last 6 hrs above 15,000 feet, and the last 3 hours in hail/snow. Camp was a very welcome sight indeed. No sooner were we in our tent and trying to get warm when the sun came back out!! And all of a sudden we saw that we were ringed by mountains (7000m high!). The view from the toilet is particularly awesome.
Tea included eggplant pakora (tempura) – delish