by site editor Rick McCharles
We rose early, keen to get up to the Kuari Pass 3640m (12,000ft) in early light.
I left a Summit Stone and a 2 Rupee coin at the Alter, thanking Shiva for a safe crossing.
Actually, the Trail climbs a fair bit after the famous Pass.
Here’s the highest point we achieved on the Trek.
Plus perhaps 50cm. 🙂
Anil had just had his fancy boots resoled. But the sole was coming loose. 😦
Our mules caught us here.
Note how mule drivers use stones to balance the load.
Several times I saw the scat of small carnivores. Perhaps Pine Martin. But we never spotted any rodents or rodent eaters.
This handsome bridge had been obliterated just this previous monsoon.
The best section of the trip was from here to the finish. LOVE the ridges.
Several times we saw a small lizard that moves like a snake.
Aside from ants, the most common insect was this cricket (?).
After 6 days, we finally encountered another trekking group doing a 2 day Kuari.
One of the Indian men had worked a year in Alaska!
A dog following them reversed directions and joined us for an evening. It’s not unusual to have dogs follow you in the Himalaya. One once climbed up to perhaps 6500m with us on Everest north.
The fantastic view from my tent included the elusive & mysterious Nanda Devi, highest mountain entirely in India.
From here you can gain the Rishi Gorge, a deep canyon, almost impossible to follow. It wasn’t until 1934 that Eric Shipton and H.W. Tilman, with three Sherpa companions, Angtharkay, Pasang, and Kusang, finally discovered a way through into the Sanctuary. Any other route involves difficult passes, the lowest of which is 5180m (16,990 ft).
Tilman and Noel Odell made the first ascent of 7,816 metres (25,643 ft) Nandi Devi in 1936, the highest summit climbed by man until 1950. On a shoe-string budget. Only seven climbers, no fixed ropes, nor any Sherpa support above 6,200 m (20,300 ft).
Tenzing Norgay stated that his most difficult peak was Nanda Devi East, the lower summit.
For religious significance and protection of the its fragile ecosystem, Nanda Devi National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. All access had been banned 1982.
On the Trail we learned that the Park has been partially opened recently for restricted number of tourists.
Our cook outdid himself for out last meal on the Trail.
Pizza. Spring Rolls. French fries …
And for dessert …
See all high resolution photos from this day.