Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles
Gosankund 4380m – Gopte 3439m
My toughest day in the Himalaya 2014. Up and over the Lauribina Pass 4,610m.
I’d not slept well, getting out of bed 4 times during the night to check the auspicious full moon over sacred Gossankund lake.
In fact, myself and an Israeli guy had hoped to (early morning) follow a guided group up the popular trekking peak called Surya (Sun) 5145m.
He was worried that no guided groups were scheduled. And he was right. Later we learned that there is too much snow and ice at the top. Guides were not going up right now.
First light a chopper landed.
They were evacuating a lady, altitude sick. She looked in rough shape. Could barely walk.
Cost would be something under $10,000. Hopefully paid by insurance.
The chopper crew all rushed to Gosainkund to collect holy water and take selfies. It was this water that Shiva once drank to quench his thirst after having been poisoned.
So … instead of an extra day scrambling Surya, I headed towards the Pass with everyone else.
There are 108 lakes in this area, actually. You pass a series of them on the trail. They should be frozen by now, but are not.
For some reason I found this day very, very tough. The Pass was fine. But the long descent to Gopte was taxing.
On the bright side, I saw a rarely spotted Red Panda en route. Surprising him on the trail itself, he jumped uphill instantly. Then, happily for me, dashed back across the trail downhill. It’s a tiny beast with a huge, unmistakable tail. Two distinct colours.
But I was a bit of a wreck arriving Gopte 3439m, early in the afternoon.
I went straight to bed in order to prevent chills.
Happily, I awoke just in time for one of the best and strangest sunsets. People compared this sunset with the best they’d ever seen.
My preference is to eat as late as possible. This evening, however, chatting with an adventurous couple from Rocky Mountain House, I waited too long. The kitchen shut down about 8pm.
I begged a chance to join in the Dal Baht feed with the porters and guides, only the second time I’ve ever got the chance to eat with them. It’s not done in the Himalaya. 🙂
see all my high resolution photos from this day