trip report by besthike editor Rick McCharles
After 2 days rain delay, the morning dawned lovely in Leh.
First stop was the outdoor bakery near the main Mosque.
I picked up 10 flat bread for less than $1. My hiking lunches. With peanut butter. 🙂
At the NEW Bus Station I found the (unmarked) 8am bus to Alchi, about 70km away. It was packed.
Alchi Monastery or Alchi Gompa … is said to be the oldest and most famous. …
The monastery complex was built, according to local tradition, by the great translator Guru Rinchen Zangpo between 958 and 1055. However, inscriptions in the preserved monuments ascribe it to a Tibetan noble called Kal-dan Shes-rab later in the 11th century …
The artistic and spiritual details of both Buddhism and the Hindu kings of that time in Kashmir are reflected in the wall paintings … These are some of the oldest surviving paintings in Ladakh. …
I made the Kora. Let’s hope my hike goes well.
My last meal.
The Italian woman who joined me at the tiny restaurant in Alchi square was hospitalized in Leh the day before. Altitude sickness. She was given 2 shots and 3 different pills!
The restaurant owner pointed me in the right direction at 11am. Wandering though local fields.
I was at an altitude of 3,100m (10,200ft). And needed to climb at least 2km vertical!
Here’s the one and only lizard I saw on the trip. He stayed behind in the sun.
It’s an easy start. Winding up a Himalayan valley.
Still, I was worried. I’d need to cross a huge, difficult pass, about the same height as I could see on the other side of the Indus valley.
Higher and higher.
Up a side valley I spotted Blue Sheep. Here’s the herd at 32x zoom.
That oasis across the Indus is the famed Buddhist temple Likir.
I set up my tent at the last possible site, the highest shepard shelter. My guidebook called it Stakspi La Base Camp. It was 3:30pm.
In the bright Tibetan sunlight, the autumn colours were lovely.
My goal for tomorrow is climbing up and over this 5000m+ wall.
See all the high resolution photos from this day.