On a long, hot day with blistered feet and numb shoulders, we made it to our campsite in Markha just in time for sunset! All of us were beat that day, but the route was so breathtaking (pun intended), we wanted the day to end and not end at the same time. Our 17km stretch from Skiu to Markha included river crossing, walking on undefined narrow trails and alongside green and yellow paddy fields!
Needless to say, it poured quite a bit that night! :)
We crossed Markha & Hankar village to head to our campsite at Thochungtse at 4700m. Loved the weather we were greeted with here!
This picture was taken from atop a mountain we climbed for acclimatisation. We spent quite sometime up here since with the rain and the landscape, what surrounded us looked like a description right out of the Lord of the Rings book! We also spotted a Woolly Hare run across us.
PS: The homestay/cafe in Markha (before Hankar) is the last place you can make phone calls on this route. Charges - Rs. 5/minute.
PPS: The route between Hankar and Thochungtse is known to have quite a few leopard singhtings. Our guide told us how they witnessed a snow leopard chase on the mountains just across us!
This campsite doesn't have a name but it's just 300m short of the Kang Yatse base camp. Getting here was a 700m continuous uphill stretch from Thochungtse! On the way we passed two glacial lakes, spotted Kang Yatse 3 & 4 and witnessed two Himalayan Griffon Vultures circling the air - one of my major highlights of the trek!
Here's a picture of our campsite facing Kang Yatse 2, while the other side overlooked the best sunset shadowing the entire valley we walked through!
Day 5: Acclimatisation Day!
300 m higher and we finally reached the Kang Yatse Base Camp at 5000m! On one hand, the campsite overlooked the whole valley we walked through, and on the other, we had the magnificent sight of Kang Yatse 1 (left) & 2 (right). This being my first peak, staring at it so closely (haha, as if) felt unreal! Post lunch, we headed up for an acclimatisation walk and reached a glacier point where we practiced with our crampons on. Judging by the amount of scree here, I fully stand by how treacherous this was! Luckily, the route we took on summit day was much better. Either that, or it was too dark to notice anything
This was my view of the two peaks from around 5300m.
After a day's rest, at 1:00am the next morning, we attempted to summit KY2. Due to bad weather we didn't summit but we did make it up to 6000m. Pretty psyched about that! :)