sobota, 17 stycznia 2015

Ganda La in winter, Ladakh

     There was hardly any snow in the Centeral Ladakh in the beginning of 2015. Having the winter trek to Zanskar (read one of my previous posts) as well as the Chadar Trek experience (see this post) behind me and still some time to my Leh-Delhi flight, I decided to try a short trek from Stok to the Markha Valley over the Ganda Pass.
 
The area near to Rumbak in the upper Zhingchan Valley on the way to Ganda La is quite famous for wildlife trips. In winter groups come here in hope of seeing and photographing a snow leopard. Some are successful. Indeed I saw quite much wild animals here and in Markha Valley on each of my visits - bharals (blue sheep) and hares this time.
 
It is a walk on the road from Spituk to Zhingchan. If you happen to do this trek, you could skip it if you are well acclimatised and could find a car to take you there.
I took me a bit over 3h from Spituk to Zhingchan and I thought it was to early to stop for the night. On reaching Rumbak about 2h latter I decided to continue to Yurutse which took me a bit more than 1h. This made a long day hike with a significant altitude gain.
While in Yurutse, I learned that there would be a bus from Kaya in to Markha Valley to Leh on the following day, so again, instead of staying in Shingo after crossing the pass I continued to Kaya. This made another quite a long hike.
 
Day 1: Spituk - Yurutse; about 3210m-4170m a.s.l.; about 26 km; 12 Jan 2015
 
Indus near to its confluence with the Zhingchan Togpo
Indus near to its confluence with the Zhingchan Togpo (still above its meeting with the Zanskar River)
Approaching Rumbak
The solitary house of Yurutse settlement just before the dusk

 
Day 2: Yurutse - Ganda La - Kaya; about 4170m-4973m-3385m a.s.l.; about 23 km; 13 Jan 2015
 
Yurutse in the morning
The valley above Yurutse
Ganda La Base Camp (Lartsa Ganda La; about 4350 m a.s.l.). The pass is behind the hill which is in the centre of this picture.
On the way to Ganda La. Quite a good weather without wind. Partially sunny. Quite warm.
On the way to Ganda La. View down-valley.
On the way to Ganda La
The upper base camp on the way to the Ganda pass (about 4535 m a.s.l.)
On the way to Ganda La. The Ladakh Range in the distance.
On the way to Ganda La. The view down-valley.
On the way to Ganda La
View towards Stok La
It is Ladakh Range (Ladakh Mountains) - the last mountain ridge seen here
Stok Kangri (about 6150 m a.s.l.) on the right in the clouds
Views on the way to the Ganda pass
Mountains slightly covered with snow
It is near! Ganda La can be seen clearly on the right.
Beautiful views all around
Stok Kangri covered with a tiny cloud
Views on the way to the Ganda pass: Stok La can be seen on the last ridge here
Views on the way to the Ganda pass. A sunny weather just before reaching the pass - even the Stok Kangri peak is almost clear of the clouds.
The final ascent - Ganda La (about 4973 m a.s.l.) can be clearly seen here
View towards the North
Ganda La (about 4973 m a.s.l.)
Ganda La. A few minutes break to set the prayer flags and drink some water. It became windy, cloudy and cold, meanwhile.
The view downwards towards SW from Ganda La. Worst weather here. Shingo - the first village - is far below.
On the way from Ganda La towards the Shingo village
On the way from Ganda La towards the Shingo village
On the way from Ganda La towards the Shingo village
View towards the Ganda pass from Shingo village. Less snow than in January 2014 - see last year view from this place
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Gompa in Sku. It is about 30min walk to the Kaya village from here.

 
You may see more photos of my travels in the photoblog on my website. See also my updates on Twitter, my photoblog page on FaceBook and my Ladakh website.
 

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