The old fort and monastery on Namgyal peak overlook the bazaar and old part of
The fertile side valley of Changspa with Namgyal peak.
Ladakhi house with garden.
Monastery below the palace.
View from Namgyal peak towards Sankar, Nubra valley lies behind the snow
The ancient fort in the morning sun.
Village north of Leh.
The Indus Valley with the Stok range and its heighest peak.
Tikse monastery is in easy reach of Leh and worth a visit.
Silhouette of Tikse and the monks' houses below.
From the roof the views over the fertile valley and the arid desert are
stunning, Stagnak gompa on the hill in the middle.
The large statue of Maitreya in Tikse.
Mathok gompa stands on a ridge overlooking the village, the Stok range rises
Afternoon picture taken from Stagnak. Tikse monastery stands on a hill in the
right, Indus river flows towards Leh.
Crew, happy trekkers and two of the horses.
Starting in the village of Shang Sumdo we walk towards the snow peaks and our first
pass, Gongmara La.
In a barren, colourful world of rocks we follow the the little creek, the bushes in the
dried out bed add even more colours.
Shang Sumdo valley features brilliant colours and sharp contrast.
Harvesting season needs to be finished before winter will arrive soon, therefore people
work well into the night.
School and kindergarden in Chukirmo
The creek is a little rivulet in autumn, making progress easy.
Enormous gorges in beautiful colours leave lasting impressions on the first days.
Blue sheep were as surprised as we when we met; the rare animals let us come
On top of the gorge we sat up camp and headed up the snow-covered pass the next day.
Tenba leads the horses to our third camp at the foot of a pass.
Way up to Kangmara La through hard-frozen snow, the Ladakh range that forms the border to
Tibet lies in right background.
View from Kangmara La towards Kang Yaze and the Zanskar range to the right.
Prayerflags mark our first 5'000 meter pass, many more will follow in the next two weeks.
Joel descends to Nimaling, a grazing area during summer. The canyons of Zanskar in the
Wide alpine valley of Nimaling serves as grazing area in the summer, but we don't meet
anybody except the only two trekkers we'll see during the entire trek.
Walking through narrow canyons to Hankar.
Morning in Tahungtse, horses are being loaded for a long day.
Valley of Hankar, a beautiful hamlet. The old fort is dilapidated but the tower
on top of the natural rock pillar still watches over the town and the terraced
Women are finishing harvesting, their traditional whistling can be heard from a
Houses and fortress in Hankar.
From the monastery at the town's end we see the remains of the old fortress.
The tower of Hankar dzong is still in good condition and the prayerflag on top
is exchanged every year.
View from the foot of the tower down to the village
Kang Yaze forms the background, people in the village have collected the barley.
We continue to follow the river xxx to reach the base of our second pass. The
evening sun illuminates and increases the natural play of colours.
Fairytale scenery on our way to the pass.
Approaching the prayerflags that mark the top of the pass Zalung Karpo La.
Lance arrives at the pass.
The view from the pass southwards to Sorra and the ancient fort of Karnak.
The southern slope of the Zalung Karpo La is completely free of snow
Sorra valley is quite a different world than the valley to the north of the
Colourfull valley of Sorra in the afternoon sun.
Lhatso, a solemn spot where villagers from Dat make offerings to the local
mountain deity. The goddess lives on the pyramid shaped summit.
A huge number of mani stones with inscribed mantras are piled around the
Unique carving with an almost three dimensional appearance.
Yama, the god of death, symbolizing victory over ignorance.
Swampy plain near Dat, the village below the organ pipes is only visible because
of the red bushes drying on the roofs.
Monastery of Dat
Nomad riding from Lungmoche to Dat.
High altitude plain on the way from Dat to Yar La. The rider on the right is
riding to Dat.
View back towards the Zalung Karpo La which we crossd two days ago.
Descending from Yar La, another 5'000 pass. Bad weather is moving in but once
more we escape the downpour and only suffer cold temperatures.
The summer settlement of Lungmoche consists of a dozen simple stone huts and
tents. Ladakhi keep yaks and sheep that are driven down from the grazing areas
at night and kept in stone walls to protect them from wolves and snow leopards.
Shepherd watching his goat and sheep.
Yaks are rarely slaughtered, goat is available in abundance.
Another small pass between Lungmoche and Sangtha. At the horizon is Yar La which
we crossed the day before.
Descending to Sangtha in a fantastic canyon.
Pogmar is a Tibetan settlement and not inhabited in summer. At the lowest point
on the ridge on the left lies Yar La, the pass which separates this valley from
From Pang we follow the river upstream.
Bizare stone figures rise out of the riverbed and watch us as we follow the
river and take a sidevalley to the east.
Pika, a common small rodent in the high land deserts.
Our caravan steadily gains altitude, horses and people slow down even before
reaching the difficult scree slope
The most difficult obstacle on our journey is a less-known pass - almost 6'000
meters high - that is covered by snow.
Finally on top of Lachung Kora La, the highest pass we've crossed on our way and
almost 6'000 meters high.
Well deserved break for the horses that broke trail for us.
View from the pass to Sharma where we camped for three nights.
Our camp in Sharma, a grazing area during summer but when we arrived in October
nobody was there anymore. The little creek froze at night.
Tenba and Lobsang prepare another tasty dinner in the kitchen tent.
Dimensions are incredible - our little camp at the right, two trekkers making
their way up to this 5'000 m pass.
Storm looms over Tso Kar, a brackish lake from - until some years ago - nomads
collected salt and traded it against other goods.
Unnamed, unclimbed (???) peak near Sharma camp, an attempt to climb had to be abandoned
due to bad weather.
The caravan descending from Yalung Nyam Lao towards to Tso
Sunset on a peak across the lake. The summer before two trekkers died during the ascent of
the 6'666 m peak; they froze to death when bad weather moved in.
Near Karzok I experienced one of the few classical sunrise scenes during the trek. The sun
rises over the distance mountain range that forms the horizon and puts the Mentok
range into a orange light.
Another peak of the Mentok range.
Traditional yak wool tent of the nomads.
The nomad kids near Karzok have not been spoiled by tourists offering pens or sweets.
Wild young nomad daughter, nevertheless she ran off when our jeep arrived.
Yaks are being loaded with goods that are sold or traded in a nearby settlement.
Nomad with his yaks sets out for trading wool.
Tibetan Children Village school in Sumdo.
On the way from the nomads' tents to Karzok we pass wonderfully carved mani stones.