10/30/2010 to 10/31/2010 | Himachal Pradesh , India


Sui Mata Shrine, Chamba


My final stop in the Chamba Valley, before I headed back to Delhi, was the regional capital of the same name.  Set down in the valley its setting isn’t as impressive as Bharmour’s, but like Bharmour it has an array of impressive temples dating from the 10th to 19th centuries.  The focal […]

10/27/2010 to 10/29/2010 | Himachal Pradesh , India

Manimahesh: Another Kailash

Manimahesh Kailash


I had come to the Chamba Valley with the intention of trekking to Manimahesh Lake, a lake holy to Hindus set in the high Himalayas at 4,080 m (13,390 ft), and dominated by Manimahesh Kailash.  I was hoping to add this Kailash to my Kailash collection, which now included the grand daddy of Kailashes, […]

10/25/2010 to 10/26/2010 | Himachal Pradesh , India

Bharmour and the Chamba Valley

6th century Manimahesh Temple, Bharmour


After 3 years and 9 months to the day on the road in Asia, I had decided to return home to visit my family in California for a few months over Christmas.  I cashed in my remaining frequent flyer miles, and booked my first international flight since I had landed in Hong […]

8/27/2010 to 8/29/2010 | India , Jammu & Kashmir

To Srinagar: A City Under Siege


With Tam and Kip’s departure by air that left me the sole guest remaining at the Tsavo Guesthouse.  I was well looked after by Zangmo and Angchu but most of the restaurants and shops in Leh had closed early for the season due to the exodus of tourists following the flash flood.  […]

8/19/2010 to 8/21/2010 | India , Ladakh

Turtuk: Eden on the Pakistani border


Tam and Kip had given up on a road exit from Ladakh and booked flights to Delhi.  There departure date left them time for one last trip in Ladakh.  We managed to hook up with a brother and sister from Britian and an Israeli girl to share a jeep to the Nubra […]

8/15/2010 to 8/16/2010 | India , Ladakh

Zingchen to Stok

One of the reasons Tam and especially Kip had come to Ladakh was to do some trekking in the high mountains.  The rains that brought such havoc on Leh had also washed away many trails and had swollen rivers to the point that they were impassable, not to mention the logistical nightmare of […]

8/14/2010 | India , Ladakh

Stakna to Matho

By the 14th of August the tourists in Leh had thinned out dramatically with most taking flights out town.  The roads to Manali and Srinagar were still closed but the roads to some nearby villages especially to the south had opened and bus services had begun again.  Having been stuck in Leh since […]

7/29/2010 to 8/5/2010 | India , Ladakh

Leh the quiet before the storm


I first met Zangmo and Angchu when my Latvian friend Santa took me to one of the family style dinners held nightly at their Tsavo guesthouse when I was in Leh last year. I was impressed with the warm family atmosphere created by the Ladakhi couple in their guesthouse.  When I returned […]

4/2/2010 to 4/8/2010 | Nepal

Langtang: a bus ride from hell & a trek to heaven


Sarah had wanted to do some trekking in the Nepal Himalaya.  Given the limited amount of time I decided to take her to Langtang, which in my opinion is one of the best short treks in Nepal.  In at as little as three days from Kathmandu you can be at the base […]

12/4/2009 to 12/5/2009 | Nepal

Everest Marathon, Politicians, and back to the “Du”


The day I had chosen to head back to Lukla from Deboche was an eventful day in the Khumbu.  It was the day of the Everest Marathon for those who think marathons at sea level on well maintained roads are just too easy.  The marathon follows a 26.2 mile route from Everest […]

11/29/2009 to 12/3/2009 | Nepal

Return to Gokyo


Essentially being thrown unexpectedly back up into the Everest Region I wasn’t really sure what to do.  I did like the Gokyo Valley last time I was in the region (see original Gokyo post) so I had decided to return there, since there were still a few places in the valley I […]

11/23/2009 to 11/28/2009 | Nepal

Helicopter Hitching to the Khumbu


I woke up figuring it would be just like any other day in the past couple weeks, I’d go down to Kili’s office browse the internet, drink copious amounts of milk tea (chai), and do a bit of website work.  Little did I know, I’d leave the ground that day for the […]

10/19/2009 to 10/23/2009 | Nepal



I arrived at the border town of Mahendranagar in the early afternoon.  Everything was closed even many of the hotels.  It was the last day of the Nepali celebration of Deepwali a slightly different timing than the Indian version.  I eventually managed to find an acceptable room if a bit more than […]

9/22/2009 to 10/16/2009 | India , Uttarakhand

Milam Glacier and Nanda Devi East


Descending from Kinnaur via Shimla, I passed through Delhi, on my way back up to the mountains of western Uttarakhand.  Not the most direct route when viewed on a map but the quickest and easiest when the topography of the region, roads, and bus quality is taken into account.  A stop over […]

9/17/2009 to 9/22/2009 | Himachal Pradesh , India

Kinnaur Kailash Parikarma


“How will you know the way, the weather is bad, there is a lot of snow,” the senior officer said. “I’ve hiked all over the Himalayas, I hiked the Pin-Paravati pass in a snow storm,” I retorted.  “Ok, I’ll give you the permission if you write a statement that you take responsibility […]

9/7/2009 to 9/15/2009 | Himachal Pradesh , India

Dodging falling rocks on the way to Kalpa, Kinnaur


Is it possible to be simultaneously both jinxed and lucky?  I think I may fall into that category with respect to my travels to Spiti and Kinnaur.   Last year a the snow storm stranded me in Kaza for nine days and prevented my planned visit to Kinnaur, however I was very fortunate […]

9/5/2010 to 9/6/2010 | Himachal Pradesh , India

Dhankar Gompa


Leaving Mud and the Pin Valley behind I stopped for a day at Dhankar a beautifully set high above the Spiti Vally with a old Gompa perched on a rocky crag above the city.

9/1/2009 to 9/5/2009 | Himachal Pradesh , India

The Pin-Parvati Pass


I left Ladakh for the Spiti Valley for the second summer in a row; though this time I would go by bus rather than hike in as I had on my last trip.  My previous trip to Spiti was ended by an early snow storm, I hoped this time I would have […]

8/24/2009 to 8/25/2009 | India , Ladakh

The Dalai Lama in Leh


I returned to Leh in time to catch one of Dalai Lama’s public teachings, the last in a series of five.   The teachings in Leh are held in a large outdoor ground in nearby Choklamsar home to large community of Tibetan refugees.  The atmosphere the massive gathering reminded me something of an […]

8/22/2009 to 8/23/2009 | India , Ladakh


Arriving to Kargil in the early afternoon, gave me a half day to kill, since the bus to Leh departed early the next morning.  Not a great town by any stretch, but mildly interesting for being much more like Kashmir than the rest of Ladakh.  It is a heavily Islamic town settled primarily […]

8/17/2009 to 8/21/2009 | India , Ladakh

Nun, Kun and the Suru Circuit


I arrived in Panikhar from Sanko in time to hike up the ridge behind the village, catching the setting sun illuminate Nun and Kun for my first of what would many impressive views of the twin 7000 m peaks.  I also found a nice family run guesthouse in Panikhar serving up diner, […]

8/15/2009 to 8/17/2009 | India , Ladakh

Shergol to Sanko trekking the roads less traveled to the Suru Valley


There is something satisfying about hopping off a bus full of tourists at a small little known village and walking off into the mountains on your own.  In this case the bus was bound for Kargil nearly half of those on board were foreigners headed to see the Dalai Lama give teachings […]

7/29/2009 to 7/31/2009 | India , Ladakh

A 20,000 ft day hike


After a day of rest and recuperation in Korzok following my previous climb, I still had another day before the tri-monthly bus to Leh.  The weather had improved over the last two days and I was eyeing the peak directly to the north of Korzok, marked 5098 m (20,000 ft) on my […]

7/25/2009 to 7/28/2009 | India , Ladakh

Soloing 21,725 foot Chhamser (Chamser) Kangri


There are several 6000 m peaks within easy striking range of Korzok. But when it came down to deciding which peak I would attempt first there was really no question, I had my sights set squarely on 6622 m (21,725 ft) Chhamser Kangri (also spelled Chamser Kangri). After all, I couldn’t continue […]

7/24/2009 to 7/25/2009 | India , Ladakh

Korzok Festival


We had arrived in Korzok for the annual monastic festival held at the local gompa. Another Tibeatan monastic festival with the requisite Cham dances, trumpets and drums. While the Cham masks were not as spectacular as others I’d seen, the main interest for me were the locals who flocked to Korzok from […]

7/18/2009 to 7/24/2009 | India , Ladakh

Rumste to Tso Moriri


After a week of rest in Leh, following the departure of Karin and Jeff, I returned to the trail. This time would be a new experience for me, as I would be accompanying a trekking group organized by my friend Mohan. I was going in the capacity of an officially unofficial guide, […]

7/4/2009 to 7/9/2009 | India , Ladakh

Stok Kangri


I looked at the massive yellow duffle bag at my feet. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I thought, “The thing is bigger than my backpack; maybe it’s not as heavy as it looks.” I lifted it into the waiting taxi. Nope, it was as heavy as it looked. When I had […]

7/2/2009 to 7/3/2009 | India , Ladakh

Hemis Festival 2009


The next morning we gave our legs a break and took a bus from Shang Sumdo to Hemis.  The monastic festival of Hemis is the largest and most well known of the many monastic festivals that take place throughout Ladakh and Zanskar.  Its fame, proximity to Leh, and timing (falling during Ladakh’s […]

6/25/2009 to 7/1/2009 | India , Ladakh

Markha Valley Trek


I had already done the Markha Valley Trek on my previous trip to Ladakh but it is a good short trek and easy to do without camping equipment so it was the trek I decided to take Karin and Jeff on. In addition we would finish at Hemis in time to catch […]

6/11/2009 to 6/25/2009 | India , Ladakh

Around Leh and Pangong Lake with Karin & Jeff


I was excited to leave Delhi for Leh, not only for the obvious weather considerations, and I was certainly anxious to leave the heat of Delhi for the cool crisp mountain air of Ladakh, but rather to see sister, Karin, and brother-in-law, Jeff, who were coming to visit. I had not seen […]