4/30/2011 to 5/2/2011 | India , Mizoram

Phawngpui: Climbing the “Blue Mountain”

View from near the tourist lodge, Sangau


Phawngpui, literally “blue mountain” in Mizo, at rather lowly 2158 m (7078 ft) is the highest point in the state of Mizoram.  The mountains or hills of Mizoaram make up for what they lack in height with shear quantity making it the state with the fewest acres of flat land in India.  […]

3/15/2011 to 3/17/2011 | India , Manipur

Ukhrul: Escape to the Hills

Siroi Hill, Ukhral


We were all excited to finally get out of Imphal into the surrounding hills.  We had chosen the destination of Ukhrul a town in the northeastern hill region of Manipur inhabited primarily by friendly Tangkhul Nagas.  Few foreigners make it to Imphal and even fewer to Ukhrul.  Three foreigners hopping off a […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

9/1/2009 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 […]

8/17/2009 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 […]

7/18/2009 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 […]

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 […]

5/22/2009 to 6/2/2009 | Nepal

Langtang, Nepal


Fifty hours on 4 different buses along the hot Bhramaputra Valley of Assam and the sweltering plains of Nepal’s Terai brought me at last to Kathmandu. I had trekked the Annapurna Region and the Everest Region on my previous visits to Nepal, this left Langtang as the last of the three major […]

5/12/2009 to 5/21/2009 | India , Meghalaya

The living root bridges of Cherrapunjee


May and I returned to Shillong where we met up for a last time with Phejin at her sisters’ place.  After a few days of rest and relaxation May and I headed off to see one last wonder of the northeast, the living root bridges near Cherrapunjee.  The villagers in the lush […]

11/2/2008 to 11/7/2008 | India , Uttarakhand

Pindari Glacier Trek



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“I only take the Rajdhani, the other trains are no good, Rajdhani is good train.”  Indian trains, hardly the first topic of conversation I would have expected from a holy man who lives most of the year in solitude at the inhospitable altitude of 3600 m just below […]

October 2008 | India , Uttarakhand

Char Dham



Legacy Gallery with Captions

Having escaped the snows of Spiti, I headed for the neighboring Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, formally known as Uttaranchal.  The state’s most famous destination for foreigners is the Meditation/Yoga/Asram/neo-Hippi meca of Rishikesh made famous by the Beatles’ stay in 1968.  For Indians the state derives its fame as […]

10/15/2008 to 10/17/2008 | India , Uttarakhand

Kuari Pass Trek



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I reached Joshimath in the evening after a long series of jeeps and buses from Wan, although relatively close geographically the poor roads and transport connections made it a long day of travel.  My primary purpose of visiting Joshimath was to hike up to the Kuari Pass for […]

10/10/2008 to 10/13/2008 | India , Uttarakhand

Roop Kund



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The mysterious lake of Roop Kund sits below the towering 7120 m (23,350 ft) face of Trisul, on the western edge of the Nada Devi Sanctuary, mountainous region surrounding Nada Devi the highest peak solely contained within India.  The lake draws its notoriety from the large collection of […]

9/12/2008 to 9/18/2008 | India , Ladakh

Tso Moriri to the Spiti Valley via the Parang La



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We awoke in Korzok, the village nestled along the northwestern bank of the high altitude sailine lake of Tso Moriri, to a mass exodus.  Anyone with any mode of transportation, horse, donkey, tractor, jeep, motorcycle, truck, anything that could move a person to some where other than Korzok, […]

8/15/2008 to 9/3/2008 | India , Ladakh

Trekking Across Zanskar



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I walked up Chanspa road in Leh towards the Sandwich Bar where a group was meeting to discuss the logistics for a self organized trek to Zanskar.  I had planned on doing the Lamayuru to Darcha trek across the remote region of Zanskar, so when I noticed a […]

8/6/2008-8/11/2008 | India , Ladakh

Trekking to the Nubra Valley



The most common way to enter the Nubra Valley is via the 5602 m (18,375 ft) Khardong La which the Indians love to tout as the highest motorable road in the world, a title which is apparently somewhat debatable.   In any case, I decided to hike in via the lesser used pass […]

7/28/2008 to 7/29/2008 | India , Ladakh

Stok Kangri: soloing a six-thousand-er



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Stok Kangri rises like a white sail above the Indus valley opposite Leh.  Looking up at the snow covered peak watching the last rays of the setting sun bathe the white massif in a golden glow, I found it hard to believe I had stood that morning watching […]

7/18/2008 to 7/25/2008 | India , Ladakh

Trekking the Stok Range: Phanjila to Hemis



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As I slid down the glacier my speed increasing with every passing moment I struggled with all the might my oxygen starved lungs could muster to slow my acceleration, thrusting my trekking pole into the ice with as much success as one might have in forcing a pencil […]

5/28/2008 to 6/4/2008 | Nepal

Trekking in the Everest Region V: The Renjo La, Bhote Valley, and back to Jiri

Lake next to Gokyo.


The previous day’s phenomenal weather at Knobby View was not a fluke but rather the beginning of a trend.  The sky was yet again spectacularly clear the morning we hiked westward over the Renjo La (5417m/17,772 ft pass) from Gokyo to the neighboring Bhote Valley.  From the prayer flag strewn top of […]

5/24/2008 to 5/27/2008 | Nepal

Trekking in the Everest Region IV: The Cho La to Gokyo

Cho Oyu 6th highest mountain in the world (8201m/26,906 ft) from Gokyo.


Knobby View Panorama

It snowed most of the day I hiked to Dzonglha, the last lodge before the 5420m/17,782 ft pass to the Gokyo Valley known as the Cho La.  At the lodge in Dzonglha I met, Ben, an outdoor enthusiast from Minneapolis, Minnesota, with the accent to match.  He had started […]