7/11/2008, 7/14/2008, 7/31/2008 - | India , Ladakh

Around Leh

Monk creating sand mandala, Spituk Monastery.


In between treks and lazy days in Leh, I made a few day trips to some of the monasteries near Leh.  Spituk monastery is the closest major monastery to Leh and was mainly interesting for the sand mandala that was being created by the monks at the time I visited, an undertaking […]

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 […]

7/12/2008-7/13/2008 | India , Ladakh

Hemis Festival

Monk watching Cham dance, Hemis Festival.


Shortly after I arrived in Ladakh, the festival at the Monastery of Hemis was scheduled to take place.  Probably among the most touristy of the monastic Cham dance (traditional Tibetan masked dances) festivals in Ladakh, due to its proximity to Leh and the fact that it takes place in the summer during […]

6/5/2008 to 7/11/2008 | Himachal Pradesh , India

Nepal to Ladakh: via Dharamsala

Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, Leh.


The toughest leg in my journey from Nepal to Ladakh in northwest India was not the bone shattering 24 hour Manali to Leh bus along one of the highest and remotest roads in the world, nor was it braving the heat, humidity, and down pours of the Indian monsoon while passing through […]