Nothing ventured, nothing Win

After a decade, the bug to visit Ladakh again bit me. And this time, it may well be my final visit to the city, so I wanted to make it truly memorable and see the remotest, most deserted areas of beauty that Ladakh has to offer.

Obviously, “remotest” and “most deserted” are synonymous with “hard to get to”, that means if you’re too fat, too thin, too young or too old, you can’t make it. I’m hoping I am fit enough to make the journey. IF the cold and high altitude does not get me down first. The last time I went over 3500m in the Himalayas after recovering from my strokes, I found I was afflicted with a severe continuing nose bleed that forced me to turn tail. The nose bleed had something to do with my deviated nasal septum which was worsened during my hospitalization, leaving me with a very nasty tendency to clog up completely in cold weather.

The most popular treks that people usually undertake are to Markha Valley or Zanskar (Chadar Frozen River Trek) or perhaps Nubra Valley (a drive beyond Khardungla Pass requiring a permit). Fewer do the Stok Kangri trek. Perhaps two in a hundred tourists to Leh (my guess) do one of these treks, that is itself a massive number. But I was interested in seeking out remote and stark beauty, that few will travel to because it is inherently crowd-unfriendly.

The climb would tax me at 49 years old (but then, what can I do later if I don’t do at least this now?). I guess I am not fully prepared for the entire adventure of high altitude climbing (not enough training, two brain strokes and a heart stent operation down), but nothing ventured, nothing win as Sir Hillary said.

Contributed by: Rajendra Prasad | Location: Stok Kangri| Featured Image: “Stok Kangri” by Gαurαv is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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