Nepal Appreciation Thread: You been there? Stories/photos!

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 69 of total 69 in this topic
micronut

Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 1, 2011 - 01:57pm PT
There have been a couple threads here over the years about Nepal, the Himalaya and other goings on in this amazing place. I just wanted to share some photography from our trips there and share the stoke with others who have been there.

So chime in with photos, stories, word or whatever. May the magic of this wonderful land and its people inspire you. I hope to return again some day.

I'll post up some captions soon. But most of these shots speak for themselves....
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Dec 1, 2011 - 02:00pm PT
the sun be my judge,
i haven't set foot beyond
the you es of a.

i named both my daughters after himalayan peaks,
with hopes that
hardship is all of our to inherit.

annapurna.

makalu.
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Dec 1, 2011 - 03:01pm PT

Amazing how it's changed in less than 30 years.

Lukla. The most dangerous airport in the world.

1983 - dirt

2007 - paved (around 2001 IIRC)

In 1983, you either walked around K-du or Rickshaw. Now, it's chock-a-block with cars. The smog is awful.

The swinging bridges are much sturdier now as well.

So, one day, I was the most famous guy in the Khumbu. Going down to one of those swinging bridges on switchbacks on both sides, were dozens of trekkers. I get on the bridge and I feel more vibration than I would generate myself. I'd just walked past a Yak and I realized - in a micro-second - it was chasing me across the Bridge. No time to turn and verify it, just run like crazy across the bridge and fling myself over to the side at the feet of a couple of companions - who thought it was hilarious.

That night, it was the talk of every teahouse within a one day radius. Dozens of people had seen it. Rarely happens. Yaks are pretty tame.
Banquo

climber
Morgan Hill, CA (Mo' Hill)
Dec 1, 2011 - 03:37pm PT
I was there in 81 and 84. I remember they didn't have metal detectors in the airport so when leaving the country I was frisked. They found my bundle of cash and travelers checks in my pants but didn't ask to see it after I told them it was my money although it could have been drugs or a bomb for all they knew. They also found my swiss army knife which they wouldn't allow me to carry onto the plane. They said I could put the knife into my checked pack so, unattended by anyone, I walked out across the tarmac to the airplane, found my pack and put the knife into it. It didn't seem like very effective security to me.
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Dec 1, 2011 - 04:54pm PT
I also had a run-in with my SWAK in 2007. I'd packed my daybag to go hiking - forgetting the intervening flight via Lukla. There were three levels of security. The bag went through the X-Ray, np. Then there was that place at the terminal exit where they do the Males and Females separately and I was searched - again, np. At the aircraft, there was someone who asked if I had a knife or lighter. I realized I had both those things.

I sent my guide back for the SWAK. The lighter wasn't worth it.

Two years ago in the Indian Himalaya, I was privileged to share a flight from Leh with the Da Lai Lama. Security was the tightest I've seen. Zero carry-on. No coats. Nothing. You could check up to ten bags but nothing in the cabin.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Dec 1, 2011 - 08:03pm PT
nepal is my second home.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 1, 2011 - 08:17pm PT
I've enjoyed two 16 day treks with friends in Nepal. Everest Area in 2005 and Mustang in 2008.

The locals certainly add to the enjoyment of the journey, but some of the largest mountains in the world are eye candy: far better, than a photo can ever share.

Of course: a chocolate croissant and hot beverage at 12,000 Ft., after 14 days trekking, is also memorable.







OK mountains.



And how could I neglect the "pointy Mountain:" Ama Dablin.


Mattq331

Mountain climber
Boulder/UK
Dec 1, 2011 - 10:18pm PT
Absolutely love Nepal!

Was there in 1996 on a climbing trip. We were on Hiunchuli in the Annapurna Sanctuary:

Now, 15 years later I'm going back, this time with my wife and kids (13, 15) to trek into the Khumbu. My eldest was just 3 months old when I left to Nepal the first time - but it struck me that trekking in Nepal was something the whole family would enjoy. In 2 weeks time we'll be testing my theory!

Matt
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Dec 1, 2011 - 10:28pm PT
Despites the hardships, I spent the best years of my life in Nepal and many of my closest friends are still there. It's always interesting for me to see how others not as immersed in the culture as I am perceive it.

Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 1, 2011 - 10:28pm PT
Matt: Love your drawings.

Enjoy Nepal.

Kathmandu is still: a zoo!

(a very interesting zoo, however)!!
salad

climber
Escondido
Dec 1, 2011 - 11:35pm PT
not quite in the same league, but i was once there too!





(Nilgiri)








Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 2, 2011 - 12:14am PT
Anyone enjoying this thread?

Let us know?

Post your thoughts &/or photos.

I have lots more photos, but if they are not of interest?

Have a nice day.





Mark Rodell

Trad climber
Bangkok
Dec 2, 2011 - 03:09am PT
Appreciate Nepal...Well yea. I was lucky enough to snag a job teaching there. It was a U.S.I.S. gig so the pay was okay. Lived there about three years and got in a lot of trips into the mts. Problem was living in Kathmandu, a very dirty place and I was sick too often. Moved to Bangkok and have taken many trips back to Nepal since then.

One thing I learned was that the off season was a great time to trek. Monsoon in the Everest Area...very few tourists. Wake early and plan that the rains would come early afternoon.

Took my Thai wife into te Jomsom/Mustang gateway area one January. When we signed the park enterance register there were only six other parties on the trail. During peak season there'd be hundreds of groups. Cold but weather held and so very nice.

Less popular area like Langtang, very cool. Get off trail and speak a bit of the language or hire a good guide and the hospitality blooms. My guide, who I used often, knew local edible plants and we took off trail a lot. We also sought out obscure temples.

Appreciate Nepal. Yep...so Fritz post up pics. I am away from home and cling to this place for sanity.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Dec 2, 2011 - 03:37am PT
We needed a guide from Nepal to get us to the top of this rock.

bonus question: where are we?
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 2, 2011 - 03:46am PT
Cool thread. I would if I could...

and Fritz, post more pics.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Dec 2, 2011 - 05:26am PT
This fellow is also a river guide:
local

Social climber
eldorado springs
Dec 2, 2011 - 10:04am PT
The photo labeled Cho Oyu up-thread is actually Gyachang Kang, 7952m, just east of Cho Oyu.
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Dec 2, 2011 - 10:09am PT
Gonna guess those are the Terai.

I like Gokyo, as well, the ridge overlooking the Glacier that feeds the Ganges. Much less traveled than the EBC Corridor.




John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Dec 2, 2011 - 10:34am PT
I've got dozens of pix of the crazy crap around Thamel etc.


Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 2, 2011 - 10:59am PT
Local: Thanks for the correction, re your comment-

The photo labeled Cho Oyu up-thread is actually Gyachang Kang, 7952m, just east of Cho Oyu.

I found the image in the batch I took from Gokyo Ri, thought it might be Cho Oyu, then looked on Google for Cho Oyu and found a similar photo.

Here is a great photo from this site:

http://www.himalaya-info.org/nepal-flug.htm:

That explains my confusion. (click on image to enlarge)



Here is a photo I took of Cho Oyu, from just below Goyko.



Holy Schist! There are a lot of mountains in there!
micronut

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2011 - 11:01am PT
Ahhh Thamel. I still love it in all its insanity and filth and tourisimo. Here's two different shots. One on your typical day, all the husstle and busstle of a touristy day on the streets,
And a starkly different day a in 2010. Maoists had taken over the area, burning storefronts, beating people up and traveling in thug packs that would pull folks out of their vehicles and pummel them. A bigger version of the "strikes" that happen weekly. It was super spooky. A ghost town. We had to travel that day to speak in a little chuch ten miles away. We rented bikes and rode back streets, fearful of getting mobbed. My wife was a champ and rode like a madwoman while fires burned in the streets. One of the more intense days of my life.

I'd love to dig beneath some of the the tourist ideals of Nepal and hear a bit from those who have spent some real time there. Its a real mess when you peel back the wallpaper. We've done three humanitarian/churchplanting trips in the last two years. The life in the villages is not good, and the maoists are really mucking things up, not to mention the current power struggle in "parliament". In my opinion, hope lies in the young generation and in those with a vision for restoring Nepal to its roots.
Powder

Trad climber
SF Bay Area
Dec 2, 2011 - 11:10am PT
*reading this thread and enjoying the photos...especially those of mountains!*

Thanks for sharing!

Branscomb

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Dec 2, 2011 - 11:22am PT
I've been there a lot, starting in 1979. Took the bus from Bodnath to Kathmandu with a couple of French freaks. We rode most of the way on the roof of the bus because everyone else had eaten the slop at the Raksal border post and were lining the inside with vomit. Coming into Kathmandu in the evening with the mountains in the distance. I thought they were clouds they were so high and then I realized, those are mountains.

I trekked to Muktinath by myself in December. Thought I would go over the Thorung La but too cold and too much snow. Saw the Miracle of the Fire and the Water. Pretty cool. Cold wind from Tibet on the Kali Gandaki. Rested a bit. Living in Pig Alley two doors down from the Chi and Pie. Befriended some Nepalese freaks. One night we got stoned on their Hashish in the back of the Chi and Pie. Like the locals anywhere, they kept the good stuff for themselves. I realized I couldn't remember how to get back to my room. They had a good laugh and then took me home, put me to bed. Sweet people.

Trekked into Everest from Lamu Sangu, 40 days, by myself. First day was trudging up the hill out of Lamu Sangu, man comes up to me in the forest, asks me to come to his place and have some tea. Follow him down through the terraced fields. Feeling something strange. At his house, a woman washing dishes. Won't look at me. Another man, sharpening a kukuri. Looks at me out of the corner of his eye, sly. The man who brought me there looks off over the valley, won't speak to me. Weird vibs. Darkness. I grap my pack and start back up the hill as fast as possible. He chases after me, yelling to come back. I throw rocks at him and he leaves off. I get up to the top of the hill later to a tea stall. The owner asks me if I am alone. Asks me if I had seen anyone else. I told him my story. He tells me I was very lucky. A British couple had been robbed and the man murdered in the same place the week before. I give him a description of the people and continue on.

Two weeks later I'm at Lobuche, 14000 feet last stop to Base Camp. Stay with an old Tibetan woman in what turns out is a hut for porters going back and forth the Everest. I'm the only one there. The first night we're sitting across the fire from each other. She hands me a big bowl of rice and greens. As I'm chowing down I look over the rim of my bowl. She's staring at me like Yamantaka, wrathful deity. Who the f*#k are you and what the f*#k are you doing here, boy? You should be over in the other huts with the trekkers. I give her a huge Tibetan tongue out of mouth greeting full of rice. She nearly falls in the fire laughing. She tells every porter in the days after about me. We get along wonderfully.

Luck out and see Everest without cloud from Kala Pattar. Get to Base Camp. Huge scenery. Obviously massive avalanches roaring up there, so lost in the landscape not even ice dust is visible.

Go back to Tengboche. Meet a couple of Swiss freaks who tell me to go up to Gorkyo. A sherpani and her child up there herding yaks. Place to stay. No other westerners. Cross to Phorche and go all day alone to Machaarma. Stay with the middle sister that night. She sings as the star light and night wind seep through the unchinked stone wall. Next day I get to Gorkyo. Pema Sherpani and Zangmu, her daughter and 6 yaks. The eldest sister gets the highest job. Next day with the sky tin pan and the wind building, I go to a dark rock across the glacier from Cho Oyu. Fall asleep and dream, so tired. Crawl acros the snow in the building storm in places, make it back for a two day full tilt snow storm in the hut. When it's over, it's clear, but chest deep snow. No worries, someone will break the trail in in a day or two. Climb the Kala Pattar there. Better view, can see the North Face of Everest from there. Next day, Pema's husband breaks trail in with two yaks. He's been on Everest with the Japanese at 24,000ft. Heard through the Sherpa grapevine there was some Westerner with his wife in Gorkyo. He had descended from 24,000ft after the storm, walked in one day what had taken me 4 days to hike, picked up the yaks in Machaarma, and came up. Everything cool. Nothing going on. I retire to the moraine on the Ngozumpa for the afternoon with Zangmu while they get reacquainted. Leave the next day.

Hook up with the Swiss for the trek out to Lamu Sangu. Trek of the poor. None of us, the two Swiss, me, a Dutch freak and an German, can afford the Lukla cop-out. Catch Hepatitis A on the way out. Hot season coming on. So sick I wake up one morning and think if I don't get out, I'll go home in a box. Get a flight to Dehli and then London and finally LA. Had lost 40 pounds and a bit yellow. Got to visit Room 13 in LAX while they tore everything apart. Thought they had a hot one. I've given everything away before I'd left. My parents thought I was still in Asia. When I walked up the driveway to their house in Placerville, my father didn't recognize me. Took me a few months to get well.

Went back several years later, 1985 I think, with Kristi. We spent four months travelling through China and Tibet. Had to walk into Nepal in monsoon. Roads washed out. Walking across the border into Nepal, children laughing. We remarked to each other that it was the first time we'd heard laughter in 4 months of China. So much for the People's Revolution. Got to Kathmandu and ate for a week, four meals a day. And Nescafe: yea! Trekked into Langtang at the end of monsoon. Have a wonderful picture of Kristi taken from the window of our hotel room in Trisuli Bazaar before starting the trek. She's washing her face in the water pump by the road. She had her trekking dress on and there are a dozen ragged little kids standing in front of her staring at her intently while she washes her face. Warmup hike, lots of leeches. At the end of the valley, we both felt very weird vibs, like there was something there that didn't want us there. We felt it at the same time. Best to not ignore such things, especially when in parallel. Jumped up and headed back to the cheese factory hastily.

Went back to the big city, regroup. Fly into the Arun River to avoid the Falcipuram malaria down lower. STOL flight into a dirt field. Cross the Arun on a huge steel suspension bridge. Sleep that night on the porch of a Rai village as it pours rain. BonPo shaman in the middle of the night passes through, blowing his counch and blessing the Hindus. All the books say we can't do this without porters, guides. We'll get lost. We take a tent, a few days emergency food and a kerosene stove. Go for it. Fantastic trek over to the Everest region, over three passes over 11,000 feet in rhododendron cloud forest in bloom in the fog. See two other Westerners in those 10 days. Full days of hiking between villages. Lost a couple of times, but figure it out. The last day, trail fades to a steep slab falling into a raging post monsoon torrent, no holds. We friction across with our packs. No mistakes or die. 10 days back to the Arun. We make it. Go to Base Camp, Gorkyo, the Kala Pattars. Pema Sherpani still herding yaks at Gorkyo. She recognizes me when we walk in the door. Mr. Bob. Zangmu is in Kathmandu in school. Doing well. Not so nice now, many of these westerners. Some leave without paying. So little money to them, but to us, it's a lot. Why do they do that? And they demand things, more food like in Namche, pancakes and omelettes. They get angry if she runs out. Not very nice. Trek out to Jiri and the new roadhead by ourselves. Everyone has money now. They can fly from Lukla. We just want to make it last a little longer.

Haven't been back since. Sounds like so many people now. Maybe Kathmandu would like to visit, but the trekking, prefer to remember it like then.

John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Dec 2, 2011 - 11:25am PT


The Mountains.

Nepal is all about the Mountains.

micronut

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2011 - 11:47am PT
Branscomb,
AMAZING stories....a real Friday morning treat here at work. The one about the murderers gave me chills. What a formative time in your life. Nobody can ever steal those moments. How cool. Thank you for sharing.

Its amazing how this place can form a youthful mind body and soul.
micronut

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2011 - 11:48am PT
Mattq331. Wonderful artwork bro.

Fritz, Thanks for sharing.
Jim Leininger

Trad climber
tucson, az
Dec 2, 2011 - 04:19pm PT
Been there 2X, in 2000 and in 2008... It is a magical place once you get up into the Khumbu region... The people, places and sights are all amazing... Hope to go back, possibly in 2013 to take my oldest granddaughter, or maybe even both of them...
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 2, 2011 - 04:50pm PT
WOW! Thanks everyone, for more great photos, and Branscomb-----glad you survived your memorable journeys in Nepal.

Here's some more favorites from my 2005 trip with friends up towards Everest.


















Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 3, 2011 - 12:04am PT
Mustang Nepal 2008

Saugy

Mountain climber
BC
Dec 3, 2011 - 12:54am PT
sempervirens

climber
Dec 3, 2011 - 04:09pm PT
In '85 I crossed the border into Nepal from India. I was on an all day bus ride from Varanassi. The bus stopped many times for chai, probably at the tea stands that give a kick back to the bus driver. But you might as well drink a sweet chai and smoke out with the Euro freaks. By the time we arrived at the border, late in the evening, I was more than sufficiently stoned.

The Nepali customs agent asked me a few polite questions, I mumbled some answers. Then with a smile he asked, "Are you carrying anything illegal?, Do you have any hashish?". At that moment I remembered the 10-gram finger of hash in my front pants pocket. My face must've gone white; I was still new to Asia; my mouth dropped open. He laughed heartily, stamped my passport and sent me on.

I walked to Everest Base Camp from Jiri and back. There were much less trekkers below Namche Bazaar. I recommend the walk rather than a flight to or from Lukla.

The grandeur of the Himalaya is exceeded only by that of the Himalayan people.

See the link below about an American guy who started an orphanage and rescued trafficked children in Khatmandu. Yes he has a book. Even after following the Greg Mortensen affair I choose to believe this guy.

http://www.nextgenerationnepal.org/
sandstone conglomerate

climber
sharon conglomerate central
Dec 3, 2011 - 04:14pm PT
Great thread, keep the pics coming. Vicarious living through excellent photography.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 4, 2011 - 12:09am PT
Mustang is close to still being a 16th century Tibetan Kingdom.

Ain't enough tourists to change it----yet.

micronut

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 5, 2011 - 07:56pm PT
Photo bump.




Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 5, 2011 - 08:21pm PT
Wonderful photos everyone. It looks like you were all there in the fall. Either that or you had much better weather than I did.

I was there in the Spring of '92. I remember being all excited the night before we flew out of Bangkok, thinking I would get these outrageous views of the peaks. Visibility was so poor because of the haze you could only see a few miles.

Spent a few days in Kathmandu and then did the Annapurna Circuit over the following three weeks. The Thorang La (17,700') is still my altitude record. Took massive amounts of slides, none of which I've digitized, so I've got nothing to share (yet). I'm from LA and did the hike while the entire Rodney King/LA riot thing took place and was blithely unaware of it until we hiked out to Pohkara. I no longer knew the day of the week, etc. When we found a guest house in Pohkara, right on the lake, I remember asking the guy working there what day of the week it was. He shrugged. He didn't know but could find out if I wanted.

I still regret not going to Mustang while I had the chance. I'm really tempted to go back when my kids get older but afraid that I'll be disappointed by some of the changes. I hear you can now drive all the way to either Jomson or Manang now.
Truthdweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Dec 5, 2011 - 08:45pm PT
Jan '89...





Truthdweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Dec 5, 2011 - 08:51pm PT



Scole

Trad climber
San Diego
Dec 5, 2011 - 08:57pm PT
Here are a few shots from two different trips
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 5, 2011 - 10:43pm PT
More great photos & stories from everyone. Thank you for taking the time to post those photos.

Access into Mustang is limited, and trekking companies have to pay higher fees.

1. In 1968 I read a great adventure book by one of the first westerners to visit Mustang (in the U of Idaho library). I thought Mustang seemed "too cool" and I mentally vowed to visit there someday. (Mustang the Forbidden Kingdom, Michel Peissel 1967).


2. In Jan. 2008, I was invited to go on a 16 day Mustang trek by a high school friend that I had done my 2005 Nepal trek with.

Eight of the eleven trekkers on the trip would be friends. The trekking company owners were Idaho friends, and have a awesome Nepali trekking organization. How could I refuse?




After a few days in urban Nepal: day one of the trekking trip we flew a twin-prop plane into the small town of Jomoson at 8,900 ft.


From there we did horse-supported hiking for the next 16 days. Each day we tent camped, rose at 6:30 AM, packed all, but what we might need for the next 12 hours, of gear into individual dry or duffle bags for horses to carry, had breakfast, and hit the trail by 8:00 AM.










Banquo

climber
Morgan Hill, CA (Mo' Hill)
Dec 6, 2011 - 10:51am PT
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 6, 2011 - 11:11pm PT
Mustang is a finger of Nepal that juts northward onto the Tibetan plateau. It mostly sets north of the Himalayan Mountains and is very dry, since the mountains block storm systems.

Every day, at about noon, the south wind starts up and blows hard until sundown. This is due to warm jungle air from the south rising and blowing up the Kali Gandaki River valley.

We all got real tired of the afternoon wind-storms.



Mustang is a very arid environment and has been grazed heavily by sheep, goats, and yaks for thousands of year. In most areas only well defended
spiny plants survive. Peissel's 1967 book mentioned that only nobles had any trees.

A pleasant surprise for me was that native trees are being
propagated; and most villages with streams had a lot of trees.


After our second day we camped nights between 12,000 & 12,500 Ft. elevation and crossed at least one, usually two, 13,500 to 14,000 ft.
passes every day. Low temps for trip were low 20's F. and it got into the 50's or 60's almost every day.













Mustang has a rich history as a trading center between India & Tibet. The kingdom was first united in the late 1300's by the legendary King Ame Pal.

His descendents still had the title of King and ruled Mustang for the Nepal government, until the new democratic government of Nepal took over civil administration of Mustang October 2008. One of the highlights of our 2008 trip was having formal tea in the palace with the newly ex-King Jigme Palbar Bista,and his son. Most all the locals still consider him King, and his son will soon replace him as the new non-King.



The population of Mustang are ethnic Tibetans, and various sects of Tibetan Buddhists have both active and deserted monasteries and shrines in every part of Mustang.

Traditionally, the second son of each family becomes a Buddhist Monk.

The oldest monastery we visited dates to about 800 AD.

Stay tuned for more adventures in Mustang!


Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Dec 6, 2011 - 11:23pm PT
Thanks Fritz! I've never been to Mustang. Actually I've never been west of Kathmandu just north and east to the Sikkimese border and down to the Terai to the jungle parks and Lumbini.

I've seen lots of photos of Mustang and read about it but somehow your short description really helped orient it for me in both time and space.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Dec 6, 2011 - 11:39pm PT
Some of these photos are really amazing.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Dec 7, 2011 - 07:17am PT
Good news for the Nepalese Tourism Industry


KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) The United States says it has canceled a warning issued against travel to Nepal earlier this year because of the improved political situation in the Himalayan nation.

The U.S. Department of State says it believes the conditions in Nepal have changed considerably over the past year, incidents of political violence and the threat to U.S. citizens have significantly decreased and the political situation is stabilizing.

Nepal is trying to recover from the years of communist insurgency that ended in 2006 only to be followed by political instability. Recent agreements between the political parties have given hope that things would return to normal in Nepal.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists come to Nepal every year to see or trek the Himalayan peaks.

http://news.yahoo.com/us-cancels-nepal-travel-warning-080312171.html
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Dec 7, 2011 - 09:33am PT
I too, tried to "help the locals". Thing was a 100kg sack of cement. Didn't even get it up.

micronut

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2011 - 10:37am PT
SCole,
Thanks for posting up that photo from the top of Ama Dablam. Well done man. You have any other photos of the route?

Fritz,
That photo on the grass with the kids looks like its straight outta Moab.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 7, 2011 - 11:35pm PT
Here are some more Mustang, Nepal photos.

We spent two days in Lo Manthang, the 15th century walled Buddhist Fort-City that sets in an irrigated desert at 12,400 Ft.

Having read the Peissel book about how it looked in 1967: pre-treker, I could appreciate there were changes, but it still functions as a "living city."

When we were there at the end of Oct. 2008, there might have been 30 tourists in the city, and the streets were generally deserted. It does have electricity, but we were spared the agony of "internet email kiosks."

One of my friends on the trip had donated generously to the American Himalayan Foundation. As a result, we had been assigned a guide, who spoke great English, was a relative of the King, and was in all ways: a wonderful person to show us around the city.

By the way!! I did get to see the results of some of that donated money building schools and restoring historical sites in Mustang.










After our two days in the city, we cleared town and headed south. There is an actual road that enters Mustang from Chinese Tibet, connects to Lo Manthang, and then continues a few miles south, before ending in a series of "wash-outs."

There are fears that this road will someday connect to decent roads to the south, and enable "tour-buses" to access Mustang from Nepal. Don't lose sleep over it. It is more likely that there will be "tour-buses" from Tibet.



More Mustang tomorrow!




Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Dec 8, 2011 - 12:03am PT
I don't know how widely the movie Himalaya was shown in the U.S. but if you haven't seen it, you should. It's fiction, filmed in Mustang and nearby areas, and very true to Himalayan life. There is a separate CD of the sound track I have also, with authentic Tibetan music and singing done with modern instruments.

The old man who is the star of the movie is a celebrity among local mountain people in Nepal. They all recognize him and play the video and soundtrack in their homes. I got to see him and his family when they attended a large Buddhist religious service in Kathmandu a few years ago.

It's true that everyone who lives at high altitude who has relatives or who can afford to go to Kathmandu for the winter, does. Other than the weather, this is also because month long Buddhist rituals and teachings are given in the winter in Kathmandu, Lumbini, the Nepalese birthplace of Buddha, and his place of enlightenment, Bodhgaya, in India.


http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dmovies-tv&field-keywords=Himalaya&x=16&y=17
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 8, 2011 - 12:31am PT
Jan: Thanks for your input. I have seen & enjoyed the movie. It seemed very authentic.

I agree that folks at elevation in Nepal want to move lower for the winter. I didn't know many went to Kathmandu. Makes sense to me, but it would take weeks to walk out to a Nepalese road from Mustang.

Pokara is the nearest city, but is about a two-week hike. Wintering there could be pleasant.
Scole

Trad climber
San Diego
Dec 8, 2011 - 10:34am PT
As requested, a few pics from Ama Dablam:
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 8, 2011 - 03:51pm PT
Wonderful shots of Mustang. Thanks for posting.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 8, 2011 - 10:26pm PT
More Mustang! The big mountain view & more exotic adventure part tonight: FOR SURE!



Much of Mustang is composed of layers of soft sedimentary rock. The various streams and daily windstorms have eroded it into scenic cliffs that often contain man-made caves. The caves date from very ancient to medieval times and are generally inaccessible. Some still have Buddhist shrines inside and have been maintained as holy sites by local villagers.



We camped above a small town, and then hiked up to a protected Buddhist Cave Site the next day.

Luri Gompa. A steep trail leads up to the structure and caves that enter the rock above it, with a Buddhist shrine and wall paintings in the caves.



Next day we hiked back down to the Kali Gandaki, forded it, and again climbed up out of the deep canyon to the west-side plateau, and Mustang's second-largest city: Tsarang.



Buddhist Monastery at Tsarang. While we were there 12-14 monks were doing afternoon prayers. They did loud quick chanting of prayers with bass drums for cadence. Every now and then they would clash cymbals or blow tones on 3' long prayer horns. They do this morning and evening for several hours.

Opposite the large and well maintained Monastery: is the old, and un-occupied: "Royal Palace."

A Buddhist monk toured us through the the multi-story & charming structure. It will need huge sums of money to keep it from just collapsing one of these days.

The monk then showed us various old and rare artifacts in the museum.

We then headed south again, on different trails and visited another protected Buddhist Cave two days later.




Prayer Walls (Mani Walls) The longest prayer wall in Nepal sets in a scenic valley in Mustang. Buddhist legend says it is built over the intestines of the giant demon that was slain a few miles away. The blood of the demon is visible in stains on the nearby hills. This wall stretches for about 1/4 mile. The lower level is painted to match the cliffs in background and the upper level is all carved stones with prayers


OK! Enough for tonight. I'll get to photos of Annapurna & Dhauligiri tommorrow for sure. Unless Stein & Chris show up for an Lunar Eclipse party?
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 15, 2011 - 11:21pm PT
Back to my 2008 Mustang Nepal Trip.

Great to have friends visit, but it just plays hell with my secret life as a Super-Topo Posteur.

Hopefully, I will get to the "big mountains" tonight----but it was a 16 day trek.

We visited another "off the beaten path" Buddhist Cave/shrine/monastery: Chungsi Cave on our way out. It was a long hike down, rarely traveled trails and the a long climb out to another 13,000' plus pass.





Large birds (the birders in our group said probably Himalayan Griffins) at the same pass. They have up to a 10 Ft. wingspan.

We then spent a couple days hiking back down to the Kali Gandaki River, crossed it and then headed east up a side canyon that would (with a pass) connect us to Muktinath: one of the key stops on the "Annapurna Circuit" treking trip.

Along the way we enjoyed an evening above a rarely visited village, with sructures somewhat different than others we had seen in Nepal.



Next day: we were rewarded with great views of the 7th highest mountain in the world: Dhaulagiri,26,795 ft. and 10th highest mountain Annapurna I at 26,545 Ft.
We spent the night on the edge of Muktinath, stared wide-eyed at the hippie-trekers, and snuck hot-showers at a guest-house. We were not quite ready for civilization.


After that, we avoided the trekker hordes (for a while), with one more high pass and one more obscure side-canyon: then hiked the windy-dusty trail/road back to the airport and a guest-house night in Jomson.












Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:19am PT
Great share folks!
Mustang is very high on my list...maybe in the new year.

Easier to post this;
http://www.chriskemperphotography.com/Travel/Nepal/14321946_zFqb9W#835647534_js8dZ

for me.

Love Nepal!

cheers
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 16, 2011 - 10:22am PT
Nepal cat-bump!
Jonny D

Social climber
Fanta Se, NM
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:11pm PT
my favorite thread about my favorite place!
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:20pm PT
Note the 6 pointed star on the Helicopter wreck outside the Everest Museum. I didn't notice that it was a fake Russian Star,until much later.

Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 17, 2011 - 12:22am PT
An alternative to the Friday night cow-flop threads.

Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 19, 2011 - 12:08am PT

Mustang rocks.
Mattq331

Mountain climber
Boulder/UK
Jan 16, 2012 - 10:43pm PT
Nepal - still as beautiful, nutty, and downright inspiring.

Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jan 17, 2012 - 12:54am PT
Mattq331: Please!

Do not post any more Photoshoped photos. like your "Mia culpa"Everest photo.

I think photos like that: remove any credibility from your other posts.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jun 4, 2013 - 11:23pm PT
I found this fine Nepal adventure thread again in the:

Thread appreciation thread!

Bump!
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Jun 5, 2013 - 01:51am PT
Thanks Fritz for the bump, missed a lot the first time around. The images of those living there and their immediate context are incredible. Please post up some more people!
c_vultaggio

Trad climber
new york
Jun 5, 2013 - 10:56am PT
one of my better blog entries from Nepal:

http://chrisvultaggio.com/wordpress/?p=420










McCfly

climber
Jun 5, 2013 - 11:17am PT
Great thread,,

spent hours looking it over last night.

steve shea

climber
Jun 5, 2013 - 11:27am PT
Saw a celestial burial, visited Milarepas Cave, cremated a lama who died in an avalanche, extracted a fallen yak from a crevasse at 20,000' then had sherpa yak stew for three weeks at ABC, spent more time in Tibet than I could have hoped for with entry from Nepal, spent time with Messner after his run across the Himal, spent a lot of time with Hillary for an interview, got to visit Tibetan villagers who had never seen westerners, generally had the time of my life each visit, and did some fine climbing too. Too many stories to list but that is why you go.
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Jun 5, 2013 - 11:28am PT
Thoron La Pass 17,700' with a special friend Carol Harris. 1979


Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Apr 12, 2015 - 09:50pm PT
This thread needs a "big mountain" bump!

North Face of Dhaulagiri, the 7th highest mountain in the world, from around 11,000 Ft. on my 2008 Mustang Nepal trek.
steve shea

climber
Apr 13, 2015 - 08:20am PT
OK. Maybe the single most memorable thing from my Himalayan trips was spending time with Tibetans who had never seen westerners. It was in the headwaters of the Rongshar before getting into the gorge.

Our exped was only the third ever allowed in the area. The first was Shipton's '53 exploration. The Chinese deemed it politically sensitve because at the other end of the Rongshar Gorge was the Nepali frontier. An easy trip to the dark side. That area is the Rolwaling. We had a permit for Menlungtse, unclimbed and just over the Tibetan border.

So with a closed border and the nearest town, Tingri, two weeks by foot, no wonder they had seen no westerners. The elders that had been to Lhasa of course had western contact but none of the younger villagers we ran across. They were rustically dressed in animal skins and homespun clothing. Almost all had on Chinese sneakers. We spent three days in that village and partied with the locals with liberal amounts Tongba every night. Great memories.

Messages 1 - 69 of total 69 in this topic
Return to Forum List
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta