Its been 21 yrs since I stepped out to do a serious trek / climb. I am venturing back into the trans Himalaya with my two sons and nephew. They have agreed without (too much) demurring to my joining this expedition to Kang Yatse II, 6200 m. KY is a small snowy peak deep in the Markha Valley in the Zanskar range in Ladakh.
I am physically quite fit though the last three weeks were spent almost immobile. A heavy wooden bed crash landed and broke (the bed did) on my right foot. No worrisome damage to the foot though plenty to the bed. Two days ago I was even able to wear my hiking boots without much difficulty. Though I haven’t had time to break them in.
Equipped with borrowed climbing gear (since mine from 20 years ago is pretty outdated) and armed with a lot of mental resolve, I am off to Gadabout in Ladakh. One of my all time favourite places. Going to Ladakh always feels like coming home. And I am grateful that in the last twenty years I have had several opportunities to visit different parts of it, all the way to the recently “opened” Turtuk. Though that will be a different story. For now its Kang Yatse.
We fly to Leh on Sunday / 25th June. Our expedition is over two weeks. We will acclimatise first in Leh and then walk over two or three leisurely days to the base of Kang Yatse. We’ll take the more challenging route back to Leh over the Kongmaru La (Pass) after summiting Kang Yatse. But let me not get ahead of myself.
For the moment I am struggling with packing my borrowed clothes (underwear is my own) into my borrowed rucksack. Its a challenge! Its not the same thing packing for the mountains at 51 as it was when I was less than 30 yrs old. Ankle supports and knee supports and warm clothes for sub zero temperatures add up to the weight.
I’m struggling but……..I’ll get there!