My Spiti Journey:Part 8:Some more of Satyachen and Return Journey Begins


Some more of Satyachen

The next day,our 4th in Lingti vallaey,was a rest day for me sicnce Kullu and Lamaji went  for some of their own exploration.Kullu had seen a large pasture on his previous visits here and had always wanted to check out the pasture.But it lay quite far away from the campsite and I had no energy left.So i stayed in the camp with Tenzing and Lufzang,resting outside the tent,clicking the snowfinch,reading Younghusband’s biography and updating my trek diary.

When the guys returned home that evening,their faces were aglow with the discovery they had made while on their exploration trek beyond the ridges surrounding Satyachen.I would love to elaborate about this discovery but i’ll leave it to Kullu to do so on his blog.Its he who owns that discovery!

Donkey!
Snow leopard scat sample.
Snowfinch

The night on earth arrived with its starry companions above.That night,i wanted to sleep outside the tent.The reason being the numerous occasions on which i heard stories from Kullu and the others of how they would sleep  with their sleeping bags,out in the open without a tent,in -30 degree celsius temperatures of winters,on their previous treks in Lingti.I wanted to see if i could do the same at least in the warmest season in the area.So i took my mattress,sleeping bag and an extra sweater with me outside the tent.The mattress was spread across the grass and i lied down  cocooned inside my sleeping bag.It was warm enough in the beginning but after an hour i started to feel cold.I kept staring at the stars above me and tried to doze off  but that feeling of cold wouldn’t go away.I therefore spread my extra sweater as another layer from inside the sleeping bag.That did the trick and then sleep took over for the rest of the night.

Return Journey Begins

Day 6:Today we were to start tracing our path back to Lullum.Kullu’s work was almost over.He had got the snow leopard scat samples that he had wanted to collect.We began the trek back around 8 a.m.Kuli La was the first acscent for the day.We were going to pass the campsite at Sheru and move on to the one at Yarsa.Yarsa lay up the Nala from Sheru and at the base of the ridge that would lead to the top of the unknown peak Kullu had been thinking of climbing.Reaching its base that day itself would give an advantage while pushing for the summit.I was enthusiastic about the climb but by then i had  already burned myself down a lot by the constant up and down climbs.I had started having doubts about my ability to climb till the top of the peak as the push would involve an altitude gain from 4700m to 5900m.So i tried concentrating on reaching Yarsa.We spent a lot of time,around 2 hours at Phiphuk,to cross the river.Crossing this time was easier since we just had to slide down the rope that had been placed there 2 days earlier.The rope was retrieved and we started the steep climb up to Sheru.By the time we reached Sheru,i was already feeling exhausted and the prospect of 4 more hours of the uphill climb that lay ahead till Yarsa  daunted me even more.From Sheru onwards,Lama and Rinchen remained with me through the whole time.It was only because i had someone waiting for me through the whole trek to Yarsa that i could reach there before sunset.By then it had become mentally taxing to climb the steep slopes,one after another.

Yaks in action..this is the commotion after our donkey minder made them run away from our route.These huge creatures are amazingly shy!!
River crossing during return journey.All credit to Kullu for coming up with the pulley contraption.
River crossing

We reached Yarsa by around 6 p.m. and i discovered that we had just missed the sight of a Himalayan wolf standing few feet away from our tents.I later copied Kullu’s click of the wolf .He was a handsome,bright looking wolf!I later realised the reason those snowcocks had been making so much noise back when we were nearing the campsite.

Tenzing.
Dung on fire.

Yarsa was a beautiful campsite.In the west ,the peaks glowed pink with the light of the setting sun.We were nestled right in the middle of the mountains,along the Nala(Lumba).And it was cold.I slept off that night with the comforting thoughts that the hard part was over and all that remained between me and the civilization were the last 2 days of the trek.

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