My Spiti Journey:Part 9:Climbing the Unknown and Home Sweet Home

SO as i have previously mentioned,Kullu had been thinking and planning about climbing an unkown peak that he had set his eyes on.At Yarsa,we were right at the base of the ridge leading to this peak.I finally had made a decision that I was not in the fittest condition to attempt  the summit.There remained further 2 days of trekking which was not all downhill and i also was booked on a trek to climb a 6000er,Stok Kangri in Ladakh after a week’s time.I did not want to jeopardise my chances on Stok Kangri on account of having over exhausted myself even before the Stok kangri trek had started.And i was sure that I would require more than 5 hours to reach the top of the peak if I were to go for the climb .So i opted out of the summit attempt.Kullu would instead take Lamaji,the strongest team member,with him on the peak.I was going to rest with others at the campsite.Our strength,by this time,had already gone down by 2 since earlier that day,Lufzang and Tenzing had left Yarsa in order to reach Lullum the same day.At Phiphuk,we had came across a large herd of Yaks and among them,Tenzing had spotted his own Yak who was seriously injured on the neck due to some infetion or possibly a snow leopard attack.The locals pay a lot of money(around 35k Rs)to buy a yak and it was imperative that Tenzing takes the yak home as soon as possible for treatment of the injury.So it was upto the two Lamas and Rinchen to mind the donkeys till Lullum.

Kullu and Lamaji left at 4.45 a.m..They only  took a couple of chocolate bars,water,woolen clothes and ice axes with them.I would love to write on this part but i think i want to read about it when Kullu writes it himself.Needless to say,the guys were successful in summitting this peak.Its altitude was 5900.I’ll link Kullu’s post about it here when he writes about it.From what he described,it all sounded amazing.What was great was that they were so fast on the steep climb that they could return to Yarsa within 5.5 hours since leaving the camp that morning!

We resumed the return journey and were soon negotiating the  the initial stages of  climbing Shijibang pass.As expected,the climb up the pass(even though Kullu had mentally divided it in nice,distinct 4 stages and had made the mental work easier) proved very taxing for me.To add to the woes,i had stupidly been lazy and not filled up my water bottle at the last water point.By the time i was halfway upto the pass,i was dehydrated.Everyone was,for the lack of water around us.I dragged on and on for that was the only way to a chance to drink some more water.The next water point was directly at Kibri.There wasn’t going to be anything in between!

I couldn’t have made it to the pass without Lamaji’s constant supporting words and his kindness in taking my sack  on his back  in order to lessen my efforts when the going got tougher for me in the last leg of the climb.After what seemed to me like a tortuously long time,I was at Shijibang pass(5100m).Without wasting more time and thereby getting even more dehydrated,I and Lamaji proceeded on the way down to Kibri.It was 1100m of downhill climbing once we crossed the pass.

Climbing down was my forte.Compared to climbing up,its always less demanding on the mind and lungs.Sure,you have to take care of not slippping and knees sometimes hurt,but thats okay.(though i am sure that after some more years,knees are going to be weaker than they are now and i doubt i would be sticking to my statement that its okay even if the knees hurt a bit.)

Lamaji in Shijibang Pass(5100m) on the return journey.
Shijibang Peak
Our route from Day 2 to Day 4(Yarsa to Satyachen) marked in red.picture clicked in return journey.

We reached Kibri by the end of the next 2 hours.The way had been so steep that every 15mins,i used to wonder how on earth had i been able to climb up the same ,just 4 days earlier.

Having reached Kibri at 6p.m.,we had ample time to just sit and laze around till soup and dinner were cooked.I was relieved that this was going to be the last night in Lingti.

I had loved this trek.Sure,everyday of it,i cursed the mountain for making it so difficult for me to climb up and down upon it.But every night would bring a great satisfaction of having survived through the grueling trek.This trek had proved to be a mental and physical (in that oreder)endurance  test for me and i had come to love that test.

Wth these thought drifting through my head,i laid out my sleeping bag in the open,beside the burning fire and put myself to sleep.

The grasseater-Kulbhushan(Kullu)
me with my favourite donkey at Kibri(4000m)

The next day,our 8th in Lingti,we walked up the pass that lay between Kibri and Lullum.Almost racing down the way from there onwards,we reached Lullum in good time.Trek was over!

Blue sheep(Bharals)seen across the valley on the ridge in front of us.
My Group..back at Lullum after the trek.

A sumo taxi was already waiting to take us back to Kibber which was 3 hours away from Lullum.

Back in Kibber,it was time to celebrate.Lamaji invited us to his house for dinner that night.And what a fabulous dinner it turned out to be!Fried beef and arak and mouthfulls of  beef momo.I came back home to the NCF house in a pleasant high and was soon deep asleep.


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