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Monk Chants

Recorded on August 20, 1995, at the Rinchenpung Monastery. Symbolically Vajrayogini’s naval, the gompa houses a statue of Rang Rig Gyapo - the king of self-awareness and the wrathful emanation of Padmasambhava. The monk chants are an invocation to this meditation deity to protect all sentient beings from the consequences of their own misguided behavior.

95 #177

95 D 40 130 1995 Camp Base of DoshingLaWet and cold at the “Doshong La Base-Camp”, we are ready to leave Pemako.


95 #178

95 D 41 92a 1995 Porters Climb to PungPungLaHere the climbing to the Doshong La Pass begins in earnest. 


95 #179

95 D 43 135b 1995 Todd Filtering Water DoshingLaTodd Gillenwater filters water as we climb higher into the mists.


95 #180

95 D 44 152b 1995 Chombi Porter on DoshingLaChombi (shirtless) and a fellow Sherpa climb on by. These guys are tough!


95 #181 & #182

95 D 46 171a 1995 Small Porter w Huge Load

95 D 45 167a 1995 Tired Porter Huge LoadOur porters are unfathomably strong.


95 #183

95 D 47 141b 1995 Porters on Way to DoshingLaPorters inching their way up the Doshong La Pass.


95 #184

95 D 42 151b 1995 Mist Climb to DoshingLaTodd Gillenwater moves on ahead.


 95 #185

95 D 50 51b 1995 Todd in MistVisibility is difficult as Todd Gillenwater disappeared into the clouds.


95 #186

95 D 49 95b 1995 Gil Hiking DoshingLaThere is too much water in the streams to be close to the pass. Either we are on the wrong trail or we are nowhere near Doshong La Pass.


95 #187

95 D 48 144b 1995 Gil Todd Climbing DoshingLaGil (left) and Todd (right) Gillenwater work their way up to the Doshong La Pass.


95 #188

95 D 51 50b 1995 Porter Hiking up DoshingLaPrecarious hiking in the ice fields.


95 #189

95 D 52 34a 1995 Porters Hiking DoshingLaThe porters push on. It is near here that we see a dead man.


95 #190

95 D 53 19 1995 TG Troy on Doshing La PassTroy Gillenwater poses for a quick picture on the Doshong La Pass.


95 #191

95 D 54 106b 1995 Gil Todd Backside DoshingLa to PeiLeaving Pemako is just as dramatic as entering it three weeks earlier.


95 #192

95 D 55 89b 1995 Todd Troy Road PeiThe road! Todd and Troy Gillenwater relish in the moment.


95 #193

95 D 56 32 1995 TG Over Doshing Road to PeThe end of the Pemako trail.


95 #194

95 D 57 104b 1995 G T T in PeiLeft to right: Todd, Gil & Troy Gillenwater. The outpost of Pei. Finally civilization!


95 #195

95 D 58 92b 1995 Chimed Gompa Chombi in PeiIn the village of Pei, Chombi Sherpa (right) has the thankless job of calculating porter wages. When nobody is around, Troy, Todd and Gil Gil Gillenwater give Chimed Gompo (middle) a large tip. He literally saved our lives.


95 #196

95 D 59 56 1995 TG Christiaan Juggling in MedogAs we ready for the long drive back to Lhasa, Christiaan Kuypers has a celebratory smoke and entertains the residents of Pei with a juggling act.


95 #197

95 D 60 133b 1995 Gil Happy PeiGil Gillenwater can’t stop smiling. “We made it. We made it. We’re finally out of Pemako!”


95 #198

95 D 61 85b 1995 Cliffside Monestary Drive OutHigh on a hill just outside the town of Tsethang sits Tibet’s oldest fortress/castle - Yumbulakhar.


95 #199, #200, #201

95 D 62 86a 1995 Tibetan Kids
95 D 63 63b 1995 Begging Children Drive In
95 D 64 85a 1995 Tibetan BoySome of the interesting Tibetans we pass on our long drive back to Lhasa.


95 #202

95 D 65 gillenwater v7 162Left to right: Raktayamari and Vajravetali - Yab (father)-Yum (mother), (to follow), White Tara


95 #203

95 D 66 64b 1995 Group Eating End of TripEating in an actual restaurant. We are all smiles.


95 #204

95 D 67 67b 1995 Group Eating at Roys KathmanduEating at Mike’s - restaurant known for serving American style food. Having dreamed of eating here for a month, our breakfast lasts for two hours and ends with hot fudge brownie sundaes.


95 #205

95 D 68 158b 1995 Todd Rooftop KathmanduStill not feeling that well, Todd Gillenwater gets some fresh air atop our Hotel Marshyangdi overlooking Kathmandu. Later that evening he has a severe intestinal relapse.


95 #206

95 D 69 87b 1995 G T T Chokyi Rinpoche Atop JokhangChokyi Nyima Rinpoche and an unforgettable lesson in Buddhist Dependent Origination and Emptiness.


95 #207 & #208

95 D 70 111 1995 Sadhu Hugging Gil
95 D 71 131 1995 Gil Troy Todd BarkhorA final night of fun in Kathmandu.


95 #209

95 D 72 93b 1995 G T T Tequila Shooters LAXThree very strong shots of tequila are in order upon landing at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. We are home!




97 #1

1997 Gils MohawkIn the military town of Bayi, Gil Gillenwater gets a mohawk. 


97 A 1 38 1997 TG Hamid Mohawk Barbershop

Hamid Sardar emerges hairless from the Noble Lady Beauty Shop. 


97 #2

97 A 2 139 1997 Gil Troy Bunny PorterLeft to right: Troy Gillenwater, Bunny, Pasang and Gil Gillenwater with his newly acquired mojo Mohawk. (Bunny rarely looks at the camera.) The fading double rainbow in the background burns brilliant a few moments before indicating the passing of a high Buddhist lama.


97 #3

97 A 3 102 1997 Leech Troys AnkleInjecting an anticoagulant, leech bites can bleed for hours.


97 #4

97 A 4 200 1997 Truck in Landslide“Landslide Alley” - The geologic instability of the Great Bend area renders vehicular travel extremely dangerous.


97 #5

55 1997 TG Truck in Landslide on Way InAs the ground continues to crumble under the trucks rear wheel we all know this vehicle is doomed. 


97 #6

97 A 5 146 1997 Gil in Bhaka Showing Photos to MonksThe monks are spellbound by the photos of our 1995 Dorje Phagmo pilgrimage. Ani Rigsang, the tantric Tibetan nun on the right, looks at the camera.


97 #7

97 A 6 198 1997 Ian Talking w Bhaka Porter MonksIan Baker negotiating porter selections and daily wages with the head Bhakha Lama.


97 #8

97 A 7 2 1997 Bhaka MonestaryAt the Bhakha Monastery, Ian Baker becomes frustrated with the porters’ increasing wage demands.


97 #9

97 A 8 7 1997 Group Bhaka MonestaryLining up at the Bhakha Monastery for a departing photo, many of the monks will not look at the camera. Gil and Troy Gillenwater, in white shirts, standing in the back row on the right; then Ian Baker and the head Bhakha Lama (with yellow sleeves). Ani Rigsang, the tantric Tibetan nun, is on the far right of the back row.


97 #10

97 A 9 145 1997 Troy Hiking JungleEntering the jungles of Pemako brings back many painful memories.


97 #11

42 1997 TG Dawa Porters Start Climb Dorje DraksenWaterfalls are everywhere as we headed up towards the Su La Pass.


97 #12

97 A 10 153 1997 Troy Hiking SulaTroy Gillenwater hiking the ice fields up to Su La Pass.


97 #13

97 A 11 12 1997 Gil Troy Sula PassLeft to right: Pasang, Gil Gillenwater, Troy Gillenwater and Ani Rigsang on top of the Su La Pass. According to Ian, we are the first Westerners to hike this pass since the British explorers Bailey’s and Morshead’s clandestine dash in 1911.


97 #14

97 A 12 28 1997 Troy Crossing WaterfallThere is water everywhere. Here Troy Gillenwater negotiates a slick two log bridge over a tumbling cascade. A slip would be disastrous.


97 #15

97 A 13 60 1995 TG 2 Porters Drink Yak Butter Tea w Crazy Nun or Ani LaArriving at the end of the day we find two porters and Ani Rigsang enjoying a cup of tea at Cabin Camp. It has been a long day with over 4,000 feet of climbing. Soon the others stagger in and the cabin is stuffed with bodies. Nobody minds – at least it is dry.



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