Wet and cold at the “Doshong La Base-Camp”, we were ready to leave Pemako.
Here the climbing to the Doshong La Pass began in earnest.
Todd filters water as we climb higher into the mists.
Chombi (shirtless) and fellow Sherpa climb on by. These guys were tough!
95 #181 & #182
Our porters were unfathomably strong.
Porters inching their way up the Doshong La Pass.
Todd moves on ahead.
Visibility was difficult as Todd disappeared into the clouds.
There was too much water in the streams to be close to the Pass?
Gil & Todd working their way up to the Doshong La Pass.
Precarious hiking in the ice fields.
The porters push on. It was near here that we saw the dead man.
Troy poses for a quick picture on the Doshong La Pass.
Leaving Pemako was just as dramatic as entering it three weeks earlier.
The road! Todd & Troy relish in the moment.
The end of the Pemako trail.
Todd, Gil & Troy. The outpost of Pei. Finally civilization!
In the village of Pei, Chombi Sherpa (right) had the thankless job of calculating porter wages. When nobody was around, Troy, Todd & I gave Chimed Gompo (middle) a large tip. He literally saved our lives.
As we ready for the long drive back to Lhasa, Christiaan has a celebratory smoke and entertains the residents of Pei with a juggling act.
Gil can’t stop smiling. “We made it. We made it. We’re finally out of Pemako!”
High on a hill just outside the town of Tsethang, sits Tibet’s oldest fortress/castle - Yumbulakhar.
95 #199, #200, #201
Some of the interesting Tibetans we passed on our long drive back to Lhasa.
Left: Raktayamari & Vajravetali - Yab (father)-Yum (mother), Middle: (to follow), Right: White Tara
Eating in an actual restaurant. We were all smiles.
Known for serving American style food, we dreamed of eating at Mike’s for a month. Our breakfast lasted for two hours and ended with hot fudge brownie sundaes.
Still not feeling that well, Todd gets some fresh air atop our Hotel Marshyangdi overlooking Kathmandu. Later that evening he would have a severe intestinal relapse.
Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and an unforgettable lesson in Buddhist Dependent Origination & Emptiness.
95 #207 & #208
A final fun night in Kathmandu.
Three very strong shots of tequila were in order upon landing at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. We were home!
In the military town of Bayi, Gil gets a mohawk and Hamid emerges hairless from the Noble Lady Beauty Shop.
Left to Right: Troy, Bunny, Pasang and Gil with his newly acquired mojo Mohawk. (Bunny would rarely look at the camera.) The fading double rainbow in the background burned brilliant a few moments before indicating the passing of a high Buddhist lama.
Injecting an anticoagulant, leech bites can bleed for hours.
“Landslide Alley” The geologic instability of the Great Bend area rendered vehicular travel extremely dangerous.
As the ground continued to crumble under the trucks rear wheel we all new this vehicle was doomed.
The monks were spellbound by the photos of our 1995 Dorje Phagmo pilgrimage. Ani Rigsang, the tantric Tibetan nun, looks at the camera on the right.
Ian negotiating porter selections and daily wages with the head Bhakha Lama.
At the Bhakha Monastery, Ian becomes frustrated with the porters’ increasing wage demands.
Lining up at the Bhakha Monastery for a departing photo, many would not look at the camera. Standing in the back row on the right, Gil and Troy in white shirts, then Ian and the head Bhakha Lama (with yellow sleeves). Ani Rigsang, the tantric Tibetan nun, is on the far right of the back row.
Entering the jungles of Pemako brought back many painful memories.
Waterfalls were everywhere as we headed up towards the Su La Pass.
Troy hiking the ice fields up to Su La Pass.
Left to Right: Pasang, Gil, Troy & Ani Rigsang on top of the Su La Pass. According to Ian, we were the first Westerners to hike this Pass since the British explorers Bailey’s and Morshead’s clandestine dash in 1911.
There was water everywhere. Here Troy negotiates a slick two log bridge over a tumbling cascade. A slip would have been disastrous.
Arriving at the end of the day we found two porters and Ani Rigsang enjoying a cup of tea at Cabin Camp. It had been a long day with over 4,000 feet of climbing. Soon the others staggered in and the cabin was stuffed with bodies. Nobody minded – at least it was dry.