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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.

97 #67

97 B 38 41 1997 BW Matuk TseBunMatuk ceremoniously offers three full prostrations and then beckons us to follow.

 

97 #68

97 B 39 33 1997 TG Troy w Takin Skulls Tsebum1Takin skulls adorned mossy grottos along the shrine site.

 

97 #69

97 B 40 66 1997 TG B W Troy in Tsebom TunnelAn unnoticed crack in the stone led us to the inner sanctum of Tsebung “Million Lives”.

 

97 #70

97 B 41 43 1997 BW Gil Matuk w 1000 Lives SticksGil and Matuk. The Tsebung “Long Life” ceremony included carving a notch in a stick for each year you have been alive.

 

97 #71

97 B 42 65 1997 TG B W Troy Emerging from Tsebum TunnelTroy emerges from the birth canal of Mother Earth. 

 

97 #72

97 B 43 46 1997 Clear Skies to IndiaAs we emerged from the womb of Mother Earth the storm abated and the skies miraculously cleared affording us unique views all the way into India.

 

97 #73

97 B 44 53 1997 TG Gyala Peri Above GorgeOur telephoto lens captures a distant peak manifesting from the clouds (see top of photo).

 

97 #74

97 B 45 47 1997 BW Dorje Phagmo MtnThe Dorje Phagmo Mountain – our guidepost into the Inner Gorge.

 

97 #75

97 C 1 48 1997 Off Trail Up to Inner GorgeLeaving the trail, we climbed up into the unknown.

 

97 #76

97 C 2 142 1997 Porters Hiking up Misty RidgeOur porters were anxious. Entrapment by monsoon clouds was a constant threat.

 

97 #77

97 C 3 49 1997 Troy Porters Making TrailHacking our way through the entangled rhododendron thickets slowed our progress and zapped our energy.

 

97 #78

97 C 4 143 1997 Troy Porters Hiking up Exposed RidgeThe geologic exposure was frightening. See Troy in the foreground on the bottom right and the porters dotting the top of the hill in the upper left.

 

97 #79

97 C 5 186 1997 Troy Portes on Hidden Falls ScoutHiking on the edge of the rhododendron thickets was easier going. But the risk of a landslide and an endless fall was also heightened.

 

97 #80

97 C 6 144 1997 Porters Hiking Exposed RidgeOur porters gain the ridgeline.

 

97 #81

97 C 7 50 1997 Porters on RidgelineFresh evidence of landslides and earth fissuring were everywhere.

 

97 #82

97 C 8 52 1997 Climbing Trail on PeakOn the steeper sections we were reduced to crawling on our hands and knees.

 

97 #83

97 C 9 61 1997 Gil HikingThe higher we climbed the more spectacular the Himalayan views. Gil in photo.

 

97 #84

97 C 10 54 1997 Hiking up to Pass in MistAs the mists got thicker and thicker our group spread out.

 

97 #85

97 C 11 53 1997 Porters on Ridge in MistEvery now and then the clouds would part and we would, with relief, see our porters traversing the same ridgeline.

 

97 #86

97 C 12 55 1997 Hunter in Appears in MistWho was this apparition manifesting from the clouds? With no pack he wasn’t one of ours.

 

97 #87

97 C 13 89 1997 TG Troy Ken in Rhododendron Tiny Porters BehindWhen the clouds lifted we saw our porters scattered all over. Note Troy and Ken in foreground and some of our porters in the top left on the distant ridge.

 

97 #88

97 C 14 156 1997 1st Hunter Running GilSuddenly the apparition, with his flintlock, charged us.

 

97 #89

97 C 15 56 1997 Hunter from Mists“Mystical Warrior from the Mists” Our guide for the next leg of our journey.

 

97 #90

97 C 16 54 1997 TG Poerter Lunch in GorgeOur porters were truly people of the earth. Here they are breakfasting after a long rainy night. Their plastic rain cover lies nearby.

 

97 #91

97 C 17 64 1997 Mtn near Namche BarwaNamcha Barwa - 25,531 feet

 

97 #92

97 C 18 120 1997 Konla KarpaKonlakarpo - 23,733 feet

 

97 #93

97 C 19 121 1997 Gyala PeriGyala Peri - 23,891 feet

 

97 #94

97 C 20 195 1997 NamcheBarwa Traksen Gyala PeriThe Konlakarpo peak (Sanglung) on the Indian continent, looms large on the left of the photograph. The Namcha Barwa peak, also on the Indian continent, is the pyramidical peak just to the right of Konlakarpo. The Gyala Peri peak, on the Asian continent, is situated on the far right of the photograph. Between Namcha Barwa and Gyala Peri lies the deepest gorge in the world. With these landmarks revealed we knew how to find our destination. The uncharacteristically clear weather allowed these to be the first photographs ever taken from this vantage point. The spirit of Pemako was with us.

 

97 #95

60 1997 Gil Troy Konla KarpoWe were miraculously granted clear skies and unprecedented views. Troy and I knew a divine guidance was at play in revealing this once in a lifetime experience. Luminous Kangla Karpo in the background.

 

97 #96

97 C 22 68 1997 Troy Traksen Gyala PeriWith the 23,891 foot Gyala Peri in the center, Troy scopes out the guardian protector’s Dorje Traktsen Mountain on the left. This would be our gateway into the Inner Gorge.

 

97 #97

97 C 23 69 1997 Porter Revolt TraksenMesmerized by the mountain, our porters revolted and refused to continue. They understood that this was the guardian protector’s gateway into the Inner Gorge. To take Westerners into this most sacred place would incur the wrath of the local spirits. In this photograph Gil attempts to convince the porters to continue. His pleas, offers of more money and cajoling fell on deaf ears.

 

97 #98

97 C 24 94 1997 TG Porters Scouting Route Dorje DraksenOur Buddhist shaman guide’s mystical dream the night before assured the porters that we could continue up and over the sacred mountain without incurring the guardian protector’s wrath. This would be our gateway into the Inner Gorge. In this photograph Matuk and the others debate the surest route of ascent.

 

97 #99

97 C 25 32 1997 TG Tiny Porters Base of Dorje DraksenIn this photograph the porters can be seen as tiny specs on the ridge approaching the formidable Dorje Traktsen Mountain.

 

97 #100

97 C 24 92 1997 TG Troy Starting Dorje Draksen ClimbTroy readies to ascend the almost vertical slope up Dorje Traktsen. Porters can be seen inching their ways skyward.

 

97 #101

97 C 25 72 1997 Climbing TraksenWithout ropes the exposure of this climb was daunting. Here we stop and take a break. Dawa is in the green shirt.

 

97 #102

97 C 26 73 1997 Gil Reaching Summit TraksenGil approaches the summit of Dorje Traktsen.

 

97 #103

97 C 27 74 1997 Hunter Reaching Summit TraksenOur Buddhist shaman guide, likewise, reaches the summit of Dorje Traktsen.

 

97 #104

97 C 28 75 1997 Porters Atop TraksenOn top of Dorje Traktsen our porters got a “bird’s-eye-view” of the region they lived in but had never seen from this vantage. Dawa is in the green shirt with our Buddhist shaman guide to his left in the photo and Bhim to his right. Matuk points from the tip of the hill.

 

97 #105

78 1997 Matuk socks Hunter Atop TraksenRock solid Matuk on the left with a pair of socks I gave him, and our hunter/shaman guide who appeared from the mists on the right. Nobody could believe how clear the skies were. They told us the Pemako Guardian Protectors were pleased!      

 

97 #106 

77 1997 Porter w Gun on Summit TraksenWe were truly on top of the world.

 

97 #107

97 C 32 101 1997 TG Troy Dwared by GorgeThe sheer grandeur of Pemako was an acute lesson in the transiency of continual process. Troy is in the left hand bottom comer of the photograph.

 

97 #108

50 1997 TG Troy GilTroy and I realized this experience was a mystical gift. Pemako was revealing herself.

 

97 #109

97 C 33 76 1997 Porters Pointing Inner GorgeThe porters were ecstatic to be on top of the mountain. In this photograph Matuk points our way down and into the long-sought Inner Gorge.

 

97 #110

97 C 34 82 1997 TG Porters Scouting Way into GorgeWe were provided an unprecedented view into the Inner Gorge. In this photograph a porter marvels over the use of Troy’s binoculars. Bhim is looking at the camera.

 

97 #111

97 C 35 79 1997 Troy Hunter Pointing Inner GorgeReadying to descend into the Inner Gorge, Troy confers with our Buddhist shaman guide as to which route to take. Unfortunately, our hunter guide from the mists had never been this far out of his territory and could offer no advice. We would have to proceed on intuition alone.

 

97 #112

97 C 36 58 1997 Hiking Ridge in MistWith the clouds moving in, we began our long descent down Dorje Traktsen.

 

97 #113

97 C 37 96 1997 TG Porter w Gun Tiny Porters in Rhododendron BackgroundOur porters were rock solid as they descended into unknown territory. Note the line of porters tracing down the mountain in the upper right.

 

97 #114

97 C 38 59 1997 Porters w Gun in MistSooner than expected our Buddhist shaman guide called a halt to the day’s march. He said the weather was too unstable to continue that late in the day.

  

97 #115

97 C 39 183 1997 Troy Setting Camp in Inner GorgeWe pitched our tent on the platform constructed by one of our Gogden porters. The porters camp is below.

 

97 #116


97 C 40 82 1997 Troy Tent Over Inner GorgeTroy surveys the scene from the tent porch of our platform perch.

 

97 #117


97 C 41 97 1997 TG 1st Camp in GorgeOur setting afforded us miraculous views into the upper portion of the Great Bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo. The gorge was so steep we couldn’t yet see the river.

 

97 #118

97 C 42 109 1997 TG 1st Nights Camp in GorgeOur porters’ camp. There was magic afoot as we all knew we were on the adventure of a lifetime.

 

97 #119

97 C 43 95 1997 TG Tiny Porters in Rhododendron FieldsWith clouds moving in and out we proceeded to climb. In this photograph our porters can been seen in a tiny line on the left.

 

97 #120

97 C 44 81 1997 TG Gil Ken Porters Dig CrystalsGil and Ken look on as the porters gather crystals. They called the stones, “Vajrayogini’s tears”.

 

97 #121

97 C 45 57 1997 Pilgrim Markings on Ridge TrailWe were startled to find that Buddhist pilgrims had traveled this way many years before.

 

97 #122

97 C 46 88 1997 Jamyang Hunter GuideAnother hunter manifests from the mists.

 

97 #123

97 C 47 8 1997 TG Jamyang w 2 dogsThe hunter’s name was JamYang. We nick-named him the Gentleman Hunter.

 

97 #124

97 C 48 91 1997 TG Hunter Jamyang 2 DogsJamYang knew the way to a large waterfall. We negotiated a price and he agreed to guide us.

 

 

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