Thursday, 1 March 2012

I was simply amazed to think  that there is another way to reach Korzoke from Kaza.I was informed about this route from Tenzing  our old friend from Kibber, but I was little confused. Nothing about this route was known to me, when I tried to gather information about Takling La nothing comes to me. In other side Parang La was very known one to me, so rather making a plan from Korzoke to Kibber, I choose a different plan. We decided to approach Pare Chu from Kibber over Parang la then trverssing left we would cross takling pass. As per our programme we not have to come to Tso-morari. We contact with Tenzing Chiring, and he agreed to guide this route.

Parang la is the most famous trek route of Spiti, this treks takes the people from Kaza to Korzoke village over 18,600 ft. The route follows the traditional trade route between Ladakh and Spiti.Takling La is a parallel trek route of Parang pass. The route separated from norbu-sumdoh  (not actually from Norbu sumdoh but little distance away  of that place  from Tsomorari side)  and ends at Kyoto .After leaving the Rupshu valley one enters into  Takling valley or midan whatever you like to say. Both Rupshu and Takling Valley are hi-altitude plateau but first one is the grazing grounds for some nomads and latter one is not accessed by any one.

We started our journey from Howrah and reached Kalka after two day. Taking a car on rent we came to Recong peo. Reckong Peo, also known as Peo is the administrative headquarter of Kinnaur district located 231 km away from Shimla. Next day we started for Kaza. That road has simply awesome panoramic view. We crossed three small towns Nako, Tabo and Sumdoh one by one.

When we had reached kaza it was evening but still sun was not fainted. There we have seen sun set at 7:30 p.m.
 2nd July, 2011 we reached Kibber village after visiting kaza monastery and collecting Kerosene and rations from Kaza market place. Before coming to Kibber we pray for our success on Key-gompa. It located on top of a hill at an altitude of 4,166 meters. Key Gompa is said to have been founded by Dromton (1008-1064CE).
Our two porters Rinchen and Champa came from the nearest village Chechem. We hired two asses to carry the luggage. Kibber is a beautiful village 18 km from Kaza. That day we finished our dinner early but enjoyed the stars up to late night’s .That was fabulous, billion of twinkling stars at a glimpse says million stories.

Trekking days:
Day 1 (03/07/2011):
We started lately; at the beginning the road was very simple with gentle slopes and loops. After one hour we descended in a gorge. After crossing Parelungbi river we followed the right bank of the river. After one hour more we reached Dumla. One spitian welcomed us with hot tea, after making breakfast we started to trek again. Crossing a hump I saw the road was continuous upward. That was a long walk, after 3 hour we reached in a valley. Many cairns makes us confused, Tenzing was little distance behind, so I decide to take rest. Half an hour after Tenzing came to that place and gave us the direction to walk. Again we have to descend in a gorge, after few minutes descending we got a flat ground, Thaldak. Rinchen was waiting for us there, he asked - Where is the tents? Wind is strong to day, and its already evening. Thaldak have a problem of water and not very wide place .Taking our dinner we said good night to the darkest evening of that month.

Day 2(04/07/2011):
Continuation of that descendant way of yester day leads us to the base of the pare-lungbi gorge. Here every one follows the river. A one hour gentle walking leads trekker in a place where pare river leaves no place to walk, so river crossing is must. After that we trekked upward again, after one hour reached Jugtha (or jukta). Scorching heat of sun was became a challenge for walk. In this route there is no tree no shed. Exposure of Jugtha was little more and camping site was quite narrow comparable to other camp sites, so it gives a different view. We take our dinner after 8:00 p.m. Night was cold, we gone to bed (or mat) just after dinner.
That was mid night, when I wake up. Tenzing and other was in hyper mood. When they asked for the reason why they was so excited, he replied that a Wolf had came there and injured our asses !!
-what?? My expression was unexplainable. No one never seen wolf here, so we were surprised, and also perplexed and tensed after hearing that one ass are severely injured. He was bitten many times and his right back leg was unable to give him support in time of climbing.
Next day morning Tenzing decides to came back to his village and manages a new ass.

Day 3(05/07/2011):
Day 3 was spent by us doing nothing. We are kept awaited by destiny. At evening Tenzing returned to the camp with a new one. That night we spent very cautiously. We burnt juniper shrubs near our tent.

Day 4(06/07/2011):
Early we started to reach foot of Parang la. Weather was partially cloudy. Initially the road was full of ups and downs but latter it was stiff upward. After Borogen or base camp it gives little relief then again as well as upward. After few kilometers a depression was seen by us, Tenzing told us that was Parang La, and where we have to occupy tent to day. Just little distance before the pass snowfield was observed by us, but that was not difficult to negotiate. We established our camp just on the foot of the pass.

Day 5(07/07/2011):
We walked max to max half kilometer when we seen our-self on the top of depression. Spiti side of the pass was not covered with snow but one other side a ice field was observed. We stayed there nearly 45 mins, after making pujas we started to descend downward. The glacier was not very difficult to negotiate. It was the most gentle walk ever I experienced in my life over any glacier. Crossing the glacier we take left side and follow the left bank. It takes one and half our to cross the glacier. We were the first team of that year who crossed Parang La. so route was not open ice field was not permissible to the donkeys. We seen two Colombians they were just behind us, they had also four donkeys so it came to us immense helpful, our porters mutually with there porters helps the donkeys to cross glacier. That day was cloudy, after few minutes snowfall started. After three and half hour we reached a place named khorsa-gogma. After crossing the pass route was plain, it was nothing but the dry river bed “Waadi”. Khorsa-gogma was a fabulous place surrounded by many unnamed peak. Some red flowers were abundant on the camp site, I don’t know there name but their leaf was edible, Rinchen said it tests sour.

Day 6 (08/07/2011)
The route of takling La was separated from the place where Pare Chu and takshan nala meets. We walked towards that place. The route was not very special it’s quite same like yesterday. After few kilometers the route follows left bank where as route toward Tso morrari follows right bank. takshan chu is the most beautiful place of that route. We stayed overnight there, night was not very cold.

Day 7 (09/07/2011):
Next day morning we seen weather was cloudy, that day we also walk over river bed but that day we had to cross many streams and takshan river couple of time. Cold day makes little problem but lastly we reached takling sumdoh a wide and large valley. Takling La base camp is approachable only after crossing that valley. We walked for four hour to cross that valley but till it was not crossed really large it was. We seen a group of kiang, But for a moment. After crossing the sumdoh we take left direction. Just walking few meters we establish our camps. That Night was freezing.

Day 8 (10/07/2011):
A bright morning welcomes us the day of pass crossing. After started walking from our camp we take the right bank of a small stream. It Leads us on a ridge. We followed the ridge and came into a flat area from where Takling la was observed first time. Depression was not clear from that side rather it looks like a canyon between two unnamed peaks. There were no such glaciers as we seen in Parang La side. Again we take a ridge of and after walking one hour came to a place what can be called a snowfield. Takling la was just ahead of us and clearly observable. We climbed to the pass. We spent half an hour on the top the started descending. A narrow and stiff phase was available for descending. There was no trekking road or strip. By using ice axe, we made a walk able strip and follows that. Donkeys faced more problems because that way was not as easy as Parang la. Many hours we striving for moving forward and at 7:00 pm we reached a boulder scattered placed named Charkula. There was problem with water; there was no stream or river. The whole Route after takling La is land slide Prawn. At last moment we have to use the ridges of the left side of river. From ridges the exposure was very much so it fastened our heart-bits. Charkula is quite near to the Talipul, a bridge Near Town Kioto. We were much tiered we get early to bed.

TAKLING LA -5500 mt.

Day 9 (11/07/2011):
Day 9 was our last day of trek, we started after the morning, walked gently and after crossin a river we got a narrow strip for walk, may be that was used by the villagers for grazing. We followed that way. After two hour we reached again to the river base level. Taking a turns we have seen Talipul. After reaching Talipul we make tea and celebrate our successful trek with tea. Kyoto was four km away from there and from Talipul motor able way is available. Fortunately we got a car that was going to Kyoto from Kaza side; we hire that car and reached Kyoto at 1:00 pm.

Next days were quite enjoyable for us. From Kyoto we came to Manali via Kunzhum Pass, Batal, and Rhotang Pass. After two day we came back to Kalka and boarded on Kalka mail for Howah.
Photo: Avirup Banerjee (Team Member).