travel the voyage of self discovery

Posts tagged “snow

Passo Tonale

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French Alps 2007

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Chacaltaya 5600m.

Driving up the gravel road with death defying drops in nothing more then a dilapidated taxi is probably not the most sensible thing I’ve ever done in my life.However surviving the climb up to the once ski resort is all part of the attraction for one of my most favorite day trips i have ever done.

The road ends at 5300m and then its a 300m walk up to the summit.Although impossible to get lost and what sounds like a short stance its tough.On not acclimatized lungs the thin air makes it exhausting each step seeming like a mile ran.Luckily the views are breathtaking , alpine lakes, Grand Canyon-looking scenery, snow capped peaks, and a view of La Paz city off in the distance.

At the end of the the road stops is the still manned chalet, where you can warm up with a warm cup of coco or coca tea and enjoy the old ski pictures. Remains of the old wooden tow rope still act as a reminded to days gone by, before global warming hit.With the receding back of the glacier the ski resort now ceases to exist however it was Bolivia’s only ski resort and the worlds highest lift served area.It is reported that the lift was notoriously fast and difficult and because of the the extreme cold the lift only operated during the weekends.


Khumbu

The worlds highest glacier.

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Spanning elevations from 4900m to 7600m, the Khumbu glacier paves the way to Everest Base Camp.Its spectacular ice wall is famous with climbers summiting Everest as one of the most dangerous obstacles on the standard south col route.


Gorak Shep

iconic sign just past Gorak Shep.

iconic sign just past Gorak Shep.

Gorak Shep (5160) at the foot of Kala Pattar and for the 1952 Swiss expedition the base camp for the Everest Summit.


Lobuche to Gorak Shep

Today is the day , we are going to make it to base camp.Getting up before dawn there is not much time other to get a quick bite and to fill our bottles with hot water. Yes it has to be hot anything that is not hot will instantly freeze.The initial section of the trail follows a narrow gap between the glacial moraine and the mountain wall. Our guide informs us that we have luck on our side , the weather gods are calm. Often freezing winds blow a gale down the narrow pathway adding further torment to tired , altitude effected trekkers.

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The pathway turns into a toboggan run, I’m not sure who was more shocked , the yak or myself as i went skidding down an incline narrowly missing colliding into the yaks rear-end.Crampons was have defiantly been a beneficial aid. Our guide jokes with us ” normally its not icy like this, the recent storms in India has caused chaos”