Across Ladakh and Zanskar (July-September 2013):

6. Zangla to Zara Chu

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Leaving Zangla toward the east, with the Zangla fort behind us.

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Along the Zumlung Chu river.

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Our camp below Pandang La (pass #11). The pass is not the one in the photo. It was behind me when I took the photo.

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At Pandang La, also called Ningri La (5150m)

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View from Pandang La toward the north. The white dots at the bottom-right of the photo are the loaded horses still climbing toward the pass.

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On the way down from Pandang La we were caught in a nasty rain and hail storm, while we still had to do several difficult river crossings. I stored my camera in my backpack until the next morning.

 

View from Lar La (4850m, pass #12), on the next morning, toward the north and Pandang La.

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Rotong La (pass #13) seen during the descent from Lar La.

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A camp of shepherds on our way up to Rotong La. These very friendly shepherds were from the village of Shade on the other side of the pass.

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View from Rotong La (5000m) toward the north. Lar La and Pandang La are both visible on the first ridge and in the background, respectively.

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Isolated village of Shade.

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The beautiful valley of the Niri Chu river, with the small Trantrag gompa visible on the left side of the photo. On the right, old man from Shade going to the gompa.

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At Tsa Tok lake.

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At Nialo Kontse La (4850m, pass #14,17), with a view of the Niri Chu valley.

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Gotunda La (5100m, pass #15,16) seen from the saddle between Nialo Kontse La and Gotunda La.

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Tsa Tok lake seen from the saddle between Nialo Kontse La and Gotunda La. From this viewpoint, the lake has a beautiful blue color.

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On the way up to Gotunda La.

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The path down from Gotunda La to Tsarap Chu. In some places it is very narrow, unstable, and steep.

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Strange scenery further down from Gotunda La.

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The last stretch of the descent before reaching Tsarap Chu.

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At Normoche near the Tsarap Chu river.

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The village of Yarshun on the opposite side of Normoche across Tsarap Chu. Both Normoche and Yarshun are abandoned villages. Sadly, nobody lives there anymore.

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The Tsarap Chu valley (looking toward the west).

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The Zara Chu river flowing into the Tsarap Chu. Due to the storms of the previous days, the water was too deep and too fast to cross safely, even for our horses. Here, I decided to backtrack to the Niri Chu (by crossing Gotunda La and Nialo Kontse La in reverse) and, from there, to go to Padum.

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Other trek sections:

1.    Phyang to Nurla

2.  Nurla to Wanla

3.  Wanla to Kanji

4.  Kanji to Dibling

5.  Dibling to Zangla

6.  Zangla to Zara Chu

7.  Zara Chu to Padum

8.  Murobok to Hundar

 

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