Indian Himalayan Grand Traverse - Day 7 - Tisaling

What a wonderful day's trekking.  We had slept well and for some reason the walk, which included crossing two passes each well in excess of 5,000 metres, turned out to be easier than anticipated.  We are on a roll.

Markha Mountains and ponies

The walk up to the first pass, the Kyamur La (5,142 metres) was long but gentle, so gentle in fact that we hardly noticed we had climbed nearly 900 meters.  The group did start to spread out a bit as everyone settled into their own pace but if you were at the back Dilip was always there for company.
The gentle climb to the Kyamur La
On the Kyamur La

For me the best part of the day was the stretch just beyond the first pass where the path contoured through sparse grassland with huge views across a valley towards a massive slab of deep rust coloured mountains towards the east.
Red Mountains

Descending to Mandalchan

All too soon we were descending down the valley to Mandalchan and lunch near a small stream. Lunch has turned out to be a much simpler set up than it is in Nepal.  There the cook team typically has to prepare two different sets of food - dal bhat for the porters and a Nepalese take on western food for the trekkers - and this involves lighting stoves and cooking from scratch.  Here everything is prepared in advance and carried by the lunch boys in large thermos style containers.  So far it's been really good - loads of food and good variety.

For some reason after lunch Christine has bags of energy and sets off quickly dragging Ralph, Swen and Pete (who like me comes from Lincolnshire) up to the top of the second pass. We were at the top of the Madalchen La (5,233 metres) for about 40 minutes before everyone else arrived.  Christine had bought some Indian sweets in Leh and shared them with the advanced party - everyone was very polite but didn't ask for seconds.
View from the Madalchen La 

Dropping down to Tisaling

Altogether again for a long easy descent down to tonight's campsite at Tisaling (5,035 meters).  It's a wonderful spot.  The tents are set up alongside a small stream - big enough for a much needed wash - which runs down through a wide bowl of mountains. Everywhere there are little pikkas - mouse hares - which pop in and out of their burrows and seem quite capable of coming inside the tents.
Pikka enjoying the sun

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