Last night just before midnight there was a sudden very intense storm - violently windy -and Pemtuk, like a fireman down a pole, sprung into action. He was a hero. Tiny Pemtuk, armed only with a head-torch, flew from tent to tent, grabbing boulders, almost as big as himself, and placed them on the guy ropes. Even he couldn't save Pauline's tent however which, like Ralph's a few days ago, was blown over by the gale. Still he soon had it up again just in time for the wind to stop. Most of us then went on to get a reasonable night's sleep and indeed all the crew, apart from Dilip and Pemtuk, had managed to sleep through the storm.
|Leaving the campsite|
As Dilip kept reminding us we are now in Spiti, part of the Indian State of Hamachel Pradesh, and out of Ladakh and Kashmir. We are however still very close to Tibet and the whole of Spiti was closed to foreigners until 1991.
The trip has a day's contingency in it, a day which we decided to use (Dilip is very consultative) by splitting the scheduled 12 hour day which might have been involved in crossing the Porang La into two days of six hour each. Last night's high altitude windy campsite was an extra one and today we walked the second half of the 12 hour day. We actually went and a bit further dropping 1200 metres down to a warmer more comfortable camp than the one we had planned to stop at.
|Descending to the gorge|
Climbing out the gorge was a bit controversial and Dr Nick claims that it was the toughest thing we had to do. The complaints I think reflected a change in group psychology - with thoughts on the end and home it's just that much harder to muster the energy needed for any sort of climb.
|Last climb for the ponies|
|A green and pleasant campsite|