Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Going to Gongga Shan in October? Prepare for cold!

This is a view looking towards Zimei village from down the Buchu valley. The Konka Gompa monastery is round the corner to the left.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kangding people - by Rolleiflex

Sitting outside the snack bar near the old bus station.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yulongxi, Gongga Shan trek 贡嘎山 玉龙西

Here we are setting off from Yulongxi in pretty miserable weather - it got worse as the trek progressed and we arrived back here in heavy snow .

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"We are from Batang"

As seen on the streets of Kangding: photo by Rolleiflex

Sunday, November 10, 2013

If you go down to the woods today ...

Be sure of a big surprise. Well, I was surprised by the huge crowds at Yading.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Gongga Si (Konka Gompa)

As seen in the snow of mid October 2013:

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Resting at the "Eco Lodge" shelter below Yulongxi Pass, Gongga Shan trek

After walking over the pass we descended in an increasingly heavy snow fall to the Buchu river. On the way we came across an empty stone hut that was optimistically labelled an "Eco Lodge". On the way back up to the pass two days later we rested here for lunch. I think it was colder in the hut than outside!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

On the Yulongxi Pass in snow

I'm now scanning my colour slides and B&W negatives. Will post images of my Gongga Shan and Yading trip when they are ready. Here's one to start with.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Crossing the Yulongxi Pass

This pass is a few km to the east of the more widely used Tsemi La. It offers better views of the other peaks of the Minya Konka range (on a clear day). There is only a faint track over the pass, but it is easily navigable when clear of snow. On our return trip there was more than a foot of snow underfoot right from the bottom of the trail. Fortunately we had a guide, Barder, who knew the way through the mist. I followed in his footsteps, otherwise we would have been totally lost in the whiteout.

By the way, that's not me on the horse - it's Monica, an intrepid Polish traveller who foolishly took me up on the offer of a trek to the Gongga monastery based on the prospect of wonderful views (that never materialised).

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Oh dear, not a good trip ...

 Just back from Sichuan where I spent three weeks doing not very much and seeing even less. I'd planned to do the outer kora around the three peaks at Yading but unfortunately the weather was poor and the guides refused to even try go out. They said the snow was too deep on the passes and they would not risk their horses or themselves. I then reverted to Plan B, to re-visit the Gongga Shan range. Again the weather was poor - as you can see from this pic taken at the Gongga gompa. Heavy snow and no views due to the weather being socked in by cloud and mist. I did prove one thing, however - Joseph Rock's claim that this monastery is cut off from the outside world for six months of the year due to heavy snow is just rubbish. We made it over one of the less know passes (Yulongxi Yakou, due east of the usual Tsemi La) in deep snow - no probs. Ah well - lesson learnt: don't go trekking to Sichuan after Golden Week!