Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A 2001 trip to Konkaling

Riwa, originally uploaded by mutikonka.

About ten years ago I tried to follow in Rock's footsteps from Muli to Konkaling with a group of kiwis.
lijiang tree
We got to Muli OK, but the hike over Mt Mitzuga in the April snows just did us in [see previous panorama posting].
snow camp1
We'd gone too early in the year and made it only as far as the Shuiluo river valley [known as the Shou Chu in Rock's day] when we packed it in and hitched on a truck back to Muli.
muli truck2
dongyi donkeysStill, it was an adventure and we saw some seriously remote Tibetan villages hidden in the forests - actually quite spooky.

In 2001 I set off again with Tony, a bushwalker from Queensland. This time we approached the Konkaling from the now establlished route from the north, via Kangding, Litang and Daocheng. There was a special bus all the way from Chengdu that took us to Daocheng, where we hired a jeep to take us to the entrance of Yading Nature Reserve. On the way we passed through Riwa and then the Gongling monastery - the one Rock referred to as the home of 400 thieving lamas!

After a quick visit to the hot springs we headed to the Chonggu Gompa monastery [an hour or two walk up from the road end] and hung around there with a few other Chinese trekkers. The weather wasn't that great as you can see from some of the misty pictures, and we couldn't see any mountains. I asked the monks about Rock's visit but they didn't know much. They were more interested in getting the generator going!

Day two we walked up through a snow shower to Luorong, where we stayed the night in those dismal marquee tents. It was freezing overnight depsite the huge heavy quilts, and my contact lenses froze in their case.

But the dawn brought clear weather and the great views of Jambeyang as you can see.

From Luorong we hiked up to the Milk Lake and Five Colours Lake [referred to as Russo Tso by Rock], with stupendous views of all three peaks on the way up.
Jambeyang was especially impressive, with trails of wind driven snow coming off its summit.

We completed the whole mini-Kora [circuit] in one day, which in retrospect was a big mistake. The hike up to the pass between Jambeyang and Shenrezig was hard going, and left us gasping for breath at what must have been 15-16,000 feet.
Tarn below pass
We did a right turn and headed west, down past a collection of Tibetan huts, where I thought I was going to die of exhaustion. After a brew we continued on up to the killer second pass. The weather had deteriorated by now and we saw little but mist.
The descent back down to the Chonggu Gompa went past another beautiful lake, but again the socked in weather meant we saw virtually nothing of Shenrezig towering above us.
Jambeyang from Luorong 2
We spent a couple of days stranded at the Chonggu Gompa after that, partly because of heavy snow, but also because Tony had developed a bad case of snowblindness after walking without any sunglasses [they don't have snow in Queensland].

With no transport able to make the precarious snowbound road back over to Daocheng from Yading, we hiked out in a day, down to Riwa and got a jeep from there to Daocheng

Here area few pics from that trip:
Scenery on the road in to Yading.
Gongaling monastery
Gongling Si monastery, near Riwa.
Gongaling temple
Gongaling monastery ceremony.
Prayer wheels
Prayer wheels at Gongling Si.
Buddha Gongaling
Buddhist deity at Gongling Si.
Small statues at Gongling Si.
First views of Shenrezig and Yading village.
snowy start
The walk up to Luorong.
luorong tents
Luorong base camp: grim.
yading cold
Early views, not promising.
Going up between Jambeyang and Shenrezig.
milk lake2
Resting at Milk Lake [Russo Tso]
chanadorje me
Chanadorje [left] and Tuparu [right] from Milk Lake.
Shenrezig rom the east.
Jambeyang from lake
Jambeyang fron its base, near Milk Lake.
Pass peak
Jambeyang from the Three Way pass.
View from pass
Looking east down from the highest point, the three-way pass.
yading kora
View on the circuit round the back [south side] of Shenrezig.
Yading second pass
The second pass - a real killer.
Yading misty2
Socked in at Chonggu Si.
It snowed
Chongu Si

1 comment:

richard sun said...

fantastic! i do envz about your great tour!