Monday, August 12, 2013

Kora day 2

Although it had cleared during the night, affording midnight toilet-goers a view of the north face of Kailash glowing darkly in the moonless night, clouds had returned by the time we set out for the kora's hardest day.
Eventually Kailash returned, behind the craggy mountain Manjushri.
The first ascent of Drolma-La pass takes you up a steep hill strewn with big rocks, many of which have further piles of rocks on them, and some of which are covered in discarded clothes of the living and the dead.
Things level out for a while (here a Bön family, circumambulating in the opposite - counterclockwise - direction, comes toward us)
Drolma-La doesn't look so bad until you notice the almost imperceptible line of people working their way up to the little bump at right, at 5641m (At left, one of the South Indians who were on the same timetable we were, but had a VIP tour including attached bathrooms and horses!)
Looking back toward Kailash, about to disappear for most of the day
A spectacular glacier urges us on as we make the final ascent
After five hours, we arrive at the prayer flag-smothered top (I took no pictures of this extravaganza of cheap color, except that of the yak here), soon moving past jade-colored lakelets to a new landscape...
...which gives way to yet another new mountain world as we descend
What will be out last view of Mount Kailash - perfect triangle at left

Looking back at yet another spectacular landscape

It's 10km in the valley to our monastery digs for the night
Butter candles in another cave of Milarepa's

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