June 13, 2009:

Day 8 of Trek:
Zalung Karpo High Camp (4,700 m) over Zalung Karpo La (5,050 m) to Tsokra
(4,330 m)
It snowed all night long and this made for a spectacular view when I opened the tent. It was
beautiful as the sun was trying to come out emphasizing the whiteness.
We started our hike at 8:15 am. We went up valley and had to cross the river several times.
It was snowing on and off and quite cold, but no wind. An hour into our trek, it got steeper
and soon we saw the false summit of the Zalung Karpo La from far away.
On our way up to the false summit, our horses overtook us. I was in their way and
scrambled up the steep slope so that they could pass me easily. That pretty much killed
the remaining energy I had. On top of that, it started snowing heavily now making the going
even tougher. It took me forever to cover the few hundred yards from the false summit to
the real summit of the pass. So I was last again on my third pass....something that would
change completely later on! It was 11 am when I stood on top of the pass and the weather
all of a sudden turned nice.
On top of the pass there were some great looking snow/ice formations and we took some
nice pictures. On the other side, we could see the valley down towards Tsokra (or Sorra).
The way down was steep, very steep at times. We also had to make our way several times
through remnants of snow and ice. The scenery was spectacular. We continued our
descent and finally had lunch around 1 pm. Here it was sunny and warm again.
About an hour after lunch, about 2:15 pm, we reached our campsite. Kirin had pitched my
tent right next to the entrance to a marmot hole. I didn't like that too much and moved my
tent into one of the stone enclosures around the camp. Of course, everybody made fun of
me (again), as those enclosures probably usually harbor sheep, but I had the most
protected tentsite ever!!! They were just jealous.
Marc and I then washed up a bit in the
cold river and spend the rest of the
afternoon reading. It was truly another
beautiful campsite. Dinner was the usual,
i.e. some veggie rice noodle stuff and, as
we had lost a lot of altitude, it was not as
cold as in previous nights.