June 17, 2009:

Day 12 of Trek:
Lungmoche (4,710 m) over Andreas Pass (very high!) to Spagmur (4,610 m)
After a good night sleep we woke up again to a dusting of snow. It was cold. Got up
eventually, had breakfast and then started our hike downvalley.
The other Marc from Boulder was camping next to us with his two horsemen and we all
were walking together. It continued to snow for a while longer and it was windy. We stayed
in the valley for about an hour and passed several little houses and animal pens which
were deserted.
Then, on our right, the trail ascended a ridge which we had to cross. At that time I was
ahead of everybody and determined to make it to the top first. I bravely battled the wind
and snow and reached the top of the ridge which also had some cairns, a clear sign that
this was a pass!!!! As I was up there first, I aptly named it the Andreas Pass.
It was so windy on "my" pass that I continued down on the other side into a little valley
where I waited for the rest. Soon thereafter the weather got better and better and the views
opened up while we hiked through a desert like landscape. At some time, a kyiang
appeared just a couple of hundred feet away from us.
After a while, all of a sudden, a small gorge appeared in front of us which we went down
steeply. From the bottom of the gorge we could see the white chortens of Sangtha ahead in
the distance.
Kim had told us in the morning to bring our sandals as the river at Sangtha usually carries a
lot of water. Well, when we got there, it was dry.....good thing I did not listen to her! Sangtha
is located at an altitude of 4,300 m. The village was deserted as its inhabitants were on
higher grazing grounds. On the other side of the "river" there are numerous white chortens
and mani walls.
Here at Sangtha ends the Lhadaki nomadic region and we were entering now the nomadic
area of the Tibetans. We had lunch a few minutes after leaving Sangtha.
The next hour and a half we went uphill again towards the village of Spagmur. We had
dramatic views all around us, including the "Five Sister Peaks" to our right.
Our campsite was a little below the deserted village of Spagmur. We wanted to explore it a
bit but there were 4 dogs roaming around the village and the valley inspecting everybody
and everything. They were scary looking, barked and growled at everything, so we stayed
close to camp. All afternoon and night these dogs were around our camp. It was kind of
scary. Later in the evening we finally enjoyed the warmer weather and did not have to wear
all our down stuff for dinner.
Marc and Marc(k)
View from top of "my" pass back to the Yar La (left notch)
Three "asses", the wild one on the left and the two domesticated ones on the right!