June 20, 2009:

Day 15 of Trek:
Numa River Camp (4,610 m) over Thelekang La (5,030 m) to
Zozogong (4,940 m)
Got up around 6:30 am and had breakfast. Graham, Marc and I left a little earlier than usual,
about 8 am. We went up the river valley and were supposed to wait after 2 hours of hiking.
Shortly after camp, we had to cross the river for the first time, one of many times that day. I
was behind Marc and he tried to jump over the river, barely made it, slipped and fell
backwards into the coooold river. I was laughing my ass off!! Poor guy was drenched, only
problem was that the camera which he carried in his pants also got drenched, but it worked
again a day later. Marc had to change pants and from now on, he did not care anymore
whether his feet got wet or not crossing a river as long as he did not fall.
We walked until 10 am up the valley, crossed the river several times, seeing many
hoodoos. At one time the entire valley was covered with a snowfield and we had to
navigate around it. After Kim and Lakpa showed up we turned into one of the next valleys
to the left. It got warmer and warmer.
We had lunch at 12 pm, a lot earlier than the days before and much more to my liking. The
lunch break was quite long and then we continued on through the valley which became
more narrow. Soon, we climbed out of the valley up a ridge and towards the pass. We got
to the top of the pass at 2:30 pm.
The pass was at 5,030 m or 16,750 feet. For Marc, this was not high enough and he decided
to climb up a mountain to the left of the pass, which was about 200 m higher. We dubbed
this mountain Mt. Insignificance when we saw it the next day from the valley being dwarfed
by the mountains around it. While the others went down to the campsite, I waited up on the
pass for Marc to come back. We finally made it to the camp at 4 pm.
What a beautiful camp site with great views downvalley of the Himalaya Range. However, I
was tired. We were at an altitude of 4,900 m and it was cold when the sun went down.
Therefore, shortly after dinner, already at about 8:30 pm, I went into my tent and the warm
sleeping bag. The thermometer that night fell to minus 8 degrees Celcius or 20 degrees
Fahrenheit.
Marc after his fall into the river
Marc's Mount Insignificance