Friday, October 13, 2006

Kalindikhal - Part 8

23rd July (Suralaya Glacier to Kalindi Base): Great views in the morning:

Today, after some clambering...

... we got onto a pure white river of ice with, for a change, no rocks on it. This is probably still the Chaturangi, upstream from the point where it is joined by the Sweta Glacier (I haven't found a complete map yet). Here's what it looks like down the valley...

... and up it...

... and even further up, with Kalindi Pass itself running up the centre of the picture, between the white hanging glacier and the darker rock behind it:

Chandra Parbat was off to our right:

There were little meltwater rivulets running through the glacier, which we jumped across with suitable melodrama :P

... while Vishnu and Mahavir paused to play cards on the ice at regular intervals. I presume this shows some sort of high-altitude savoir faire.

We walked up the glacier to the foot of the pass (~5700m) and pitched camp there. Walking on the ice was surprisingly easy, and not very slippery at all. The glacier had its source in a massive icesheet (coming from China?), whose size is impossible to convey in pictures. Here's an attempt:

And here's our camp right at its rightmost end, where it's all cracked up:

The seracs behind Vishnoi are pretty far beyond him, and are each at least the size of a many-storey building.

Here's a view up the pass itself. We'll be going up this slope the next morning at the crack of dawn.

We sat outside in the gathering gloom for dinner, then prepared for a very short night -- we'd have to be up at 2:30am and start out by 4:30, to get on the ice before it started growing soft and dangerous in the sun. Vishnu had earlier suggested we might not even sleep tonight ("Nobody sleeps. The kitchen runs all night"), but that plan was shelved and we did get a few hours' shuteye.

(Part 9)


Rapid I Movement said...

I agree with the first line.

olidhar said...

yes, i thought that was the chaturangi, too. but then there had also been the satopantha glacier and the chandra glacier which we still seemed to have much to do with.

you had LOT more snow than we did, really. our snow conditions were quite perfect, i know, but that mostly because we were dealing with not very fresh snow, and because the crevasses were well and open for the most part, and one didn't walk into them.

also, we had none of these little rivulets to cross. indeed, the bane of our lives was that there were no rivulets at all. very, very dry conditons, and great paucity of water. severe dehydration before and after nandanvan. and following vasuki tal, all the water we found on a day's trek was what glacial pool we could clamber down to and break the ice surface of.

weather BEAUTIFUL all through. and cold to remember. wind wind wind.

olidhar said...

and yes, we got some sleep before we started, too. and i think that came in very useful in the course of the day.

|dasein| said...

whatever happened to 'Kalindikhal - Part 9'??

Anonymous said...

hi, Thanks for the write up and pictures of your Kalindi khal trek. And you you kept it in suspended animation. Please post the next installments ie Kalindi pass and beyond: Raj Parav, Arwa tal and Ghastoli. Hope to see it soon.

expiring_frog said...

@amrita: Yes, you had such incredible weather! Your pics say it all. We had it pretty good as far as temperature and water went, though.

@dasein, anon: Part 9 up, finally :). Subsequent parts should follow soon.