Sunday, November 15, 2009

activity week - kuari pass - 3

This is a peak whose name I do not know. We could see it from the pass, although Nanda Devi was not visible until later. Below is Nanda Devi, a mountain held by Hindus to be very sacred. The Garhwal Himalaya is steeped in Hindu mythology. Darab says that some of the old men still refuse to believe that Nanda Devi has been climbed (it was in 1936 by Tilman and Odell) because mortals could surely not enter the dwelling place of the gods and live.

Indeed such mountains are immensely stirring and one feels an awakening need to worship. It is humbling to wander in the looming presence of such wild danger and heights. It was not a simple walk to get as high as we did, but we topped out a bit higher than the pass, at about 3800 meters or so. Nanda Devi's peak is at 7816 meters, about four kilometers above our highest point.

Below is one of the bridges we crossed. An earthquake made short work of this bridge, which did not seem very old. It is unfortunately common for such structures to be made poorly. A government contractor cuts a few corners to pocket a few rupees. This particular location is very remote and rugged, not a friendly location for a bridge. The region is earthquake prone, and we had to scramble around several broken bridges, one of which had been crushed beneath cottage-sized boulders. When I think of that power, it almost seems worth it to live there until it happens again, just to watch. The river-bed was dry, but in monsoon it evidently warrants a bridge.
And of course we had sunsets all week.


  1. nice photos, Nate! I'm looking at getting a digital slr camera, and wondering what you have and how you like it...

  2. Nate! Thanks for another fine set of pics from your trek. You guys get to see where we only imagined. Wonderful! Happy Thanksgiving~~