|Trekking from Hanumil to Snertse.|
Up till now, I had relied on my iPhone to search for information about the trek route. But now we were in an area, where there was no cell phone reception. I was cursing myself for not carrying a printed copy of the trek route. The GPS device was giving me accurate data about our current location, elevation, and distance covered from the last point - but I had no means of cross-referencing this data with the trek route. This meant that I had absolutely no idea how far, or how high we had to walk to reach our destination. If I had this data, I could have prepared myself both physically and mentally. Without this data, I had to rely on whatever Trashi (our guide) was telling us - and truth be told, he was not the most encouraging guide I have come across.
|The first mountain pass on the trek, Perfi-la.|
|Gradual climb towards Perfi-la.|
|Horses loaded with equipment on the trek.|
|Half-way point to Perfi-la.|
Finally, around noon, we reached the top of Perfi-la. It stands at a height of 4,200 meters - which means we climbed nearly 800 meters. Tibetian prayer flags greeted our effort.
|Top of Perfi-la|
|Shawn and Roy reaching the summit of Perfi-la|
|The trek route towards the 2nd pass - Snertse.|
|The route to Snertse - just behind the steep pass.|
As we were trying to catch our breath on top of Perfi-la, I noticed that one of our horses was not carrying any equipment - and Shashi was running after him. Apparently, the equipment was not tied properly, and it came off. Our precious gas cylinder went rolling down the mountain, more than 500 meters into the valley. I was expecting to hear an explosion any minute.
We were dumb-struck. Without gas, we would have to return back to Hanumil and abort our trek. It was impossible to continue the trek without a gas cylinder, as we would be without food and potable water.
|Shashi, after sucessfully retrieving the gas cylinder.|
Relieved, we started our descent. The trail was steep, and we had to go down carefully.
|Climbing down from Perfi-la.|
|Steep descent from Perfi-la|
We sent off the support team ahead of us to setup the tent. The tent would be setup near the Omachu river (seen in the picture below). Omachu river flows and joins the Zanskar river on the other side of Perfi-la, which we had just left behind.
|Support team going ahead to setup the tent.|
|Our tent waiting for us at the bottom of Perfi-la.|
It was still early in the day. I used the time to wash and dry our clothes. I also had a dip in the icy cold water of Omachu river. Trust me, it is worth it.
|Evening at Omachu River.|
We had an early dinner and hit the bed to prepare ourselves mentally for the steep climb ahead of us in the morning.