Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trail Photos From Asia | "Roughing It" with Ryder-Walker



Last week’s e-newsletter spotlighted our hiking tours in Asia. The Asia hikes stand apart from our European hiking tours because they feature high elevation camping in addition to first class hotels and mountain lodges. Though we didn't mention it in the newsletter, we also offer private tours with camping nights in the United States as well. Last fall, for example, we ran a private trip through the Paria Canyon of southwestern Utah and northern Arizona.

All totaled, camping accounts for barely one percent of our hiking tour overnights. That said, the nights that our guests spend on the trail are some of the most exciting and rewarding of their lives.

For today’s blog, we thought it’d be fun to share a few more photos from our campsites in Asia.

The very top photo shows our camp beneath the Chomolhari, (7,326 meters/24,035 feet) in Bhutan. We use state-of-the-art sleeping tents during the camping portions of our tours. The tents are strong, lightweight, and specifically engineered for high elevation mountaineering. Interestingly, our local guides prefer teepee style and canvas wall tents for cooking and sleeping. They're locals, however, so they can show off.


The second photo captures the view from our campsite at Nimaling, India, more than 15,000 feet above sea level. The mountain peak is called Kang Yatze, 6,400 meters/20,997 feet. Kang Yatze is the highest mountain in the Ladakh region of northern India (Markha Valley Trek), and it's the first thing that you see when you roll out of your sleeping bag at first light.


This begs the question; do we have to carry our stuff? Thankfully, no. Local guides handle the ponies that carry our gear. It's a very historic way of traveling through this part of Asia. In this photo, our guest hugs his new pony friend. Look closely, the pony appears to be smiling. This particular pony has a saddle so he can offer rides to anyone that needs a break.  


It must be said that our local guides do a marvelous job of ensuring guest comfort throughout their trip. They set up the tents. They prepare the food, and of course, they impart a local knowledge of the mountains that no guidebook could ever convey. In this image, our local host brings hot tea to every tent. He also brings hot wash water so that guests can freshen up before hitting the trail. 


Speaking of the trail; the hiking is phenomenal! Regardless of your tour, whether you hike in Bhutan, Nepal, or India, you'll feel like you've reached the roof of the world. 


The ponies have your back as you head into the sky. 


We'll part with this image and a thought:

There is a magic that unfolds when a traveler unzips their tent and beholds the majesty of the Great Himalayan Mountains and beyond.

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All photos by Daniel Sundqvist
Copyright Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures.

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