We slept in later knowing that there’d be a long walk ahead. The town we stayed in really has nothing going for it except for a rather famous mountain called 年保玉则. It is a sacred mountain in Tibetan culture, and it is also a great place for backpackers to take a 3-4 day trip through the mountains. Its lowest point is 4000m above sea level, high enough to cause most people altitude sickness!
Originally we intended to hike for 3 days. But several problems we faced was the fact that we didn’t have a stove, and we didn’t do our homework in terms of routing. People come here with topographical maps with exact positions of their campsites! We really didn’t want to get lost =P Another problem was, we have TOO much stuff. People come here for the sole purpose of backpacking, but for us we have a lot of first world items like laptops, toilet paper etc.
The biggest hurdle though, was the fact that we were getting totally ripped off if we got a guide and mule! They’d charge us an extra day since we’d be exiting in another part of the park, but we figured we might as well since we already made it out so far…. BUT after agreeing on the price, out of nowhere they jacked up the price by another 30% because “We only have male guides, and they cost 30% more” W T F. So at that point we were like F U, and we went by ourselves (after unloading some first world items).
We started at about 1:30pm, and the sun was hiding gently behind some clouds. By about 2:30pm, it made a turn for the worst. Clouds brewed overhead, and it started drizzling a bit. We didn’t mind as we have Gore-Tex hardshells just for this purpose… but soon the drizzle turned into HAIL. What came from the sky really didn’t matter though, it was what was on the ground. We were walking around a lake, and the side we took pretty much had no trail. Either you made your own trail by walking through waist-high bushes, or step into ankle-deep mud trails. We kept on, and by the time we got to a camping area at 6pm, the rain stopped and the sun came back up again. Crazy weather!
After carrying it for so long, we finally get to use our camping gear! And fortunately for us the skies cleared up enough for us to cuddle in our so sooo comfy sleeping bag and still see the stars up above…