trail to the Rolwaling Valley on the East side close to Simigaon was destroyed
by a landslide. On the West side, there was an old, alternative trail skirting
high up along the narrow valley and it was
not much used. We went up some 600 m along terraces with millet fields. High up we had a panoramic view at
the main river valley but the next kilometer would be different as we entered
a deep gorge.
was narrow with a steep 600 m drop and little used. In one part it consisted of
a steep staircase made of rock slabs that were covered by green algae and
looked suspiciously slippery. A slip would result in a sure death and we
carefully went down testing every footstep.
hundred meters further there was also a 50 m wide landslide and now the trail
in the soft dirt was only 20 cm wide. I watched how the porters with their 30
kg loads slowly crossed the landslide, with very balanced, careful steps. Everybody passed safely that day. The
trail finally entered a dense rain forest till Simigaon. The next day we
entered the Rolwaling Valley and the wide trail was mostly hidden from the
steep ravine by dense bush with many bamboo trees.
talking to Paul and I did not pay sufficient attention to the trail. The ground
was wet, muddy and slippery. I suddenly slid off the path into the jungle on
the ravine side. I quickly grabbed a few branches, ensured I had a safe hold
and looked down. There was a little plateau 2 m down but below that there was a
steep drop of some 400 m. Migma Sherpa also grabbed my shirt so I was double
safe. Tendy and Migma Sherpa quickly pulled me out and I was only a bit shaken
not realizing yet what could have happened. Later on they told me that this is
why a Sherpa guide always walk behind the group members and it does happen that
they need to rescue tourists this way.
A few days
later I met a 72 year old American men going from Na at 4000 m altitude to
Yalung La base camp at 4900 m. He complained that going was much heavier than
climbing Kilimanjaro he already did twice. The current plan was to cross the
Trashi Labse Pass of 5700 m but was sure he would never make it as the going
was very rough, worse than he ever suspected. He asked me about a helicopter
lift out and responded to my estimate of the US$ 3000 cost that this was cheap
to save his life.