Ascent to the Tsergo Ri: Slow storm to summit
It is an icy morning, but behind the peaks a blinding sun is already shining, conjuring a halo to the mountain next door. In the usual hiking queue the troop, led by Sirdar Kumar, shuffle towards the mountain flank, where the entrance to the summit of Tsergo Ri is said to be. Endlessly a scree field under the dawn sky stretches along, we stomp through the semi-darkness shadows of the disappearing night, still completely uncertain about what this day will bring.
Heavy breath and horses
From 3.900 meters altitude we have to climb 1.100 meters up to the top - a very exhausting affair. Tsergo Ri - Ri is the name of all the mountains here, because Ri means mountain - is 4.984 meters high, just under 5.000 meters, but even the toughest hikers, who at the beginning push the pace and complain between two heavy airbreaths that they believe they are actually fit enough to take a six thousand meter peak under their boots easily, shuffle sluggishly through dust and stone at some point like we're all doing. A few horses are better climber: Like mountain goats they are climbing the hill.
The summit itself can only be seen from below at times, if you put your head back into your neck, and shortly before the finish there is even a special chicane in the form of a climbing route that consists only of loosely lying boulders.
Also the other eight-thousanders around the Langtang Himal, all of them beautiful peaks, cannot be seen now. Shisha Pangma with its 8.027 meters is located at the northern edge of the area and cannot be seen from the main valley of the Langtang or from Tsergo Ri. We have to climb Ganja La or Naya Kanga in the mountain range south of the Langtang valley to see the lowest of the 14 eight-thousanders.
Sweet snacks under the prayer flags
But this is even harder than this tour here, where it becomes more and more clear that the Tsergo Ri really was formed by a huge landslide that is said to have taken place about 40.000 years ago. There are no rocks under our feet but only loose scree, loose stones, broadly troddled on the places that are considered as a path here. Stoically trotting, we move upwards until about 250 meters below the summit a valley basin can be seen, through which we continue in slow serpentines to the summit ridge. Now it gets really steep again, but the summit is now even visible for a short time.
But then there are only 200 meters left, meadow-like covered with lichens. Yes, it has grass here! Finally with last strength to the summit goal, a place full of prayer flags and former prayer flags and ruins of prayer flags from the middle age.
Relieved hugs and shining faces even of the sherpas and porters who had joined us, who could walk this distance for once as an exception without load. Sweet snacks under the prayer flags, amazed at the sky high mountains that form the border to Chinese Tibet.
Just over there is the border, a wall like in "Game of Thrones", but not made of ice, but of rocks and glaciers. No, says Sherpa Hari Bahdur Tamang, this border is not guarded. No soldiers there. What should they do there, where the end is ending and the the heaven is the only border?
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Last round here
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