The problem with Chomolhari is that it is big and beautiful. It can’t help but to dominate the landscape. It draws our attention and compels us to take photos and videos as if somehow we could capture its essence and bring it home with us. Is it more beautiful in the twilight, the early morning, or the full sun? It’s difficult to decide, but one thing is for certain—we are very lucky with the weather. Like most mountains, Chomolhari can be a magnet for clouds. So far, except for a few clouds that quickly disappeared, it’s clear.
The morning starts out frosty with the sun casting a subtle pink hue on the face of the mountain. Today is a layover day. Base camp is relatively crowded, with about 4 or 5 groups camping in the vicinity along with some local yak herders and the usual trekking horses, yaks, and stray dogs.
Last night while we were trying to sleep, we were awoken by a snorting noise coming from an animal that was running in our direction. It stopped directly outside our tent. We were too afraid to look outside, so we yelled at it to go away. It moved on to the tent next to us. Was it an angry yak? The animals all look so peaceful this morning that it's impossible to tell which one is the culprit.
Layover Day Lets Us Explore the Area
It is a fine day for a hike. Five of us decide to take the option to get a closer look at Chomolhari while three of our group are staying at camp to rest. We hike uphill behind the camp and cut across a ridge, passing a large herd of blue sheep.
The ridge is very windy, but it affords a 360 degree view with mountains in all directions. There is a beautiful valley at the base of Chomolhari. Yaks graze in the distance. After exploring a small river that runs through the valley, we make our way back to camp where solar-heated showers and tea await.
Koren, Taski, and Pema on a day hike from base camp.