Winnie Chang’s Great Himalayan traverse

Everyday there was more snow. Zanskar is a high altitude desert but these late winter storms (this was March) provide the main source of water for the region.*

We were on our way up to the Pensi La pass, a gradual inclination all the way up to 4,400 metres. It continued snowing hard into the night and we were just plodding on, weighed down by heavy backpacks. The only lights we could see were from our head torches, all the Buddhist villages were left behind. Now we were in the domain of the large cats and wild animals which we frequently heard.

We stopped for a short break and I shot some photographs of Alex sitting on his pack and highly unamused. Realising how photogenic the situation was, we used the break for some atmospheric photos. I set up a picture explaining what I wanted in the frame and how. My other team mate Max was commandeered to replace a tripod that we’d decided not to carry!

The photograph came together after several attempts. I skied around in circles feeling like I’d fallen into a shaken snow globe. Nothing else existing beyond the glow from my headlamp. I think we got there in the end.

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