"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Aspiring To Altitude – or – Fear Of Landing?

An acceptance of solitude.
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“Truly I have set my soul in silence and peace.”
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Picture taken beside the frozen Tsomoriri Lake in Ladakh.

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12 responses

  1. S. Etole

    That merits a frame.

    April 24, 2012 at 8:16 am

    • Thank you!

      Tsomoriri is a bleak but beautiful place. Its silence is almost deafening.

      Walking beside the frozen lake’s wastelands, whether alone or even with a good friend, brings you face-to-face with yourself and the inevitable ultimate solitude that underlies all we experience..

      April 24, 2012 at 8:54 am

      • S. Etole

        Even in seeming solitude we are never left alone according to the Psalmist.

        That’s a beautiful quote … one of yours?

        April 24, 2012 at 8:56 pm

        • One of my quotes? I wish!

          No, it’s from The Grail translation of Psalm 131: part of tonight’s vespers.

          April 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm

  2. Is this desert land, or just the altitude that accounts for any vegetation? It looks like all rock and ice, but no snow … I don’t know that I’ve ever seen mountains (?) like those rising from the far shore of the lake. Is that a road over there?

    April 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    • This is desert, but at over 15,000 ft above sea level, spring has not yet arrived. There is perhaps slightly more vegetation later in the year.

      From what we were told, it seems that the nomadic shepherds spend summer higher up in the hills then come down to the lake during winter. There were very small patches of scrubland, which I presume are sufficient to feed their livestock.

      The hills on the other side of the lake rise into snow-capped mountains.

      As to whether that’s a road, I’m not sure: we didn’t get to the opposite side of the frozen lake. But, on our side there were no roads or even tracks. The driver reached the village where we stayed by steering across unmarked desert lands. I was very impressed!

      April 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm

  3. Toffeeapple

    That would be a chilling experience for me.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    • It was certainly an extremely chilling experience for me!

      April 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm

  4. I thought at first that I was seeing clouds and sky. It could be another planet.

    April 24, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    • Ladakh is one of the most northerly parts of India and, on emerging from the plane at Leh airport, my first thought was “This is a totally different country”.

      My second thought, like yours, was “No, this is a totally different planet!”

      April 25, 2012 at 6:39 am

  5. jdsmlks

    Good photograph! The bluish distant mountains with flashes of light–how beautifully marked they are!

    April 25, 2012 at 6:38 am

    • Thank you!

      The altitude ensures beautifully enhanced colours and I was greatly favoured by the time of day. It was early evening and shafts of light were casting strange patterns on the far side of the lake.

      April 25, 2012 at 6:47 am

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