Thursday, December 13, 2007

White Mountains Blue Sheep and a Transparent Snow Leopard

Luck has been very gracious with me and I have got most of my wishes come true. I have had my share of failures as well but some of my deep childhood fantasies have always been granted. As a kid for a long time I had a fantasy to be a shepherd. Probably everyone some time in their lives wants to be a shepherd. Don’t worry about the clock… walk the hills with the sheep… enjoy the beautiful streams and meadows… and do all that a shepherd does. I will not be protecting my wild sheep from their wild predators. I would actually be happy to even see a Tibetan Wolf or a Snow Leopard.
My Sheep...
Their Pasture...
My wish has been granted. Next month I am going to Kibber wildlife Sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh to study the Blue sheep for my masters’ dissertation. I will not be literally herding these wild sheep, but will be studying their winter feeding strategies. This provides with an opportunity to spend the whole winter in the Trans-Himalayan cold (up to -25 degree Celsius). Roam the Himalayan giants behind the wild sheep. Sit by the evening fire in little wooden house and spend lots of time just looking at the stars.
A shepherd with an Ice Axe…
Chou Chou Kang Nilda (6304 Mts.)
I do have some more ambitions from this trip. The top priority will always be with my study data collection but I hope to spend some time climbing. This includes an attempt at climbing Kanamo in the WINTER, climbing Chou Chou Kang Nilda (6304 Mts.), if possible climbing Shilla (6100 Mts.). Another ambitious dream I have is to go up to the source of the Shilla River (a typical Himalayan stream rolling down the gorges of Zansakar) and exploring a possible route to climb the Lakhan Peak (6123 Mts.). Hope I am not asking for too much.