Monday, February 7, 2011

Mt. Chola - Trekking in Dege 2009

Mt. Chola is the heart of this marvelous trekking tour. By the way: There is a funny story about this name: Chola (speak juola, letter "j" as in jungle) is just another name for snow mountain, given by local Tibetans. The Chinese phonetic transliteration for CHOLA uses two characters: Que Er, and written so on offical maps. Hence, many foreign guide books use the literal translation of the Chinese Characters: Sparrow. So, mistakenly CHOLA became "Bird Mountain"...
Much better than the story about the name is the panorama view of the Chola Massif photographed from the south:
(click the image to enlarge)

typical view of pastures and rolling hills of the Dege area.

This vast grassland south-east of Mt. Chola is called Amula. In Summer you'll find here many big nomad families with their black tents and uncountable number of Yaks.

In lower elevations the winter camps are empty and may serve as shelter for tired trekkers :-)

Sometimes you have to cross a small stream which suddenly becomes rushing between some unexpected cliffs.

The sacred mountain of Amula...
...and the monastery that belongs to it.

Ruins of old clay houses proof that in some places once has been a settlement where now nothing is left except grass. From here it is still two days hiking to Dzongsar Monastery, a big and important centre of the Sakyapa Sect:

The colours are typical for Monasteries of the Sakya Sect: vertical stripes on the walls, mostly in black red and white.

I seriously wondered how this flower is able to survive just between stones and at an altitude of 5000m. Another example of the incredible magic of nature here in this land.

And of course not to forget: those who always are waiting for something....