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To plan and conduct an expedition like Transhimalaya took us about two years. Of course we were not busy with the planning for two whole years, but the search for sponsors, the training preparations, the investigations and the special permits for the restricted regions, all these took time. Two years of preparation are long, but the great deal of work after the expedition has only just begun. Weiterlesen
It’s unbelievable how quickly I was able to readapt to ‘civilization’. All the strains of the Transhimalaya expedition have actually been plumb forgotten. This probably also because I am back at home, here in the canton of Graubünden, in a familiar environment. The cordiality and the goodwill that Flurina, my wife, and my closest friends showed me did really good. After all, some of them had Weiterlesen
Only now I realize how valuable a shower is – unbelievable! I enjoy the warm flowing water more than any other luxury we have got here. Only after the privations and the extremely modest life we led in February can I appreciate all that we have here once again. I experienced an incredibly intensive month. Weiterlesen
Hard days are behind us. My feet are red and blue. The 160 kilometres we walked through ice and snow within five days left their marks. Our decision not to cross the Shingo-la pass and turn around had brought about serious consequences. The road back was very long and the conditions, bad.
We walked for more than 12 hours each day for three days consecutively but due to the terrain of ice and snow we were unable to put on the skis. During the three days we managed to walk from Shingo-la to Padum. We had to sketch out our track all the way, in advance, and partially struggle to make our way through hip-deep snow.
Arrived in Padum, we needed another day to organize our journey to Leh. We heard a lot of rumours according to which the ice of the Chaddar had already broken out and that we would not be able to pass the route. The government, on the other hand, claimed the ice should hold for another day or two and that is why the army yet refused to offer service flights.
The last winter expedition group on the Chaddar
We, however, were under time pressure. Therefore we had no other choice but dare walk across the ice. We started early, at 3 in the morning, drove the jeep from Padum until the end of the street and then marched off from there. The entire ice on the Chaddar had freshly cracked and then, once again, frozen together.
Once, we also had to balance, stooped under a ledge, over a layer of ice that was only 20 centimetres wide. At the narrowest point we had no option but to put the ski sticks in water, support ourselves on them and then dare make a broad jump over the open water.
Eventually we did it after all. As the last winter group of 2012/2013, we had walked on the ice of the frozen Zanskar at a record time of 15.5 hours. Now we are a bit emaciated and exhausted, but happy to be soon back in Switzerland.
We have some very rough days behind us. Meanwhile, we are back in a safe place, back in Padum. In three days we have waded through deep snow for more than 100 kilometres on skis and on foot. Now it is uncertain how we will get out of Padum. The Chaddar – the frozen Zanskar River – seems to have broken and the army has yet no regular service flights. Weiterlesen
After icy days on the frozen river, we can finally indulge ourselves in a day off in Padum, before heading towards Raru. The local tourism manager invites us in his office, where we receive the official confirmation that Claude was the first to have ridden the bike on the frozen Zanskar River.
I curse every morning: When I lie in my bedroll and try to prepare myself for the cold that awaits me outside, I can’t find any kind words for my adventure. Outside, icy temperatures of minus 20 degrees and on the inside “snowing” from the tent walls, because the air humidity that I breathe out freezes. I need my thick gloves to roll my sleeping bag, and I’m wearing all the clothes I have brought along. Mornings are merciless in the Himalayan winter, I suffer quite a lot. Weiterlesen
(Media release of 16 february 2013) Claude Balsiger, the mountain biker from Zug (Switzerland), spent five days on the frozen Zanskar River to reach the foot of the Himalaya main ridge. With this first expedition, Balsiger succeeded a premiere in the Indian Himalayas. Never before has a mountain biker been able to cross the Himalayas in winter time. Weiterlesen