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Ice Mountain Trek N a Very BAD Mistake

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya

Here is Day 2 of my Songpan Horse Trek to Ice Mountain.

The day itself was fantastic until half way through the ride home. This is when I lost complete confidence in horses and my comfort levels shot to zero! But we will get to that.

I rose around 7am. I didn't have to but I was freakin freezin and could some up with no reason to stay in the mild warmth of my bedding. During the night I had felt warmish for several hours and I think I slept for about two or three hours. My beanie which covered my entire face when pulled down was wet on the outside and the air in the tent was wet and past being called cold. When I rose I looked at at the grass beside me and the hail from the previous late afternoon still lay there laughing at me.

After my 'morning business' I found my lonesome place beside the little fire. All your business is done in the bushes around your campsite.

THERE ARE NO TOILETS HERE!

If its been raining and everything is wet, unless your happy to do what you've gotta do in the open for all to see, you must find some bushes and do what you've gotta do! Usually you'll return to the fire a little wet. The guides drink 'bush tea' constantly so there is always a uge pot of tea, not water but made tea to drink from.. This tea is the tea that is pounded into a brick. You see it being sold in Litang and areas around Tibet. I got used to having my three in one coffee mixed in with my tea. Wasn't a bad drop.

Breakfast was a great feed of pumpkin, potatoes and spicey noodles. In fact it was the best meal of the trek and a tastey dish indeed. Around 9am we were all upon our horses and on our way to visit Ice Mountain. We arrived around 12:30. The journey was once again BEAUTIFUL and pushed all the horrid memories of the freezing night prior from my head.

It was just STUNNING!

We once again rode along some thin trails and some larger. We rode the side of mountain to their peaks and then allowed the horses to climb down at their own pace whilst we walked. When the peak of Ice Mountain came into view we all stopped for a minute and Judy said, 'Now thats some ice capped mountain!' It was such a beautiful sight. Around it were rock peaked mountains which allowed the white to stand out.

The ride up the hill side was long and it was full of loose slate rock. No one fell and we finally made it 3.5 hours after leaving camp. We arrived in a flat valley whos floor was full of rocks and small streams. There was no grass just big and small rocks. The view of the mountain was just awesome. We were at 4300 here in the rocky vally and we were supposed to hike to around 4800. The montain top stands at 5580 meters!

NOW THATS SOME ICE CAPPED PEAK!

We didn't even begin the hike as the guides had received some info from some of the villages on the way that there had been some rock slides the prior evening and that morning. We were happy to just walk around the rocky valley and stare in awe at the ice peak.

We began our return journeyaround 2pm. We spent an hour walking down the slate covered hill and some mounted their horses on the little green edge thingy near where an old stone house ruin sat. Iris and myself chose to continue walking to the bottom of the hill where the river ran and the land was flat. I watched as my horse Bruce slid his way down before me. I was happy I cose to walk. Iris and I passed all the horses and their riders and waited a full five minutes for the first to arrive.

We then made our way horse bound through the lush green valley and stopped at the little village that promised great cold beer. Here some of us purchased some beer. The Chinese whom still hadn't even spoken more than a few words to Iris whom come speak Chinese purchased an entire box. Soon after it began to rain. Most of us donned our rain jackets. I donned my 7 Yuan blue plastic knee length jacket, which I should have taken off prior to mounting my horse.

I didn't know this at the time!

We said out good byes to the Tibetans whom sat out side the store watching us and was soon on our way. About ten minutes into the ride the sun came out and it was HOT! In front of me two Chinese took off their rain jackets so I thought I'd do the same....

BAD MISTAKE!

I took my hands off the reins and opened my jacket. I was told afterwards that this was my mistake. My horse say the blue fluttering in it's peripheral vision and reared up and bolted. I dug my knees in and made in intact until it bolted. I stayed on for the first bound and was then thrown off. lucky for me a guide was near by and had acted instantly and was nearby. Just as I left my horse he grabbed me and soon his horse, himself and myself were all on the ground.

For those of you who think 'shit doesn't happen'. It does.

If I wasn't caught by the guide? Who knows! If I was thrown when the horse reared? Who knows! If my feet or foot got caught in the the stirrups or a stirrup? Who knows!

News paper headlines and stories all tell of what happens to people whom are kicked and thrown from horses. I'm ever so glad my name was not to be printed!

It was here I made my decision...to get back on or not to get back on?

If I didn't remount the horse I guess maybe I never would in the future. Shakenly I got back on Bruce and continued the journey. I wasn't comfortable and I didn't want to be there. For the next ten or so minutes Bruce was very jumpy and flinched at any sound but I stayed on. I was tense all the way home and when we arrived at camp my knuckles were very sore. I don't really remember much of the scenery on that part of the journey.

We all sat for tea, some opened beer and soon dinner was ready. This night we had another type of spicy noodle and fried rice. A pleasant meal indeed. As the sun went down the Chinese and the guides built a huge fire. I mean HUGE! They were putting huge logs on there. We actualy felt its warmth from the kitchen trap area.

Soon we were all gathered by the fire and the Chinese after several beers finally began to talk to us. And yes, several could speak English! As the night progressed and the alcohol intake rose the guides began to sing and dance around the fire. It was a beautiful evening indeed. Srangely it was still very early in the night when we all climbed into our freezing cold tents.

Nine Freakin Thirty!

So that made it only around ten hours we had to freeze until moring!

Horse Trek Day II

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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