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  • Jeff Fuchs

A Pass, The 'Feel', and Karma's Chai

The mind wanders back to a pass, a blizzard, and that wonderful thing that exists still: instinct.

On a day of few words along a portion of a trade route in Ladakh as a blizzard piled in at 5000 metres, this moment reflects the question, "When do we know absolutely if we will continue?". Attempting to move over the snow pass of Lasermo, one of those very mountain mantras comes into clarity as well, "There is nothing that we dictate", as elements, variables, and perception still guide most journeys. And so we adapted and followed our languid reader of the winds and snows, Tsewang (pictured here). Our mules and horses trusted him, and so too did we. Here, he looks back to us for the sign to continue...or to retreat.

He 'felt', he could still read the pathway, even though there was nothing but a blanket of white, beautiful froth before us. We would 'just' make it over the pass as the blizzard came in full force. Once we set up camp, Tsewang would politely demand a masala chai be made in his honour by our guru of delights and wisdom, Karma. He was obliged and the skies would clear.


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