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  • Jeff Fuchs

Tea Horse Road Chronicles - Part Goat and a Little Part Human

Over the course of years since meeting Dorjè I’ve written and pondered much about him. “Part goat and a little part human” was how he was described to me. Perhaps sounds unfair but the goats' abilities in the Himalayas are legendary and entirely positive. He was (and remains) one of the most feral and strong men I’ve ever encountered with DNA that must read like a fascinating spread sheet of strengths and small micro links between tendons, muscles, and reaction times. Whisky would always come before tea, and loyalty to friends and family before all else. He was integral in a 52-day trek portion from northwestern Yunnan across eastern Tibet, and I’ve seldom seen a stronger sense of honour and sheer physical strength. His other nickname was ‘Peter O’Toole’ for reasons that most would understand, though I needed to explain this reference to the other team members. This photo of Dorjè was taken during a rare moment of relative calm in his home in Yong Zhr, near Kawa Karpo. He remains one whose strengths lie in the doing and remaining true to his path. Amongst his many 'Dorj-Moments', many stand out. One such 'moment' was more like a series of moments when our team had arrived to a remote village along the Tsayuchu river valley. We needed supplies after having been so long upon the route, and we needed to information about the path ahead. Dorjè promptly announced that he didn't like the "feel" of the place, and had his knife close at hand. He stalked through the minuscule town and pleaded with us to leave and not worry about food and directions through the nearby snow mountains, and that he would make it up to us somehow. He was relentless in his request, so after having secured a small bit of food, we were off. Dorjè would in fact guide us true over a nearby pass and find us a more inviting community to rest in and gather supplies.


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