As a New Year came in I thought back to those whose ‘new’ year’s have not yet come. I thought back to three generations of women who hosted our team on a barren portion of the Tea Horse Road years ago. Their community at over five thousand metres, ‘Ala Dhotok’, bristled with wind and yet our team of dusty husks of glazed eyes and matted hair was welcomed, fed, and sent off with a mountain warmth that remains in the veins still. Within their tent, grandmother spoke of the days of trade and plied us with tea and yak cheese, her daughter cared for her own daughter and our filthy group lay back content in the knowledge that even if for the moment, we were warm and fed.
Some sips of tea later we made out for the waist deep snows of Nup Gong La (Western Pass), warmer and a bit more sane for our little stop. Good Wishes to you mountain goddesses for your own upcoming year in the snows. Even a great route through the sky like the Tea Horse Road needs the warmth of its people.