Maanasa Kailasa Yatra – 10

One is at Nyalam …

And ready for the test climb..

Meanwhile, a memory comes back from the dark…. It was the previous night… Around 1 AM, when one got up with a splitting headache, one had to pop some medicine. Which meant one had to find it first…. Now, I don’t know how it works with others… But as far as yours truly is concerned, he is a perpetual seeker… So there I was.. Pitch dark dorm… People sleeping all over… No space for one to move without risking stepping over someone…. Where is the blasted torch? Feel below the pillows.. Feel on the sides… Found one torch… Is it mine? Not sure… Who cares… Now, to look for key for the lock of the duffel bag… After groping for several minutes inside my small back-pack, found that… Now, to open the duffel bag and search for the medicine…And all duffel bags have been given by the tour organizers. They look exactly the same, except for a number written on one side, to mark one’s individuality… Which is my duffel bag?

Duffel to the left of me,
Duffel to the right of me,
Duffel in front of me,
Lost and quite dismayed,
I by-golly’d and blundered…

What’s mine I just couldn’t tell,
My head aching like hell,
In the grip of a pitch dark spell,
This one man light brigade,
flummoxed, floundered…


I think Siva came to my rescue… And gave me a Diamox tablet.. And I had one emergency Ibuprufen somewhere… Somehow managed… But God be praised, it worked, and I was well next morning… Took part in the puja of Shankaracharya… And now ready for the hike up the hill…

Well, as far as I can make out, Nyalam is to High Altitude Acclimatization as New Castle is to Coal or Ireland is to Potato… It is a standard stop for Everest climbers who take the Tibet-China route…  It does not have much else appeal, as a town… Where you stay is controlled by the Chinese counterpart of your tour organizers… If you feel that your place is not so good, then you should look at an alternative place, and you may feel better off where you are…. So, best is to call upon your reserve of Titiksha and get on with the business at hand – Acclimatization…

Nyalam (( Tibetan: gnya’ lam rdzong ) is at around 12,300 feet…. You start feeling the effects of high altitude straightaway… Siva’s wife is pretty badly off…. Shankar has started us off on a homeopathic medicine for combating altitude sickness. It is based on Coca, which American Indians have used for hundreds of years, to help fight mountain sickness… Seems this medicine worked for him during his recent hike at Roopkund in Uttarakhand (Roopkund is at around 15000 feet…)… But most people start off on Diamox, which is standard fare… This tablet increases acidity of blood,  which Wikipedia says, “fools the body into thinking it has an excess of CO2, and it excretes this imaginary excess CO2 by deeper and faster breathing, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen in the blood“.. It works on the brain… Also prescribed for epileptic seizure… Side effects may cause blurring of vision, tingling of hands and toes, vomiting etc… Be that as it may… Acclimatization is a must.. For Altitude Sickness is a show stopper… Persistent headaches, nasal bleeding, breathing difficulty, nausea are all signs… And severe symptoms may include loss of consciousness… The thing is that at higher altitudes, it is difficult to recover from any ailment… Even a cut or a cough… And, God forbid, if one gets fluid in the lungs, it can be fatal unless one descends immediately to low altitude…

So how high is high? It is defined on the following scale High (8,000 – 12,000 feet) , Very High (12,000 – 18,000 feet), and Extremely High (18,000+)… And if you are doing the Kailasa Parikrama, you will be touching the “Extremely High” range….

Want to know more about high altitude acclimatization… Check this link….

Now, the test climb at Nyalam… One is to climb a hill nearby… A small test for man…

Here is a collage of photographs from our hike… Click on the first picture to open up the gallery… And then use the arrow keys to browse the lot…. Hit “Esc” to return…


*** To be continued ***


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One Response to “Maanasa Kailasa Yatra – 10”

  1. ravi anna Says:

    nice again.
    very practical tip,
    In the darkness of the night and searching for the medicine after you have extreme pains,cautions the traveller to have the emergency medicine right in your immediate pocket or accessible place for quick medication. tks

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