"…that this was pleasingly beautiful, while the other was sublimely grand" -Meriwether Lewis, June 14, 1805
Oringally I sought to turn off of the road tracking the Sutlej River a click north for Recong Peo and Kalpa. After some intense riding through an active rockfall whereby I watched a beach ball sized boulder zip past preceded by a layer a dust and later, heavy equipment and road outages, I missed the turn. Clearly, whatever Kalpa offered was of minor importance and I dared not to backtrack once I emerged and regained my wits at a hydro station, where a handful of idle english speaking school kids awaiting the bus informed me I’d passed in by 20 km. Instead, I’d follow the Sangla-Chitkul Road which began directly from the power station to Chitkul, which I’d already noted was worth a visit per an motorbiking Indian I’d met in Leh.
Past an enchanting forest and military check post, Chitkul is a hamlet of interesting wooden architecture with a small indigenous population. It was early to mid November when I arrived. If it were summer, I’d imaging the trekking from here would be world class, and have read as much about Rupin Pass near Sangla. I asked if I could hike to China; yes, but there would be nothing there and the going would only be up up up.