Occasional Climber

Baltistan – Hushe to Skardu, August 1997 & 92

Below Hushe, on the jeep trail near Kande, Masherbrum takes on more of the stature expected of a 7,821 metre mountain
A side valley below Hushe reveals delicately terraced fields covering every usable space. The mountain people have become masters at extracting a viable living from a seemingly desolate environment
Masherbrum (7,821m) from the jeep trail that eventually leads back to Skardu
Passing one of several large villages on the journey back to Skardu. Masherbrum is still visible far back up the valley
On the outskirts of one village, a young Balti girl adeptly handles the dual role of baby sitter and cook's assistant. From an incredibly early age, by Western standards, children in these parts take on significant responsibilities, such as baby minding, while their mothers take on heavier work in the fields
The Moslem influence, even in such remote parts, is obvious
The jeep trail between Skardu and Hushe passes several substantial villages, nestled around flat areas like this
The old Rajah’s palace in Khapulu, the second largest town in Baltistan, situated besides the Shyok River
Khapulu locals
A view of the mighty Shyok River below Khapulu. The Shyok originates in Ladakh and joins the Indus near Skardu  > Skardu and surrounds

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