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Back from the trek!

Friends, family, and followers of our adventures,

We returned to Leh this afternoon – a day ahead of schedule – to running hot water, heated indoor spaces, the internet, and other wonders of civilization, such as the 4 types of cake with which we celebrated our first monthiversary as a group! As we sort through hundreds of photos and heal chapped lips, we also prepare to leave Ladakh. Very soon we will shift gears and tune into a different pace of life in the Gangetic plain.

Deeper reflections and stories of transformation and pushing through our limits on the trail, a birthday celebration on the toughest day,  appreciation for the landscape and the opportunity to walk through it, and more are coming your way in the next few days. We were incredibly fortunate to have great weather throughout, deep blue skies with only fluffy white clouds above us. Nature, the greatest artist, had painted the Markha valley in the golden and maroon hues of fall, which made for breathtaking sights. We had the help of amazing staff who looked after our food and group gear and made sure we were dry, warm, and well fed at camp. You will have heard that we made it safely together over the *BIG* pass, and the *LONG* descent on the other side, and you can imagine it was not easy.

It is not a little cold hiking in Ladakh in October; it is a big cold that makes everything extra challenging. We learned to mountain-breathe through bandanas up the steep slopes, to pile onto one another in sleeping bags, to not get small and shiver but “get big and own the cold!” We also learned a thing or ten about self care, asking for help, being an asset to the group, stepping up to lead, and giving gratitude – skills that will serve us long after the exhilaration of that first shower in over a week wears off.

Tonight we sleep in beds but dream of a next adventure in the outdoors…

– Team India