During the summers of 2004, 2005, and 2006, under the auspices of my Asian Horizons program, I took some of the students who had taken my Asian Studies class on treks in Tibet, India, and Nepal. In 2005, these two of these three-week treks took place in Sikkim and Ladakh, two Himalayan provinces in India. Fortunately, one of my students, Aaron Nugent, carried a thirty-pound movie camera with him on both of these adventures, and he graciously edited some of the footage into the brief documentaries that I have posted here.
Sikkim is a verdant and fecund land located in northeast India, bordered by Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and Tibet in the north. During our hike to and from the base of Mount Kanchenjunga, we encountered rain, snow, and all the other sundry challenges to physical and mental endurance posed by trekking at altitude. It was a glorious journey, and I hope that you enjoy the video.
We were led to believe that, in contrast to our experience in Sikkim, our trek in Ladakh’s Markha Valley would be “high and dry,” but as the video shows, we instead encountered the first July blizzard that our guide had ever experienced, and we had left most of our winter gear in our hotel. Nonetheless, we persevered, and this trek, difficult as it might sometimes have been, is certainly one of the great experiences of my life. Again, I hope that you enjoy the video.
These videos were originally accompanied by some wonderful music, and we have petitioned to have it restored to them under the policy of “fair use.” I hope that we are successful in this venture, because the scenery is enriched by the musical accompaniment. I want to thank Aaron Nugent both for making this video and for making the journey to Sikkim and Ladakh with me. I also thank all of my other students who accompanied me to Asia: You were brave to take my class and just as courageous to accept my challenge to go trekking in the Himalayas. Finally, to anyone else who wishes to explore Asian horizons, I strongly recommend contacting Dharma Adventures at www.dharmaadventures.com, since on five different occasions this wonderful organization delivered what it promised to – a true adventure.