If you wonder what the Ganden to Samye Trek looks like, check out some of these short videos from a trip in September 2017.
Day 1 was really a pre-trek day. We visited Ganden Monastery, took a hike up the Wangpo Ri for some of the most spectacular views in Central Tibet, and then drove back down to the valley and for about 20-30 minutes to nearby Trubshi Village. Although you can start the trek from Ganden, it is easier to hire yaks from Trubshi. Note that it can be tough to hire yaks in the September harvest season, when yaks are needed by the farmer-nomads for the harvest. In fact, there were no yaks available until the end of our first day of trekking, so we hired horses, then were met by the yaks and our yak herder at the end of Day 1, at our camp at Yamado.
There are two koras at Ganden, the high kora on the Wangpo Ri, above Ganden Monastery, and a lower kora, that encircles the ridge that Ganden sits on.
We started trekking each day before the yaks. In this video, the yaks catch up with us, between Yamado and the Zhukar la Pass. Walking on this grassland is not as pleasant as it looks. The little tussocks of grass make for uneven walking, and you end up either hopping from tussock to tussock, or stepping up and down and around the little mounds.
The Chitu La Pass is high, just under 17,000 feet, but getting to the pass is relatively quick and easy from the camp at Chitul Gang, since you’re already way up there, and it’s an easy grade to the saddle that is the pass.
This was our favorite campsite during the four day trek — green, open and peaceful. We were camping at a site that nomad’s use in the summer, or used to use.
We ended our trek at the little village below Yamalung Hermitage, then hiked up an hour (or less) the steep stairs to the lovely little hermitage. This video is from the bridge from the village to the steps.