After Passing Kang La (5300m), the first high pass on our expedition, we arrived in Nar, where we successfully started our scientific program and used the rest day for acclimatisation.
Monday morning we started early to cross the Kang La pass. Nils and Hannes were in pretty good shape and took the thousand altitude meters up from 4300m in about 2,5 hours. All other members followed in their own pace. Unfortunately, Jonas got seriously sick, but did make it down to Nar like everyone else, where he directly went to bed and recovered quickly. Fabi followed soon, but the rest of the crew were celebrating the first pass with some Tuborgs.
We used today, tuesday, for research, film and photo work. Jonas was able to make several interviews about changes in yak pastoralism and about the increase in local tourism. Interestingly, the forms of pastoralism apparently have not been changed at all in the past 30 years according to the locals. The assumption that yak herding is decreasing due to increasing tourism seems to be false. It rather seems like that the inhabitants keep their traditional structures alive and take the financial benefits of tourism only on top as a bonus. This thesis fits into the comparative observations of Hannes, who has visited Nar already in 2007 and 2009, when he wrote “the standard of living increased obviously”. New buildings, ongoing construction works, elecricity by an own small hydropower station (since 2012), and the Western clothes of the younger generation are proof of change.
While Hannes and Jonas were doing research in the village, Patty again became a rumored doctor and took care of some locals’ injuries. As a sign of gratitude, one of her new patients gave her a precious yak tail. We hope we are not running out of medicine before the first half of our expedition is over.
Tomorrow we have to leave Nar already, but with Jonas’ and Hannes’ data we have collected our first important scientific information and are strongly optimistic to fulfill our goal of completing a scientific documentation expedition.