6 – Day 3 NobTshonapatta 4129.3 meters 21st February, 2017

The revered Nob Tshonapatta as seen from our campsite, a very small ordinary lake.
“Che. Che, wake up, wake up. Sun is going to be out soon.” Acho Karma T., Penjor and S.T were readying camera gears to take some sun rise shots. “Laa, aachoo, yes acho, I am coming la,” got up promptly, grabbed hold of my camera and unzipped the icy hard tent flaps. Gush of cold wind brushed my sleepy cheeks, waking me up completely out of my daze, as I put on my trekking boots. Outside everything was covered in white blanket of snow and they looked pretty. It was 6 AM in the morning.  
Woke early setting up the camera for the king of the sky to rise, and he wont bless us in the morning!
With our gears in standby facing west, we waited for the sun to rise. Clock ticked by and there was no sign of the sun, far below we saw a small frozen lake. Waited again but it was 7 AM already, sun shone bright lighting everything up. Quite unhappy for not being able to capture the reflection of the early sun rays touching those western peaks over Nathula pass on the Indian Bhutan border, a few of our folks saw trucks moving too through binoculars, we took pictures of ourselves. But, what made us smile was the beauty of the place when it glowed in sun light.
My favourite pony throughout the trek Nob Tshonapatta : Ta Norbu (Horse Jewel)
Yea, the two brothers!
Oh, yes, sister-in-law got in too facing my shooting camera 😀
Ashim Yangchen, does not she look like a girl from Alaska in one of those old American cowboy movies?
Oh, I caught them playing around like kids filled with the sense of happiness and accomplishment,
for having made to Nob Tshonapatta successfully.
Aint this pic lovely? Ugyen, Dolma and Dechen …
A semi group photo
Ponies basking in the early morning sun.
Acho Penjor and I enacting some of the peaceful diplomats in the world agreeing to uphold
and maintain peace throughout the globe, forever. Nob Tshonapatta in the background.
Acho S.T and I enacting some of the peaceful diplomats agreeing to uphold
and maintain peace throughout the globe, forever – part 2. Nob Tshonapatta in the hind.
It is really cold up there, how do you know? Snow? No. Look at Thinley’s hairy hat 😀 😀
Yeayyy, my camera caught them kissing in the snow @ Nob Tshonapatta 4129.3 meters above the sea level
Here comes Sangay Khandu, Mr DrukAir
Semi group photo part – 2
Folks came out of their tents with a huge, “Wow!” followed by, “so beautiful, worth all the hardship!”  Ran here and there, threw snow balls at one another and then took so many pictures. Ashim chimi wrote in the snow “MISS YOU MENDA” we still thought she should have come. It was sunny and a warm morning, we had breakfast and packed our lunches as our guides un-pitched and loaded the ponies. We are walking down about 10 minutes to see the famed NobTshonapatta.  We saw it was just a small lake from our camp site.
A lovely message for a lovely daughter from a lovely mother… Just wonderful!!!
Ten minutes walk down in the snow and there it was the revered Tshonapatta, a huge lake completely frozen with thick ice, and an inch of snow on top making wholly white and more glamorous. Almost the size of one and a half football grounds in length, hidden at the base of Tsejay La 4600 meters, exposing only a little more than the quarter of its original size. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I looked around and they radiated the sense of accomplishment. Trekkers ran down smiling like happy little babies going to mama.
Team leaders offering prayers on the frozen Nob Tshonapatta
Acho Penjor checked around before folks could walk on her. It was safe!
Then trekkers hopped on.
Circumnavigating and going for rounds.
After a few minutes on the frozen  Nob Tshonapatta two ashims retreated. Sat on a
rock listening to music and sang along.
Our yoga master, Dolma trying out some yoga.
Soon to be married, the wonderful couple stood firm on their decision.  I guess the revered Nob Tshonapatta
saw it too, and blessed them because the weather stood by our side throughout morning.
Which could be read as a good luck sign.
I wish Sonam and Thinley  all the happiness and love in the universe.  
I did offer my share of simple prayer too.


Team leaders checked the strength of the ice on the lake so we can walk in the middle to offer prayers and also to say, “Thank you,” for leading us here all safe and sound. In a minute all of us were on the lake praying. Ashim Yangchen and Lhamu led by acho S.T. went around circumambulating the revered lake. Acho Karma T and I were clicking. Wangchuk carried his fiancé Thinley and posed for the camera. Dolma and Gem were trying out some yoga postures. Sangay and Dechen Lhamu were doing some ramp walks. Ogyen and Kinzang wrote messages on the lake in the snow. Dawa Lhamo was far off at the mouth of the lake. Ashim Chimi and Ching ching walked back and sat on a rock listening to their favorite songs. Did the two ashims go sentimental?…….. Well, all of us were. We don’t know if we can ever come back to this revered tsho and even if we ever did would it be as beautiful as it was today? There is no guarantee, yet all we can do is hope. Yes, we should always hope!  


  1. Hi Che,

    Great photos!! I am overcome by a sense of Deja vu….

    You went to Nob Tsonapatta in February? Great …. your group must have been a courageous lot. Didn't your ponies have trouble on the trial? Didn't they skid on the ice caked trail? I went there late October, which was trouble enough. I wanted to go back in November but my pony man discouraged me totally …. I wanted to go and shoot full moon dipping over Mt. Kanchenjunga that you can see to the right of the lake.

    I still hope to be able to go there during November or February when the skies are clear and the full moon is up.

    I took the forbidden route —- close to Chundugang, over the dreaded Gonzola pass and into Sinchulumpa and across to Nob Tsonapatta … with two RBA guards breathing down my neck. The RBA wouldn't le me go to those areas unless I obtained some special permission ….. and then they insisted that I be chaperoned by two of their jonnies whom I had to feed and shelter for the next one week until they handed me over to the soldiers at Sinchulumpa. But the views from Gonzola was stunning.

    Interestingly, my pony man who is a Haap had some very interesting things to say about the territorial boundaries in those areas that border the contentious Doklam that is currently the subject of so much misinformation :)-

  2. Hi ata,

    I am so glad you liked my photos 🙂 … Yes, it was quite a trek, I must say one of the best and hardest trek I and my folks Trekkers 360' ever did. Not because of the trail or so but since we went in February. Weather was really hard, yet enchanting too.

    You should definitely go ata, and yes I am cent percent sure you will fall in love with Nob Tshonapatta and her Passes all over again. Just imagine spreading your arms open in the breeze climbing on top of the Tsejay laa, facing west? Just wonderful by a mere thought of it. You should go and I wish you all the good luck and I will be waiting eagerly to see that perfect photo of yours with the full moon dipping over Mt. Kanchenjunga!!

    Safe passage!!


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