Blooming passes

Whether wheezing up or whizzing down one of the mega Himalayan passes, I simply cant help myself and stop for flowers. Of course I don’t need much encouragement to have a break on an ascent, always nice to catch my breathe and get up close to some pretty little blooms, but on the down though, requires a lot more discipline. Here are some of my favourites, unfortunately I have found it hard try to ID them, if you know what they are please comment!

Pretty little whites on the way up the monsoon thrashed Rohtang pass at around 3000m
A campsite in fields of summer flowers as it were (stilll on the wet side of the Rohtang)
These beautiful burgundy blooms are widespread between 3000m -4000m. From a distance they give mountains a red tinge, it was only on close inspection that I found it was these little flowers!
These pink 'rock' daisies seem to be most abundant at the 4000m marker. I noticed lots of these at on the Baralacha-la and the Khardung-la passes.
One of my favourites. Just when you think that nothing pretty could possibly grow in a dry and high altitude desert, these blues were a welcome sight for me as I plodded up the highest motorable road in the world (the Khardung-la Pass).Unlike its other altitude cramped counterparts, this blue anenome-like flower doesn't hold back, bearing beautiful full flowers between 4600 - 5300m - amazing!
Simply sweet
The robust rhubard (I mentioned in the previous entry). Like many of these high altitude plants it is considered vulnerable.
Seabuckthorn - this indigenous berry grows in the lower dry valleys and is known for its high levels of vitamin C. It is harvested and usually turned into a lovely orange juice. They are rather tart to taste!
Rambling pink roses are a striking contrast against the dry orange valleys. Here they have fruited into equally stunning rosehips.
As tempting as it is to continue non-stop down this amazing descent from 5600m to 3600m over 40km (Khardung-la pass) - I always stop, even for only a minute, to savour the views and the blooming pass.

Bridget Ringdahl

Pedaling has been natural to me since the tender age of three. Cycling is practical, fun, it gets you to the corner café, across countries, continents, keeps you fit and is by far the most efficient and environmentally friendly transport option around, being virtually carbon neutral.

I live in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal which is great cycling country, within 10 minutes I can be bouncing along some of the finest single tracks in the province.

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4 thoughts on “Blooming passes
  • WSmart

    Looks like there's a bee inside that one rose hip, and I wonder what those white flowers at the campsite smell like to attract that big ole' blow fly? Usually they go for some foul odors. Love that view out over the plains from the decent. No dragons here, but it makes you wonder; leaf drift. Thanks for posting B, Bill. Be real, be sober.

  • Chris Galliers

    Very nice pictures Bridget. Love the colours and the playing with depth of field.

  • Catherine

    Hi Bridget, one should always stop and smell the flowers ;-) Beautiful pics - especially the first one. Hope you're having fun!

  • Bridg, I am always impressed that you notice the little things in your quest to conquer the mountains. These floral treasures are a real treat. Thank you for recording and sharing them.

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