|Leh Ladakh Kashmir India, WW|
|Leh Ladakh Kashmir India, WW|| |
Leh Ladakh Kashmir India, WW
|Backpack||100.61 Miles||17 Days |
|9,360 ft AEG|
||no linked trail guides|
|Himalayan CardioRenal Screening Project – Leh Ladakh Kashmir - August 2013
For those that know me, I’m in the habit of booking a quarterly “wilderness adventure” months in advance so I can work my schedule around the dates.
Q1-2013 was the “Salt River Canyon Wilderness Trek” (check out http://hikearizona.com/photoset=24440 )
Q2-2013 was the “Colorado San Juan Mountains Trek” (check out http://hikearizona.com/photoset=25725 )
I’ve been accused of having my recent “basecamps” (check out http://hikearizona.com/photo=326588 (Camp Grasshopper photo goes here) and http://hikearizona.com/photo=346739 (Danzl Cottage photo goes here) ) being a little too “gentlemanly” to fully qualify as “wilderness adventures” despite the hikes into designated Wilderness Areas. I guess a trek into Kashmir for Q3 qualifies as more than adequate compensation.
PRELUDE A couple of my physician friends conduct annual rural medicine clinics in India and I’ve been begging them to take me along as a volunteer the next time they go. Well it was a Friday afternoon commute in mid-June when I get a phone call from Dr. Kris Vijay and Dr. Bhupindar Singh saying that they’ve just received grants from multiple sources to conduct a “twin epidemic” (CVD and T2DM) patient screening study in Kashmir and would I be interested in joining them for 16 days in August. I indicated to them I’d be “all in” provided I could get clearance from my 2 bosses. I hung up the phone and my satellite radio kicks back in, and I can’t make this up, with a masterful tune that must be an omen – KASHMIR by Led Zeppelin…
With clearance obtained from my 2 bosses (one at home, the other at work), nailing down the trip logistics with the TwinEpidemic Team was the next item to check off the list. Flights, daily itinerary, etc. proved to be easy. Getting my travel visa in place was another story!
PREVENT TWINEPIDEMIC TEAM GOALS From some casual conversations with members of the CardioRenal Society, conventional wisdom concludes that people native to the Himalayas have no cardiovascular disease (CVD), no Type-2 Diabetes Myelitis (T2DM), no chronic kidney disease (CKD), and live to at least 125 years of age. Believe that? Well there’s no published data…
1. Dharma Principles – do the right thing, not driven by the legality.
2. Creating a Sustainability Model for the Ladakhi People – it’s not about taking data from the Ladakhi people and publishing to satisfy your ego, it’s about establishing a sustainability model where teaching the locals, educating the locals, and providing continuing access to healthcare on a primary (lifestyle modification), secondary (medication), and tertiary (interventional) basis.
DAY #0 – Tuesday 7/30 With my travel visa delivered on Monday (wow - still had 48 hours to spare) all that remained was the packing. British Airways was allowing 2 checked bags at 51 lbs maximum per bag plus a carry-on bag and computer bag. I was able to fit in the requested United States chocolate bars and Hot Wheels – prized by the locals for their rarity.
Here’s the planned itinerary
Wed 7/31 – flight BA288 PHX to LHR
Thu 8/1 – flight BA257 LHR to DEL
Fri 8/2 – arrive at Maidens Hotel in Delhi India
Sat 8/3 – flight GA123 DEL to LEH, arrive at Highland Hotel in Stok Ladakh
Sun 8/4 – day #1 patient screening at Ladakh Heart Hospital in Leh Ladakh
Mon 8/5 – day #2 patient screening
Tue 8/6 – day #3 patient screening
Wed 8/7 – day #4 patient screening
Thu 8/8 – day #5 patient screening
Fri 8/9 – day #6 patient screening
Sat 8/10 – day #7 patient screening
Sun 8/11 – Roy A Kite Clinic dedication ceremony at Lamdon School
Mon 8/12 – Himalayan trek day
Tue 8/13 – GA321 LEH to DEL, arrive at Marriott Courtyard Delhi Gurgaon, travel to Taj Mahal in Agra
Wed 8/14 – meetings at Apollo Hospital and Fortis Hospital in Delhi
Thu 8/15 – flight BA256 DEL to LHR, flight BA289 LHR to PHX
SOME THOUGHTS ON LADAKH Ladakh represents the remnants of a once powerful Buddhist Kingdom residing in the much disputed state of Kashmir. Look at the world map and you won’t find solid lines representing defined international borders. The map consists of dashed lines representing the disputed boundaries. India currently exerts occupational claim with a heavy military presence. Kashmir is a war zone.
When you get off the civilian airliner that land at the military airport in the town of Leh, you are greeted by the Ladakhi salutation; “Jullay!”. This is soon followed by; “Welcome to Ladakh, the site of World War Three”.
Kashmir is a Muslim state within India. Ladakhis’ do not seem to have much (if any) government representation in this Muslim state. Add to the mix, Tibetan Refugees and you have a curious mix of two cultures with a common spiritual leader – the Dalia Lama http://www.dalailama.com/
For additional information, check out
National Kidney Foundation of Arizona:
South Asian Society on Atherosclerosis & Thrombosis:
Ladakh Heart Hospital/Foundation:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ladakh-H ... 1808712700
Himalayan Dental Project:
Himalayan Women's Health Project
Himalayan Vision Project
Roy A. Kite Memorial Clinic in Ladakh
AFTER THOUGHTS By the numbers;
17 days being vegetarian
1315 photos on Canon Rebel XT
323 photos on Canon 7D
1031 photos on iPhone 4S
2669 total photos on ~24G of FLASH Cards
9836 air miles from Phoenix to Leh Ladakh Kashmir via London Hearthrow and Delhi
10112 air miles from Leh Ladakh Kashmir to Phoenix via Delhi, London Heathrow, and Las Vegas
100.61 miles trekking over the 17 days
9360 elevation gain over the 17 days
Hanging out with the Buddhist Monks and Lamas
For those interested in participating in a “Think Global, Act Local” volunteer opportunity, the Phoenix based members of the CardioRenal Screen Project will be conducting free “Pathway to Wellness” patient screening at the Wesley Center in downtown Phoenix on Saturday 10/19. Check out http://hikearizona.com/photo=361252
Photos to follow soon…