Caravane Yading

the Pilgrimage

WITH CARE AND CONSIDERATION, we will move along a track on the Western flanks of the mountains. It is the path taken by the pilgrims, who are absent this late in autumn, although it is a season blessed with perfectly transparency over lost horizons.

The vision of a long caravan

to the summits

TO REACH AND ENJOY THESE PLACES where the elements have never been tamed, the traditional caravan – heavy tents, stewardship and Tibetan horses – is still the best way to live this dream. The vision of a long horse caravan snaking through the beautiful wilderness of a mountain landscape is like a reincarnation of travels of yore, as practiced by early twentieth century explorers. This most natural of transportation methods is charged with a transcendental, anti-modern strength that revives the childhood dreams asleep in all of us.

Far from hell and close to the gods, our walk in the sky is between the main peaks of Yading

To Shangri-la

Every night at the campsite, the horses’ loads are shed, leather chests and canvas bags are opened. A full hour’s work, during which the French-Tibetan team deploys, in an act of faith and folly, the last of their energy to recreate the ephemeral art of the encampment. Legendary and roomy Bell canvas tents offer a level of comfort and aesthetics that matches the beauty of the landscape. In the dimming light of the setting sun, candles are lit, tables are set, wine is poured – wine still produced in a vineyard first planted by French missionaries in the early 19th century – and the veillée begins, warming bodies and souls in the cold of the night. Around a fire that is always the same yet always new, the Tibetan muleteers move lake satellites of joy, sharing their songs, dances and joy, radiating their own light under the starry sky.

In the heart of the wilderness

Far from hell and close to the gods, we walk in the sky between Yading’s main summits. Almost fourty five kilometers walked in five days, mostly uphill, on paths forgotten by the topographic maps. A track almost erased by time, unknown to the young locals who accompany us, strewn with the ruins of ancient mountain cabins. We will walk through landscape reminiscent of drawings by Russian painter Nicolas Roerich, who spent five years, from 1923 onwards, walking his caravan through this most extreme part of Asia, between the Himalayas and the Altai, from the Gobi desert to the Kashmir, throughout greater Tibet…

5 days programme

5 days of walking in the footsteps of the Yading pilgrimage

Walk level : Altitude is the biggest difficulty on this route. Except for the first day, with a vertical drop of 1,000 m, the rest of the walk is very accessible.

Day 1 : Shangri-la to Touding

Departure from Shangri-la by car to Tuding village – 5 hours drive – overnight in a homestay in a magnificent traditional Tibetan house.

Day 2 to Day 4 : The Pilgrimage

45 km hike with three camps. Crossing several passes over 4,700 m. Landscapes of overwhelming beauty.

Day 6 : Back to Shangri-la

On day 5, a long descent from 4,000 to 2,000 m above sea level before driving back to Shangri-la by car (5 hrs drive).