Among the ice-capped Himalayan amphitheatre, but in an area less travelled by tourists is the spectacular Rolwaling Valley. It is here that the notorious and infamous Yetimakes his name in whispered tales of shady sightings and dubious footprint clues.
Hidden among ice giants does not suffer from the hectic trail highway feel of the path to Everest or around Annapurna. The area is densely forested and isolated with a diversity of culture among the small village farming settlements.
With its glorious mountain scenery and eye-opening panoramas around each wearying trekking corner, the trail leads over the high mountain pass of Teschi Lapcha and into the Everest valley. Past the holy and imposing Gauri Shankar, the road leads to the tiny summer farm hamlet of Na where acclimitisation dictates a welcome rest day and a half day hike higher into the mountains to enjoy the rarefied and pure air and accustom the lungs and body to living on a reduced oxygen diet.
At 4130 metres and air pressure down to 60% of sea level, Nais too inhospitable in winter so villages move through in late spring to plant potatoes and graze their yak herds. The precision stone fences have stood for decades giving the rough ground a mosaic feel. The yaks thrive ideally suited to the chilly conditions and light air. Cosily tucked into a valley, the Himalayan giants plunge skyward quickly plunging the temperature in mid afternoon as the sun falls behind the rocky faces for another day.
Trekking through in early spring, Na greets us as a ghost farm with no signs of people. The nights are chilly enough to freeze a nearby waterfall but the warmer days ensure it is running again by the next afternoon. Though refreshing to splash and clean a bit from over a week of hiking, the river through Na has icicles in it (despite running quickly) and is too cold for more than the briefest excursion.
Na brings strange thoughts with stories of Yetis, a ghostly feel of abandoned farms, waterfalls that only run in the afternoon, all in a Himalayan mountain setting that sustains the memories forever.