High Sticks : Winter in Ladakh

“If I don´t do anything in sports , then I think my life will become half..”

Night temperatures was around -15 in January , soaring close to the freezing point by mid-day in Leh : Ladakhs short hockey season in full swing on ponds , tokpos (small streams ) .. any piece of frozen water.



Girls Hockey Team , Leh . Copyright SECMOL (secmol.org)

Hockey started to take off in Leh in the 90´s , before that winter sports were largely unknown : when I moved from the old town to a Changspa gusthouse in the mid-eighties they stopped the bus to watch , pointing excitedly at the goser on skis.

The 4th National Ice Hockey Championship ended on January 29th in Leh , amid controversy worthy of any big nation : Kargil and Indo Tibetan Border Police teams stepped out of the games , claiming rigged decisions by the judges. The growth womens hockey has also demanded a lot of courage both within and outside the rink : take any and all chance to see the infectiously enthusistic film Thin Ice on the subject.


SECMOL ( who provided the top image ) organise girls and boys hockey training , all winter visitors with experience of the game are welcome , BYOS (bring your own sticks and skates , even better leave them there) .

As I write this the Leh weather widget has started to show mild weather coming , -9 at night and dancing at thaw point in day time.


Night temperarature chart Keylong and Leh . Leh data mainly from leh.nic.in weather widget , Keylong from news reports. Keylong is more than four hundred meters lower than Leh , and consistently warmer

Here (since some has asked where I´m coming from ) we´ve finally had some decent winter weather. The annual winter fair in Jokkmokk (404th year ) started a couple of days ago , with day temperatures around -20. Down here -15 , and half a meter of snow. Nature stuck out it´s tongue at our local politicos who last year massacred the trees on Central Street , by building up a long series of mini kang ri´s , snow mountains , that were anchored by the cubistic benches and bike stands placed along the road. Nature will find a way . I´ll update with a few photos later.

Hypothermia Holiday : “Thousands” Rescued by Army in Sikkim


“Thousands ” (press figures ranging between 1000-3500) of tourists were trapped between Sherethang and Changu (Tsomgo ) Lake at  3745 meters as temperatures on Friday as temperatures plummeted to minus fifteen degrees and the road was buried in snow storm conditions.
“Army personnel have begun rescue operations for the tourists, mostly south Indians, and provided them shelter, food and medicine in Army transit camps and officers’ quarters since yesterday,” an Army spokesman was quoted to say.


Saturday saw many of the tourists , dressed mostly in in light jackets and scarves , returning to a frosty Gangtok : minus 7 degrees , coldest day of the year. Others still in treatment . 

(Changu Lake photo : Wikipedia , other photo Times of India)