Shigar River Valley, Pakistan
The color palette from the Karakoram Highway onwards is variations of brown and umber in countless tones and hues. The simplification of color into variations of light and dark puts another dimension into the form of these otherworldly mountains.
The dust carrying this tone is blown into the sky. It settles into every nook and cranny of your gear, and stains the silty drinking water. The Shigar charges by, scraping boulders along the river bottom with its intensity. It sounds like a low coffee grinder.
Still down low here, not on the glacier yet - but the big mountains are close. They discharge their power into this place, and the anticipation is palpable. Soon we will be on the Baltoro.