I can imagine Bernd Zangerl sitting on the floor in the old Rupin River View Hotel as we catch up via WhatsApp, warming up his lean climber’s body with the rays of the morning sun filtering through his window. It’s been six years since I climbed with Bernd in Rakchham, which sits in the India Himalaya close to the border with Tibet, but I can still picture the Sangla–Chitkul road outside – the only road in and out of this valley – busy with village life: cowherds steering cows through the dusty streets, women chatting on their way to the buckwheat fields, baby goats worn around people’s necks ...


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