When our two Land Cruisers left Lhasa for Shigatse, the weather was pleasant in the intense Tibetan sun and I barely needed a jacket. As we climbed higher and higher, though, the winds picked up and snow became a more and more constant part of the roadside scenery.
At Kambala Pass, overlooking beautiful Yamdrok Lake, we got out to take pictures of the panorama and were greeted by cutting winds barreling over the pass. As I stepped to the edge of the road to take a picture down into the valley, a gust punched against me with such force that I almost flipped forward down the slope! At 5,157m (16,920ft) elevation, there weren't many places higher to block the winds coming off the lake, and boy were the winds blowing!
The gust continued for a full 15 seconds, pushing and pounding, seemingly trying to force me into submission. I stepped back from the edge and was pursued by another savage blast of icy Tibetan wind. For the next twenty minutes or so, our group played a game of cat-and-mouse with the wind, trying to snap pictures of beautiful Yamdrok Lake framed by snow-capped mountains during the lulls, and then quickly slipping our gloves back on before the next bone-chilling wall of wind came to steal our warmth.
The pictures turned out great and the experience was truly once in a lifetime!