These last stages of our journey have been of formidable length. My readers partly know the reason, for it is the same reason for which I put forward my departure from Leh and gave up the short detour towards Morari-tso. This route, which in general is little, if at all, used by travellers, crosses the Himalaya, not—like the route towards Kashmir–-at a part where it is a clearly defined mountain-range and comes down to a single, deep-sunk pass. Here, this vast fold in the Earth has not the character of a distinct chain, but spreads out into a tract of plateaux which are a prelude to the great Tibetan plateaux beyond, so immense that they seem endless; and it has to be crossed, not by a single, low pass, but by a number of saddles one after another, all of them very high. Even when the first snows come, on the Kashmir route only one effort—and that not a very great one—is needed to cross the chain, and there are villages quite close on both sides of the pass. But here, going towards Lahul, if the first snows are heavy, no effort is adequate and there is no possible help from inhabitants: caravans caught on the way have to be unloaded, sometimes they have to go back, and in any case the road is closed, and remains hopelessly closed, until late in the following spring. It is already closed, if not actually, at any rate officially: one fall of snow—and who knows where we should be! That is why I started earlier and why I have done long and exhausting marches; it is also why, until this morning—for it was only this morning that I crossed the third of the high passes-–a certain amount of anxiety disturbed the peace of mind which I felt I had earned at the end of my journey.