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|17th May 2009, 10:49||#76|
Tanveer Singh (tanveer) : photos : Manali-Rohtang May 2009
|17th May 2009, 12:08||#77|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Thanked: 91,869 Times
Tanveer, those pictures left me awestruck! One of the rare offroad situations where I'd rather be in a Safari than the Jeep. Simple reasoning : One would freeze to death in a CJ!
|17th May 2009, 16:28||#78|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Thanked: 4 Times
Tata motors should recognize these efforts by you, adc, steeroid, etc. I'm sure you guys pretty much drive a lot of impulse Safari buys among car buyers.
Fantastic photography too; the snow-white beast on the snow-clad mountains is a surreal sight. After all your earlier travails, I hope the vehicle has made it up to you. So would you still recommend a Safari ?
|18th May 2009, 12:10||#79|
|22nd May 2009, 16:10||#81|
Join Date: Apr 2008
Thanked: 511 Times
Gotta give it you man. Absolutely amazing pictures from Manali-Rohtang. I plan to do a similar trip once I change my old TCIC for the 2.2VTT in a year or so.
Anyways, driving from Ahmedabad all the way there will be quite something spanning deserts and snow all in one go!
|22nd September 2009, 16:55||#82|
The Name is La.. Marismik La
Though the whole Ladakh trip is one big no road journey, the Marisimik La deserves a special mention.
The full ladakh trip is discussed here :
Now the Marisimik La.
What is it? Well short answer, its a high mountain pass.
Long answer, its a mountain pass higher than Khardungla Pass(verified by GPS by me).
So the highest motorable road is not Khardung La? Well no, it is the highest motorable road. This is the highest pass, and it does not really qualify "motorable".
The path the pass is a dirt trail, which starts as a difficult offroad climb and then morphs into gut wrenching, heart in mouth kind of rock and roll experience.
Many bikers, and some 4 wheelers do it. Long time back, even a couple of 2WD vehicles did it, but nowadays, all 2WDs and some 4WDs have to be rescued by the ITBP.
Thats why most people who have gone up there were discouraged at the checkpost.
"Why?" the question was asked.
"Because its there" is the answer.
this pass is a "Because its there" kind of pass. Unlike Khardungla and Wari La which are gateways to Nubra valley, this pass is gateway to china, and therefore, only the army can go beyond. 7kms beyond the pass lies a check post, and 25kms beyond that lies china.
So on that fateful Friday morning of August 28, we started our climb from the checkpost.
I would divide the whole trail into 3 sections. The difficult section, the very difficult section and "are you kidding me?" section.
Note, bikers have done it, but for them the last section is easier, esp if their bike is powerful because avoiding rocks is not a problem.
So now coming to the initial section, which is the difficult section. This is the section which 2WDs mostly complete. Sometimes they get stuck. Its easy, after all its dirt and sand, and until you actually ride that section you do not know whether its dirt or sand.
For us, it was 4WD. The dirt track was tilted to site, and I had to keep a constant opposite lock to avoid going cartwheeling down the mountain
The dirt tracks
See how they tilt, one wrong move, and its a long way down
After around 20 minutes starts the very difficult section. Now its the easiest looking section. Uncanny resemblance to morey plains gives you an impression that its a high speed rally section.
But actually its not.
Firstly, the tracks are not as smooth as they look
There are stones hiding in the sand. Second, there are many inclines here. Short ones, kind of like the little OTR hills. Now 4x4 stallion trucks ply here. For those of you who have attended any OTR you will realize how a sandy hill becomes unsurmountable once 2-3 jeeps climb up and unpack the sand. Now imaging multi tonne, heavy 4x4 trucks loaded with supplies, spinning their wheels as they gun up the mountain side.
This actually creates 2 problems. The hills get unpacked, and the sand is loose, and secondly there are deep ruts on both sides. So your underbody will scrape. Again a rogue stone hiding under the soft sand can wreck your vehicle.
I tackled these sections by scouting the least used track, and one tire in rut and other in the central hump. Bumpy ride, but the only place rocks hit this way is the footguart.
the other problem is tonnes of dust. Esp if your internal circulation is shot. In june its easier on dust front, but in August this is completely dry land. At this altitude, where air is as it is less, dust will choke you up bad.
However, this bleak landscape is not all about desert and barreness.
The Tibetian wild a.s.s or Kiang resides here
I tackled this section in 4L. Slowly. Emphasis on not damaging the vehicle. If you have a more "rough and tough bang where you want" kind of offroader like a jeep, you can probably charge through faster. However make your your engine is in its top notch shape
Now lets come to the "Are you kidding me section". Sorry, no pics going up, only going down.
The problem with this section is that its sort of a dry river bed. When a dry river bed is such that it has seasonal river, its usually round stones. In this case it appears that it flowed many millenia ago. So its sharp jagged rocks.
Sharp enough to cut the tire.
the trucks create tracks where they please, and you follow those tracks.
And again, the ruts. They are deep. One tire left and one tire right will rip your skid plates out. So again, you have to do the one leg dance.
Over here its 5kmph or slower on 4L. Engine screaming as you do 30 degree steep incline, and tires slipping and throwing rocks around.
Over here the white elephant slightly overheated. Now the normal operating temp for her is 95 degrees. Above 100 degrees the engine goes to limp mode. So the temp guage went slightly above half(temp approx 100 degrees), and I lost power.
Time to cool down, and restart. Since only a km or couple were remaining, no issues.
And then you are at the top.
At the top they have a Pizza hut, a massage parlour, a car wash with engine management and scanning center, and free cookies.
There is nothing at the top. Even the stone is broken. When you reach the top the feeling is. "Are you kidding me?"
So thats M.La Your knuckles are white, your car is screaming, the radiator fans go full blast trying to force whatever air they can find, and the turbo keeps on screaming, trying to suck in whatever it can.
However, our lungs are not turbocharged, and soon its good to head downwards
What goes up, must go down, said Newton. But its better to use low ratio and also tap brakes, unless you want to go down the way Jack and Jill did
Shots of the steed
Many times its inky pinky ponky between multiple tracks. Your Karma decides what track you get.
So thats M.La for you. The toughest pass which you will probably get to climb. Of course there is the rubicon trail for really scary stuff, but its not at 18500 feet or whereabouts.
In India, its the ultimate test of man and machine. For every offroader its like a dream destination, and ditto for adventure seeking bikers.
But one warning. DO not attempt if you have 2WD, You will block the trail and prevent others for doing it. If you damage your vehicle the ITBP will have to get you back.
Even with a 4x4, make sure you know what you are doing, this is no hill in the backyard. Its the wilderness, and apart from a wild a.s.s you won't meet anybody else!
|The following BHPian Thanks tsk1979 for this useful post:|
|22nd September 2009, 17:02||#83|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2005
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|28th September 2009, 21:06||#89|
Join Date: Jul 2009
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|29th September 2009, 00:49||#90|
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