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Old 14th July 2009, 22:40   #1
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Default Conquered Marisimik La- World Unofficial Highest Motorable Road at 18634 Feet

Marisimik La at 18634 feet is world unofficial highest motorable road though there are many theories and arguments about highest motorable roads who cares about it it's all about conquering it.
With Gypsy's in our hand does not means it's easy to climb, it requires offroading skills to navigate final 2 KM hurdle with snow,slush,stream,boulders and lack of oxygen.
On 21st June 2009 after getting permission from DC we began our journey, road to marisimik la is just before starting of Pangong Tso lake(Lukung), first town is Pobrang Village which is small and beautiful village with stream flowing on one side. Road to M-la is never marked because there is no road and its very near to China border. There is ITBP check post where one has to submit the permit before proceeding to M-la, we where welcome inside the camp and officer in-charge asked twice are you guys really want to climb M-la and our answer was affirmative, he explained us the route with clear instruction saying final 2 KM do not venture if it's slush and there is no backup help until evening we told OK but me and Vijay are offroaders so seeing slush and returning back was never in our thought.
It's 22 KM from Pobrang village with no roads only trails left by army trucks and we can choose any track, the road until base camp is dirt track with full of dust so me and Vijay had to keep distance. Until base camp any 2WD SUV also can go depends upon driver skills but final hurdle requires 4WD with low gear ratio.
No doubt Gypsy's are made for Himalaya region with light weight it cruised through dirt and sand track with easy. On the way we met environmentalist or naturalist name Ashwini who is doing project on animal(forgot the name) who has camped here in these mountains for many days with extreme climate hats of him. He explained the region surroundings and how close are we to China Border. Until base camp it's normal offroading trail with stream crossing while looking from far the final climb look easy.
Final hurdle what a climb it was with bends, slush, snow, boulders and no oxygen but not once my Gypsy got stalled had to put 1st low and I took it in one momentum final 2 KM. When reached at the top what a feeling it was conquering Marismik La. Marking signs at M-la need to be painted again it's faded due to snow. For 5 min waiting and no signs of Vijay's Gypsy took a small walk to look down but photo session was going on at base camp and I return back at crawling speed to my Gypsy walking even 20 steps makes you feel exhausted had to sit down for a while. Vijay was thrilled and overjoyed after reaching top, had good photo session and it was time to return back.
Salute to our brave army mens who are protecting us from neighboring countries at extreme hostile conditions, staying only for 20 minutes at M-la realized me what extreme conditions it was.


Photos to follow..

Last edited by Sha : 14th July 2009 at 22:41.
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Old 14th July 2009, 23:02   #2
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Congratulations on having been there! I envy you so much, as I was there a week before, but could not get permission for M La. Maybe next time...
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Old 15th July 2009, 00:22   #3
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Congrats Sha on the feat! Look forward to the pictures
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Old 15th July 2009, 00:47   #4
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Photos will speak the trail.

Conquered Marisimik La- World Unofficial Highest Motorable Road at 18634 Feet-alfa11.jpg

Conquered Marisimik La- World Unofficial Highest Motorable Road at 18634 Feet-alfa21.jpg

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Old 15th July 2009, 01:32   #5
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More Photos..

Conquered Marisimik La- World Unofficial Highest Motorable Road at 18634 Feet-alfa401.jpg

Conquered Marisimik La- World Unofficial Highest Motorable Road at 18634 Feet-alfa411.jpg

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Final 2 KM Hurdle start from here.

Conquered Marisimik La- World Unofficial Highest Motorable Road at 18634 Feet-alfa441.jpg

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Old 15th July 2009, 01:40   #6
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Photos- while getting down from Marisimik La.

Conquered Marisimik La- World Unofficial Highest Motorable Road at 18634 Feet-alfa601.jpg

Conquered Marisimik La- World Unofficial Highest Motorable Road at 18634 Feet-alfa611.jpg

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Old 15th July 2009, 01:53   #7
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Wonderful photos and narration,this surely is a dream drive for every offroader,would love to drive to this place some day.
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Old 15th July 2009, 07:27   #8
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Congratulations for conquering M-La !! Its the most difficult pass in the Ladakh region

Cheers,
DJ
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Old 15th July 2009, 09:04   #9
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Sha/ Swastikviji,

Congratulations on your feat. You folks are one of the few who conquered Marasmik la.
More photos of your ladakh trip please.

Dwarak
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Old 15th July 2009, 10:06   #10
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Congratulations on this great feat! The feeling of deep satisfaction inside you must be unparalleled!

I guess the low oxygen levels would be because of the altitude & are not specific to Marisimik-La alone.

Last edited by suman : 15th July 2009 at 10:08.
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Old 15th July 2009, 10:18   #11
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Good show, Sha.

Is there a time window for climbing up - I mean, is it better to take it early in the morning or midday, or some such time?

What did you hear in general about non-4WD cars climbing up?

I had tried in my Matiz in October and could not go 3 kms beyond Phobrang CP because of the loose soil.
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Old 15th July 2009, 10:33   #12
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AWESOME locale, a serene place where one can rejuvenate.
nice picturesque, congrats on the fete
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Old 15th July 2009, 10:49   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Good show, Sha.

Is there a time window for climbing up - I mean, is it better to take it early in the morning or midday, or some such time?

What did you hear in general about non-4WD cars climbing up?

I had tried in my Matiz in October and could not go 3 kms beyond Phobrang CP because of the loose soil.
Thanks, It's better to climb between 7am-11am before snow melting, we where adviced not to climb final hurdle if there is slush but we climbed it.
With my experience any 2WD SUV can go till base camp with few stretches need momentum to climb, the trail is gravel and loose sand. But final hurdle need 4WD with low gear ratio. Until base camp we drove in 2WD only few stretches we used 4WD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
I guess the low oxygen levels would be because of the altitude & are not specific to Marisimik-La alone.
Thanks, Low level of oxygen because of altitude not specific to M-la.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwaraka View Post
Sha/ Swastikviji,

Congratulations on your feat. You folks are one of the few who conquered Marasmik la.
More photos of your ladakh trip please.

Dwarak
Thanks Sir, will post more photos from Vijay camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil.DJ View Post
Congratulations for conquering M-La !! Its the most difficult pass in the Ladakh region
Cheers,
DJ
Thanks, It's one of the difficult pass in ladakh region.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Congrats Sha on the feat! Look forward to the pictures
thanks..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfa_Kilo View Post
Congratulations on having been there! I envy you so much, as I was there a week before, but could not get permission for M La. Maybe next time...
Thanks, try next time to get permit may be I was lucky.
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Old 15th July 2009, 10:57   #14
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What a feat! Great pics and narrative! Hopefully we will also do the same in September!
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Old 15th July 2009, 11:04   #15
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Congratulation to you all for conquering Marisimil-la. It is the feat of lifetime and you remember for long time and it will be good story for your coming generations .

I have a question: Why a oversize tube placed on other Gypsy? Is it having some specific use there is Ladakh region?
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