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Old 16th December 2013, 15:34   #256
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Planning a Ladakh trip next year with wife and my mother.

My plan is to drive from Mysore to Leh and back in our Scorpio Lx 4wd. Most likely only three of us.

What precautions need to be taken for senior citizen?
She is 61 years old and pretty active. Goes for 3 KM walk in mornings and then all other household work.
However she has diabetics and slight BP. Taking insulin once a day.
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Old 17th December 2013, 14:20   #257
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by gypsyFreak View Post
Planning a Ladakh trip next year with wife and my mother.

My plan is to drive from Mysore to Leh and back in our Scorpio Lx 4wd. Most likely only three of us.

What precautions need to be taken for senior citizen?
She is 61 years old and pretty active. Goes for 3 KM walk in mornings and then all other household work.
However she has diabetics and slight BP. Taking insulin once a day.
Take it slow.
Best is to go via Srinagar route, and then rest 3 nights in Leh city.
After that, when you start circuit, stay first night in Nubra (not so high altitude). Do not go to 4000m+ places like Pangong First.

Also carry some portable oxygen(available for cheap at chemists) for emergencies.

Another precaution is not to linger at the Passes or exert there. Most people who get affected are at Khardung La. They see all the boards, the snow, and start playing. Its over 5000mts. Cross a pass quickly. Stop for 2-3 pics, and then come down.

If you want to go to Leh via Manali route, then stay two nights in Keylong Jispa instead of standard one night halt.

Do not stay night in Sarchu.

Apart from that carry very warm clothes. Try getting a down jacket or a faux down jacket with thick filling as top layer, with multiple layers. The days are often warm/hot, but nights at Pangong/Tso moriri can see sub zero.

Last but not the least, avoid taking medicines which can help in acclimatization. For example Sulpha drugs like Diamox. They may be contraindicated with her current medication.
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Old 19th December 2013, 12:07   #258
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Tanveer, the timings on the map - Should we budget some extra time on each leg or can these be taken as the normal timings, occasional photo-op stops included?
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Old 19th December 2013, 12:19   #259
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Tanveer, the timings on the map - Should we budget some extra time on each leg or can these be taken as the normal timings, occasional photo-op stops included?
I am a slow driver, and also take lots of pics.
So these are actual times.
However keep in mind , if conditions change(landslide etc.,) time will increase. Always keep a buffer. If there is no road blockage, these times hold.
However, also keep in mind, if due to stuff like melting snow and running water the road condition deteriorates, your time will increase
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Old 19th December 2013, 15:16   #260
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

After a smallish trip in 2013, I am planning to visit this region again.

Vehicle - Scorpio 2wd.
Time - April last week.
Total days in hand - 14

After going through the complete guide, here is what I have come up with -

1) Del - Chd - late afternoon/evening start.
2) Chd - Srinagar - early morning start
3) Srinagar local + leave for Sonamarg by 4pm.
4) Sonamarg - Kargil - Leh - start as soon as the gates open. Long day, minimal stops.
5) Leh Local+Permits
6) Leh - Khardung La - Panamik - Sumur
^^ Can Diskit be included without making the day too long?

7) Sumur - Khalsar - Agham - Shyok - Durbuk - Lukung - Pangong - Spangmik OR
7) Sumur - Khalsar - k La - Leh - Chang La - Pangong - Spangmik OR
7) Sumur - Khalsar - Agham - Wari La - Sarkti - Chang La - Durbuk - Lukung - Pangong - Spangmik
^^ Of the above 3, I am kinda wary of Wari La (April - too much snow?). Agham - Shyok is again uncertain. Last option, go through Leh. Is it doable in a day or should I halt in Leh for the night?

8) Spangmik - Chushul - Loma - Mahe - Sumdo - Korzok OR
8) Spangmik - Chushul - Kakasang La - Mahe - Sumdo - Korzok OR
8) Spangmik - Chushul - Karu - Upshi - Chumathang - Korzok
^^ First 2 routes depend on the permit/Army's mood. Worst case, if I have to take the 3rd route, it will again be a longish day - should I halt at Leh or continue?

9) Korzok - Sumdo - Tso Kar - Debring - Upshi - Leh
^^ If I stay over at Leh the previous night, this will become day trip and turn out to be too long!

10) Leh - Kargil - Rangdum - early morning start

11) Rangdum - Pensi La - Durang Durung - Kargil
^^ Doable in 8-9 hours? In April.

12) Kargil - Sonamarg - Srinagar - Udhampur/Nearby. 4am start.
13) Udhampur - Delhi

Skipping a few places will certainly easy out the itinerary, but I am at a loss deciding which ones do I drop! If the roads permit, I am keen on visiting the Suru Valley, will not want to skip that.

All pointers welcome!
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Old 19th December 2013, 15:30   #261
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
6) Leh - Khardung La - Panamik - Sumur
^^ Can Diskit be included without making the day too long?
Yes, you can do dune visit at Hunder and start for Sumur by 2pm
Quote:
7) Sumur - Khalsar - Agham - Shyok - Durbuk - Lukung - Pangong - Spangmik OR
7) Sumur - Khalsar - k La - Leh - Chang La - Pangong - Spangmik OR
7) Sumur - Khalsar - Agham - Wari La - Sarkti - Chang La - Durbuk - Lukung - Pangong - Spangmik
^^ Of the above 3, I am kinda wary of Wari La (April - too much snow?). Agham - Shyok is again uncertain. Last option, go through Leh. Is it doable in a day or should I halt in Leh for the night?
You have to go via leh. Night stop can be at Sarkti.
Quote:
8) Spangmik - Chushul - Loma - Mahe - Sumdo - Korzok OR
8) Spangmik - Chushul - Kakasang La - Mahe - Sumdo - Korzok OR
8) Spangmik - Chushul - Karu - Upshi - Chumathang - Korzok
^^ First 2 routes depend on the permit/Army's mood. Worst case, if I have to take the 3rd route, it will again be a longish day - should I halt at Leh or continue?
If you are sent back from Chushul, you may not be able to make it to korzok. If you want to go to korzok, go via chang la. Long drive though

Quote:
9) Korzok - Sumdo - Tso Kar - Debring - Upshi - Leh
^^ If I stay over at Leh the previous night, this will become day trip and turn out to be too long!
Leh-Korzok-Leh will be too long

Quote:
10) Leh - Kargil - Rangdum - early morning start

11) Rangdum - Pensi La - Durang Durung - Kargil
^^ Doable in 8-9 hours? In April.
I am not sure its open in April

Quote:
12) Kargil - Sonamarg - Srinagar - Udhampur/Nearby. 4am start.
13) Udhampur - Delhi


Skipping a few places will certainly easy out the itinerary, but I am at a loss deciding which ones do I drop! If the roads permit, I am keen on visiting the Suru Valley, will not want to skip that.

All pointers welcome!
Padum looks dicey in April. you can go till Rangdum though
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Old 19th December 2013, 16:43   #262
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Yes, you can do dune visit at Hunder and start for Sumur by 2pm

You have to go via leh. Night stop can be at Sarkti.

If you are sent back from Chushul, you may not be able to make it to korzok. If you want to go to korzok, go via chang la. Long drive though


Leh-Korzok-Leh will be too long


I am not sure its open in April

Padum looks dicey in April. you can go till Rangdum though
Ah! didn't strike me earlier. Yes, indeed seems closed in April. Opens in mid June or so. That makes it easier - postpone Zanskar for the future.

1) Del - Chd - late afternoon/evening start.
2) Chd - Srinagar - early morning start
3) Srinagar local + leave for Sonamarg by 4pm.
4) Sonamarg - Kargil - Leh
5) Leh Local+Permits
6) Leh - Khardung La - Diskit - Sumur - Panamik - Sumur
7) Sumur - Khalsar - Khardung La - Leh
8) Leh - Chang La - Pangong - Spangmik

9) Spangmik - Chushul - Loma - Mahe - Sumdo - Korzok OR
9) Spangmik - Chushul - Kakasang La - Mahe - Sumdo - Korzok OR
9) Spangmik - Chushul - Karu - Leh
^^ This choice will have to be made on the spot I guess.

Depending on the previous day, I will have 2 days in hand (or not!).
10) Leh - Chumathang - Mahe - Sumdo - Korzok
11) Korzok - Sumdo - Tso Kar - Debring - Upshi - Leh
12) Leh - Kargil - Sonamarg - Srinagar/Nearby
13) Srinagar - Chd - Del

With an extra day in hand, can Kyun Tso be explored?
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Old 19th December 2013, 17:17   #263
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Kyun Tso is not recommended for 2WD vehicles, esp in April when the track is in a very bad shape. We went in 2WD Tata pickup truck, and that thing has 250mm+ of usable ground clearance(raised leafs and what not). Still got some underbody hits as the driver had to gun the engine to clear some obstacles.
If you have a breakdown, or are stuck near Kyun Tso, the next vehicle coming your way may come after a week.

I would suggest instead, you explore Hanle. Permits for the same are given to Indian citizens,.
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Old 20th December 2013, 09:21   #264
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Kyun Tso is not recommended for 2WD vehicles, esp in April when the track is in a very bad shape. We went in 2WD Tata pickup truck, and that thing has 250mm+ of usable ground clearance(raised leafs and what not). Still got some underbody hits as the driver had to gun the engine to clear some obstacles.
If you have a breakdown, or are stuck near Kyun Tso, the next vehicle coming your way may come after a week.

I would suggest instead, you explore Hanle. Permits for the same are given to Indian citizens,.
oh o! That's a bummer. It had slipped my mind. Read your logs again. Seems you guys returned dejected on the first attempt. Anyway, maybe some other time. Thanks for all the info.

Hanle, am not too sure if it will be worth the time spent travelling - with the observatory guest house out of bounds and the no cam rule.

Also, you guys had a terrible experience at Tso Morriri with food and acco - and decided to return to Leh. With the place getting more tourist rush now, any idea if things have improved a bit? This has me worried since travelling from Leh, I won't have enough time to return!

Worst case, can backtrack a little and stay at Chumathang maybe - read about a decent place on BCM-T.
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Old 20th December 2013, 09:54   #265
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Korzok accommodation is better than before now, so you may find decent acco. Though its going to be frightfully cold.
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Old 20th December 2013, 12:14   #266
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Korzok accommodation is better than before now, so you may find decent acco. Though its going to be frightfully cold.
Yay! That's something I am looking forward to. Hence planned to do it in April. If I enjoy it or not, that's a different thing!

Another Q, does MTNL postpaid work on BSNL network? Heard a lot about merger till a few months back but don't think it materialized. Anybody got any experience with MTNL in that region?
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Old 20th December 2013, 12:17   #267
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Yay! That's something I am looking forward to. Hence planned to do it in April. If I enjoy it or not, that's a different thing!

Another Q, does MTNL postpaid work on BSNL network? Heard a lot about merger till a few months back but don't think it materialized. Anybody got any experience with MTNL in that region?
Does it work elsewhere? If it does, it will work in Ladakh too. However remember, you will find reliable network only around Leh city.
In Nubra its spotty
Tangste is hit or miss - Works 10% of the time
Nyoma Tower - Again hit or miss

If you want to stay connected, best option is the satellite phones present in all places like Korzok, on the road to Pangong from Tangste, About 1km from Lukung towards phobran, At Chushul and Merak, At Nyoma.

That said, do not count on any mobile data coverage.
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Old 20th December 2013, 12:41   #268
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Does it work elsewhere? If it does, it will work in Ladakh too. However remember, you will find reliable network only around Leh city.
In Nubra its spotty
Tangste is hit or miss - Works 10% of the time
Nyoma Tower - Again hit or miss

If you want to stay connected, best option is the satellite phones present in all places like Korzok, on the road to Pangong from Tangste, About 1km from Lukung towards phobran, At Chushul and Merak, At Nyoma.

That said, do not count on any mobile data coverage.
I don't have a MTNL postpaid, was wondering if I should get one specifically for this trip. Will check around with people who use one.

Last time I was in Leh, my Airtel postpaid worked beautifully. Data, although painfully slow, was working. But yes, moment you step out of Leh, its gone!

When out of Leh for a few days, I guess satellite phone would be the best bet to keep folks informed back home.
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Old 20th December 2013, 12:48   #269
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I don't have a MTNL postpaid, was wondering if I should get one specifically for this trip. Will check around with people who use one.

Last time I was in Leh, my Airtel postpaid worked beautifully. Data, although painfully slow, was working. But yes, moment you step out of Leh, its gone!

When out of Leh for a few days, I guess satellite phone would be the best bet to keep folks informed back home.
Just use the Airtel Post paid, and then use satellite phones in all locations you are visiting. Wherever there is BSNL network, you will also find satellite phones. So no issues.
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Old 21st December 2013, 00:19   #270
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Take it slow.
Best is to go via Srinagar route, and then rest 3 nights in Leh city.
After that, when you start circuit, stay first night in Nubra (not so high altitude). Do not go to 4000m+ places like Pangong First.

Also carry some portable oxygen(available for cheap at chemists) for emergencies.

Another precaution is not to linger at the Passes or exert there. Most people who get affected are at Khardung La. They see all the boards, the snow, and start playing. Its over 5000mts. Cross a pass quickly. Stop for 2-3 pics, and then come down.

If you want to go to Leh via Manali route, then stay two nights in Keylong Jispa instead of standard one night halt.

Do not stay night in Sarchu.

Apart from that carry very warm clothes. Try getting a down jacket or a faux down jacket with thick filling as top layer, with multiple layers. The days are often warm/hot, but nights at Pangong/Tso moriri can see sub zero.

Last but not the least, avoid taking medicines which can help in acclimatization. For example Sulpha drugs like Diamox. They may be contraindicated with her current medication.
Thanks tsk for the detailed advice.
My plan is to go through Srinagar and return through Manali. All in all it would be a 20 day trip from Mysore.
There are some personal work lined up, so travel dates are not yet decided. Once decided i will put up my plan and seek more advice.
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