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Old 8th June 2009, 10:49   #31
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Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
That doesn't sound very encouraging.
hvkumar, don't you think that snowfall is bit heavy this year? This also means delay on road repairing.
Yes, I think this year we are seeing unseasonal snowfall so late in the season. Roads are in a mess in Zoji La, being widened near Lamayuru, Pagal Nallah bridge is being rebuilt near Pangong Tso and roads near Baralachala too have problems. Approach to Rohtang (apart from the traffic jams) is also in a bad shape.

But I think by Aug, we should see good roads and fair weather.

The Srinagar sitaution is quite worrisome, and can cause dislocation. pramods was assured by armymen yesterday evening that it would feasible to cross Srinagar early today morning - which is what he tried to do - but did not quite succeed and is now back to some dingy lodgings in Somarg, must be shivering in his quilts - apparently, it was extremely cold yesterday thanks to the unseasonal snowfall in Zoji La.

I go back to my oft-repeated suggestion, Go Ladakh in Aug-Sep. We are planning our trip in Sep 12-27, at the fag end of the season.

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Old 8th June 2009, 10:58   #32
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I go back to my oft-repeated suggestion, Go Ladakh in Aug-Sep. We are planning our trip in Sep 12-27, at the fag end of the season.
Wow, another trip plan coming up! But yes, that seems to be the ideal time as even we had been there in june end- july first week 2006, and the conditions there were just perfect, with no heavy snowfall, no road blocks plus not much traffic.
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Old 8th June 2009, 13:04   #33
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Hi Kumarji, could you tell what all Army Camps are there on the Manali-Leh road? As in where are they located.
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Old 8th June 2009, 13:18   #34
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Lots of army (amd GREF/DETT/BRO construction camps) camps throughout the route, some of the large ones (starting from Kelong) being at Stingiri (also has a helipad), Darcha, Patseo (large camp), Zingzing Bazar, Killing Sarai (immediately after crossing Baralachala), Sarchu (large camp), Nakila (5 kms after crossing Nakila), Pang (large camp), Rumtse (after crossing Tanglang la) and Karu (largest of them all, after Upshi, at teh junction where you turn off to go to Chang la/Pangong Tso).

Am told that you can get petrol and diesel in black in both Sarchu and Pang but have personally not bought any.
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Old 8th June 2009, 13:35   #35
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Lots of army (amd GREF/DETT/BRO construction camps) camps throughout the route, some of the large ones (starting from Kelong) being at Stingiri (also has a helipad), Darcha, Patseo (large camp), Zingzing Bazar, Killing Sarai (immediately after crossing Baralachala), Sarchu (large camp), Nakila (5 kms after crossing Nakila), Pang (large camp), Rumtse (after crossing Tanglang la) and Karu (largest of them all, after Upshi, at teh junction where you turn off to go to Chang la/Pangong Tso).

Am told that you can get petrol and diesel in black in both Sarchu and Pang but have personally not bought any.
Wow, you are a real plethora of information sir.
What I've in mind is to use my contacts in Army/BRO, and get to stay with our Army folks. I have a great sense of admiration for them and would love to spend some time with them.

And I ain't gonna buy fuel in black, never know how contaminated it'd be!

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Old 8th June 2009, 13:39   #36
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Good idea, the army chaps are very nice to even normal tourists, thye will roll out all the carpets for their guests. Most importantly, you will not need any inner line permits if you have some appropriate recommendatory letter which will see you get a guard of honour through the various check posts.

But don't participate in their fiesty drinking sessions - liquor is not recommended for those who are driving to Ladakh from the plains, something to do with high altitude sickness.
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Old 8th June 2009, 13:42   #37
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And I ain't gonna buy fuel in black, never know how contaminated it'd be!
Good quality stuff actually, better than the petrol pumps, since all the balck fuel is from the Army's considerable stockpiles! Saves you the bother of carrying your own messy jerry cans.

When I was in Kibithu (Arunachal) last month, I bought 20 litres of good-quality diesel at the cheapest rate possible (Rs 30 per litre). Whisper is that it is from the army's stocks, but as far as I was concerned, this meant I could refule without taking the tension of driving another 150 kms to the nearest petrol pump.
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Old 8th June 2009, 14:48   #38
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Good idea, the army chaps are very nice to even normal tourists, thye will roll out all the carpets for their guests. Most importantly, you will not need any inner line permits if you have some appropriate recommendatory letter which will see you get a guard of honour through the various check posts.

But don't participate in their fiesty drinking sessions - liquor is not recommended for those who are driving to Ladakh from the plains, something to do with high altitude sickness.
No sir, no drinking sessions for me. If I get to stay with them I just might indulge in a drink (or two), just to show my appreciation towards my hosts. And thanks for the tip about the recommendatory letters.

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Good quality stuff actually, better than the petrol pumps, since all the balck fuel is from the Army's considerable stockpiles! Saves you the bother of carrying your own messy jerry cans.
Talking about jerry cans, would it be advisable to carry those made of hard & thick plastic? I've a bad record when it comes to thinking about fuel levels in my car (luckily my wife always takes care of that), so I am gonna carry a filled up can (20 lts at least, maybe two of them) as a precaution. Also I am kinda impulsive on the road, making unplanned excursions, so I guess carrying spare fuel is a necessity for me.
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Old 8th June 2009, 16:44   #39
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Hi Folks,

I am all set to start my journey from Delhi towards Tribal Circuit from 13th onwards. I have booked myself in HPTDC hotels at Sarahan (1 night) and Kalpa (2 nights). From Kalpa onwards I have kept the dates open and not booked accommodation. It will depend on road conditions beyond Kalpa. I am planning to return from Manali side, if the weather God permits. Today I spoke to a gentleman at PWD Guest House at Kaza (@Rs.350/- per night if available) and was informed that Kunzum Pass is open and the weather is good.

I would be driving in Swift VDI ABS with my family. I request seniors to pitch in and guide me.

regards,

mvk
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Old 15th June 2009, 14:43   #40
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Hey folks, need your advice on one thing; is it advisable to travel from Manali (around 4PM) for Keylong? Are there any big water crossings/nullahs en route? Any other info (which I am missing to ask) would be appreciated.
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Old 15th June 2009, 14:53   #41
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Avoid driving after dark. Road conditions are bad. Traffic is minimal. If anything happens to your car, you are stranded. Ideally, leave Manali early in the morning (3-4 am). Please bear in mind that the 125 kms to Keylong can take you anywhere from 5-8 hours. And don't forget that in mountains, people retire to bed early and you will get neither hotels nor food if you arrive late
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Old 15th June 2009, 15:46   #42
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Hey I am back from the trip(30th May-11th June), Manali-Leh-Srinagar, both way the road are in BAD condition and occasional snow fall every where, when I let from Leh , after Magnetic hill it started snowing and then I got stuck at Zoji La and here it was snowing hard, the Jam lasted for 5 hours and most of the time it was snowing, both the route are in bad condition, either it's wet/water/snow or its just stone and dust. I have to change the Air filter at Leh!! and finally change the complete bush of the rear suspension multi link of my scorpio on Saturday at 20K(4th Servicing) that was the only damage done because of the road condition!

Avoid driving in dark in these hills, its was almost 20-30 feets of snow on both side and just one vehicle road, if you are stuck they only BRO would help you! better to do this is day light even better reach destination by 4 PM and relax.

-Pramod
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Old 15th June 2009, 15:46   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Avoid driving after dark. Road conditions are bad. Traffic is minimal. If anything happens to your car, you are stranded. Ideally, leave Manali early in the morning (3-4 am). Please bear in mind that the 125 kms to Keylong can take you anywhere from 5-8 hours. And don't forget that in mountains, people retire to bed early and you will get neither hotels nor food if you arrive late
Very well said sir, point duly noted. I'd asked this as I was thinking if it's possible to do Noida-Keylong in a single day. Guess it's out of question now.

@pramods: Thanks for the update. I'd be gratful if you'd tell me how're the water crossings/nullahs? Which are the ones that need extreme care while crossing? From your recent experience, would you say that an Esteem can do this journey without any big hiccups?

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Old 15th June 2009, 16:20   #44
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Its possible to do with Esteem, but you have to be extra careful, there are many water crossing nullahs because of the snow melting, but they are not too deep to say, while the road condition are bad, but they are still drivable, the only problem I faced was snow of the road, you have to be extra carefull while negotaiting snow of the road, I lost the momentum at on of the hairping bent hill, and my scorpio started to sleep, I have to reverse to a point where I can start afresh and gain enough momentum and still not be too fast, after this I was extra carefull as the road from Rohtang till Leh will through you lots and lots of this type of situation, so its always better to start early and cross all these passes and hill in day light and before noon or atleast by 1-2 PM.

-Pramod
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Old 15th June 2009, 16:25   #45
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As summer marches on to the close of the road in mid-Oct, the snow has melted and rivers turn dry, which means for those driving the Manali-Leh road in end-Aug/Sep have a clean drive without any river crossings or rubble. You can cross safely all day during that period without fear of flooding. However, always be prepared for that bout of early snowfall in mid-Sep.
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