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Old 22nd July 2010, 20:46   #1
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Question Newbie Planning to get Leh'd in August First Week - Need Help!!

Dear All,

Some of my colleagues who have missed out on the good fortune of being TBHP members, are planning a trip to Leh in August first week.

Can the Leh Gurus dispense some advice regarding the route and road conditions, and anything that may come in handy? Your help will be greatly appreciated, since none of the team have ever gone above 10,000 ft.

Planning to leave on 1st of August.

The trip will be Delhi to Delhi, and the current draft plan for the route is as below, any suggestions are welcome -

Day 1 - Delhi to Amritsar - 583 km, 8 hrs
Day 2 - Amritsar to Pahalgam - 430 km, 8 hrs
Day 3 - Pahalgam to Lamayuru - 207 km, 6 hrs
Day 4 - Lamayuru to Nubra Valley - 180 km, 8 hrs
Day 5 - Nubra Valley to Leh - 60 km, 2 hrs (Rest of the day in Leh)
Day 6 - Leh to Pangong Tso - 200 km, 8 hrs
Day 7 - Pangong Tso to Leh - 200 km, 8 hrs
Day 8 - Leh to Tso Moriri - 225 km, 9 hrs
Day 9 - Tso Moriri to Sarchu - 180 km, 8 hrs
Day 10 - Sarchu to Manali - 240 km, 10 hrs
Day 11 - Manali to Chandigarh - 320 km, 9 hrs
Day 12 - Chandigarh to Delhi - 284 km, 7 hrs


Gurus, please pour in your suggestions, we are grateful for your help.


regards,
RS
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Old 22nd July 2010, 22:04   #2
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What's your ride? Is it on a motorcycle or a car or a 4 X 4? If its 4 X 4, no planning is required, just go hit the road; if its a car, yes, there're some real Gurus from TBhp has done it there, one of them I remember is a SX4, another one on 5 Innovas; a fair amount of planning need to be done on the route enquiry. If its by motorcycle, that's the most challenging part to have it accomplished & a great deal of planning needs to go in there.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 22:18   #3
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Team, sorry for missing out on this crucial peace of info.

We have three guys and two girls, four of them in an Innova and one crazy guy on a Royal Enfield T'Bird.

I have tried to glean the distance and time info from the logs of "The HVK", although there might have been errors.

rgds,
RS
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Old 23rd July 2010, 08:12   #4
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I think there is something seriously wrong with your route plan. Here are my comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadie_swift View Post
Day 2 - Amritsar to Pahalgam - 430 km, 8 hrs
It is just not possible to do this sector so fast in any vehicle.
The Amritsar-Pathankot sector si very congested, expect to drop speeds to the 60s and 80s.
PB-JK border sees lots of congestion.
Even if you take the short-cut from Dyala Chowk to avoid Jammu, direct to Udhampur, please remember that it is a narrow road where you cannot do fast speeds.
From Udhampur onwards it is a steep slow climb all the way to Jawahar Tunnel, also sees lots of traffic.
Once you enter Kashmir Valley, you will have to drop speeds consuiderably.
Even if you drive non-stop without any breaks, 8 hours sounds improbable.
I would set aside a full day of 12-14 hours for this sector.

Quote:
Day 3 - Pahalgam to Lamayuru - 207 km, 6 hrs
This plan takes the cake. You must be taking a chopper across!
It is 440 kms from Pahalgam to Lamayuru and even the most hardened of cars would not be able to do this one even in a full day.
I think you have been relying on Google Maps which erroneously shows a road from Pahalgam to Kangan. There is NO such road! THere is no need to go to Pahalgam, please proiceed directly to Srinagar at Khanabal. If you do want to go to Pahalam, you will have to return 45 kms to Khanabal. Please plan your halt on Day 3 at Srinagar, not Pahalgam.

Reaching Lamayuru from Srinagar too is not easy, since you have to combat the challenge of Zoji la (with its timings and bad roads). Therefore, while you can reach Lamayuru, I would think it would be a pity since you will be flogging it out and missing out on everything on the way. You should take at least 7 hours from Srinagar to Kargil, and another 4-5 hours from there to Lamayuru without any stops. Therefore, I suggest you set your targets much lower and stick to a more conservative drive plan. Set aside some time to have tea at Sonmarg, waiting for Zoji la to be opened, time off at the War Memorial in Dras and lots of time to photograph some wonderful landscapes on the way.


Quote:
Day 4 - Lamayuru to Nubra Valley - 180 km, 8 hrs
You need a permit from Leh to go to Nubra. Therefore, this will not be possible. And remember that even if you are able to do so in transit, that Lamayuru-Leh takes you 4-5 hours, and the road to Nubra via Khardung la may be open beyond 2 pm at South Pullu Check Post.


Quote:
Day 9 - Tso Moriri to Sarchu - 180 km, 8 hrs
Possible, but then you are not in a rally.
Distance is wrong, it is 250 kms from Tso Moriri to Sarchu.
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Old 23rd July 2010, 12:31   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadie_swift View Post
Day 1 - Delhi to Amritsar - 583 km, 8 hrs
Day 12 - Chandigarh to Delhi - 284 km, 7 hrs
Like HVK suggested,there is something amiss in your time estimations .As per your estimates,

Delhi to Amritsar is 8hrs while Chandigarh to Delhi is 7hrs?its way off the mark.

Delhi Amritsar would take you anywhere about 9hours with breaks and road widenings.Its approx 450kms.

Chandigarh-Delhi(depending on where you are going in Delhi)would take you around 5 hours,approx 250kms.
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Old 23rd July 2010, 13:32   #6
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Kumar sir,

Thanks a lot for your comments, looks like our plan was really full of Dutch ambition, and your guess about Google maps is spot-on. I have attempted a revised plan, but got stuck on a couple of points.

1) From your comments it seems that it is impossible to go from Amritsar to Srinagar in a single day. Where would you suggest a break in the journey? Udhampur/Patnitop seems a good bet, but would it be possible to reach Patnitop from Amritsar in a day?

2) Is it possible to stretch from Patnitop to Kargil in, say, 15-16 hrs of driving? You have mentioned in your Sep '09 log that you covered the distance in abt 13 hrs. Given your expertise and rep, I won't try to match that for sure, but may be 2-3 hrs more than that. The reason to hurry is the restriction that we have to be back in Delhi on Day 12.

3) You have said that doing Tso Moriri to Sarchu in 8 hrs is improbable - but can it at least be done in a full day? Because I can't find a point in between before Sarchu where we could halt for the night, so reaching Sarchu is imperative. Would like to know your views on this.

The attempted revised plan is as below -


Day 1 - Delhi to Amritsar - 583 km, 8 hrs
Day 2 - Amritsar to Patnitop - ?? km, ?? hrs
Day 3 - Patnitop to Kargil - 422 km, 15 hrs ------??
Day 4 - Kargil to Leh - 240 km, 10 hrs
Day 5 - Leh - Rest and Permit Day
Day 6 - Leh to Deskit/Nubra Valley - 120 km, 6 hrs
Day 7 - Deskit to Pangong Tso - 230 km, 10 hrs
Day 8 - Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri - 300 km, 12 hrs ------??
Day 9 - Tso Moriri to Sarchu - 250 km, 14 hrs
Day 10 - Sarchu to Manali - 240 km, 10 hrs
Day 11 - Manali to Chandigarh - 320 km, 9 hrs
Day 12 - Chandigarh to Delhi - 284 km, 7 hrs

Please take the time to spot and correct anomalies if any. Thanks again..

rgds,
RS
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Old 23rd July 2010, 23:23   #7
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Day 1 is OK.

Day 2, try to leave Amritsar early morning (<5 am), you will reach Srinagar, taking the short cut to Udhampur from Dyala Chak. Problem is that there are hotels after Patnitop at Batote and Banihal after which you don't have anything till Srinagar, so you have to quickly cross into the Valley so as to reach Srinagar by 6 pm. Target Srinagar.

Day 3, leave Srinagar early (~ 6 am) so that you can reach Sonmarg by 8-9 am. I am not sure what will be the check post timings at Sonmarg (towards Zoji la) at that time, but you must set aside 2-3 hours for any delays in ascending Zoji la. You should be in Dras by 3-4 p,m latest even with delays and target Kargil by 7 pm. If you are earlier, target Lamayuru.

Each of Day 2 and 3 are all-day affairs from dawn to dusk, stop measuring kms in hours.

Day 5, make sure it is a working day to obtain permits. Make sure you check your car.

Day 6, there are timing restrictions to Khardung la (I think you have cross the base check posts before 2 pm).

Day 7, try the new Shayok route which is the shortest and fastest, should be in good shape the time you travel. Not sure if the Wari la route will be open - last year, it was open, but in a very bad shape. Worst case scenario, you will have to go via Leh. In that case, leave early from Nubra V and you can cross Leh by 9 am, keep going till at least Tangtse, if not Pangong. Try to cross Chang la by 4 pm latest.

Make sure you carry spare fuel from Leh onwards, since the petrol pump at Desikit may or may not have stock.
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