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Old 26th November 2012, 12:55   #736
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

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Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Guys, is visiting Leh during this time of the year a very bad idea?

I have some leaves coming up in Jan 1st week, have a friend in Jammu. Initially plan was to visit him, I am wondering if we can do Leh during this time (7-8 days on hand)?

Is it feasible or should I drop the idea and stick to Jammu and near by areas? He has a Bolero 4x2.
It depends on you. Ladakh in winters is a totally different experience. for example, frozen indus, frozen Pangong Tso etc.,
you will have to fly in and then hire a cab.
Contact rkbharat.
He did Leh in winters
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Old 26th November 2012, 13:02   #737
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
It depends on you. Ladakh in winters is a totally different experience. for example, frozen indus, frozen Pangong Tso etc.,
you will have to fly in and then hire a cab.
Contact rkbharat.
He did Leh in winters
So it's not at all motorable or not advised in a 4x2?
Thanks, will PM him.
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Old 26th November 2012, 13:43   #738
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

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So it's not at all motorable or not advised in a 4x2?
Thanks, will PM him.
The route is closed. Both Manali leh and Srinagar leh highways close down due to heavy snow so there is no vehicle access. However, places within Ladakh region are accessible even with 2WD. So if you fly to leh, you can visit the lakes etc.,
Be aware that temperatures are often in the range of -30, esp in the higher places(Pangong etc.,)
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Old 26th November 2012, 13:52   #739
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Guys, is visiting Leh during this time of the year a very bad idea?

I have some leaves coming up in Jan 1st week, have a friend in Jammu. Initially plan was to visit him, I am wondering if we can do Leh during this time (7-8 days on hand)?

Is it feasible or should I drop the idea and stick to Jammu and near by areas? He has a Bolero 4x2.
Roads to Ladakh are closed and the next opportunity to drive there will start in end-May only.

You can always fly down to Leh, if you want to experience sub-zero temperatures, see snow, etc, but most hotels and establishments are closed down during this season, and you may face difficulties even in hiring taxis.
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Old 26th November 2012, 14:22   #740
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

Although it seem far right now, But who all have plans to go to leh the next season?
Car or Bike!?!
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Old 26th November 2012, 14:39   #741
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Roads to Ladakh are closed and the next opportunity to drive there will start in end-May only.

You can always fly down to Leh, if you want to experience sub-zero temperatures, see snow, etc, but most hotels and establishments are closed down during this season, and you may face difficulties even in hiring taxis.
There is no problem in getting guest houses or taxis in winter season. Many guest houses, including shanti guest house are open. Taxis are also available. Even in Tangste one or two guest houses are open during this time.
Ditto for Hanle and nubra regions.
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Old 26th November 2012, 18:42   #742
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The route is closed...
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Roads to Ladakh are closed ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
There is no problem in getting guest houses or taxis in winter season.
Thank you Tsk and hvk! I was banking on your knowledge of the region. So the best option is to take a flight and then hire a cab, though at this stage, it is just an idea! Need to get a few more people involved.
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Old 26th November 2012, 20:18   #743
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
...you may face difficulties even in hiring taxis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Taxis are also available.
It would be interesting to watch what happens to diesel vehicles in those temperatures.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
...temperatures are often in the range of -30, esp in the higher places(Pangong etc.,)
Today's minimum temperature in Darbuk is (-)22*C. Leh is dropping down to (-)13*C at night.

We expect to experience worse at first hand in the first week of January.

Anybody conversant with coping with arctic weather conditions and might suggest tips and tricks?
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Old 26th November 2012, 20:24   #744
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It would be interesting to watch what happens to diesel vehicles in those temperatures.

Today's minimum temperature in Darbuk is (-)22*C. Leh is dropping down to (-)13*C at night.

We expect to experience worse at first hand in the first week of January.

Anybody conversant with coping with arctic weather conditions and might suggest tips and tricks?
A few friends(including rkbharat) experienced -25 at tangste.
As for tips, it went close to -10 during our trip, and we did not enjoy the experience. There is no desire to see colder temperatures.
As for vehicles, you light a stove under the fuel tank. Simple.
In hanle a local guest house owner has made a makeshift greenhouse. His vehicle is always parked there. By evening, temperature rises to 10 degree C, and then he starts the vehicle just before sunset.
Next morning he can drive. It takes around 10 liters of diesel to keep the vehicle started(Tata 207 DI)
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Old 27th November 2012, 01:54   #745
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

SS-Traveller/Tsk1979
Are these absolute temperatures?
Drass(second coldest inhabited place) would be colder than that.I remember reading a board there that in the year ?? the temperature touched -60.
Would Leh-Drass road be closed?
Regards
PS:Last new year's eve my son was at the Santa Claus village(Lapland).The artic circle line goes through there.Wonder what the temperature was.
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Old 27th November 2012, 13:13   #746
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

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SS-Traveller/Tsk1979
Are these absolute temperatures?
...
Would Leh-Drass road be closed?
Yes. Not factoring in wind chill.

Leh to Kargil/Drass is open all year AFAIK.
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Old 27th November 2012, 13:24   #747
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

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Originally Posted by faustus77 View Post
SS-Traveller/Tsk1979
Are these absolute temperatures?
Drass(second coldest inhabited place) would be colder than that.I remember reading a board there that in the year ?? the temperature touched -60.
Would Leh-Drass road be closed?
Regards
PS:Last new year's eve my son was at the Santa Claus village(Lapland).The artic circle line goes through there.Wonder what the temperature was.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Yes. Not factoring in wind chill.

Leh to Kargil/Drass is open all year AFAIK.
You have to understand the wind patterns. The entire ladakh region is rain shadow area, and very little precipitation reaches there. Stopping bulk of the snow is the Zozilla are and the rohtang and Baralacha la passes.

Due to this, you have 20 foot high snow pile up on both the highways.

The Leh to Kargil road also has some high passes, but they lie in rain shadow area, and it never snows more than 4-6 inches at a time. As a result, road closure is never more than a day or 2.

Moreover, due to strategic importance, all other high passes in the region are kept open by the BRO, and you have one or two day closures at most.

Infact, BRO is not cutting new routes SE of Wari La pass, so that even this one or two day closure is not happening.

Kakasangla (A pass higher than even K.Top) is part of this new route from Chushul to Mahe, and this gets even lesser snow than Chang La and Khardung La.

So with BRO working around the clock, all parts of ladakh are fully accessible.

However there are some cavaets

1. Tso moriri route gets iced. 2WDs have a tough time, even with chains, so if it has snowed heavily your driver may not take you tehre
2. Khardungla and chang La may close for 1-2 days during an active western disturbance. There is also danger of avalanche, however, it increases in March when sun gets strong enough to start snow melt. Jan end is cold and safe
3. Traditional toilets are not avaiable. You have to use ladakhi pit toilets as the plumbing freezes
4. You want to take a bath? Are you kidding me?

We experienced a fraction of those temperatures (-7, -8), and trust me, it was not pleasant. Do not compare with Scandanavia. There you are sleeping in a heated room. In Ladakh, the heated room is -5 degree C, and the non heated room is -25. However in Leh city itself, you can get 0 degree in the room.

That said those who have done it just rave about it all day. Its something you have to see with your own eyes. I sadly, do not have such courage
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Old 28th November 2012, 00:43   #748
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

SS-Traveller/Tsk1979
Hi
Thanks your replies.
Just a thought:Heated room -5 degree.If the electricity fails temp would drop to -25 within a few minutes.You are most vulnerable when sleeping.Cant think beyond that.
I visited Canada during peak winter,but then I was 30 years younger.It wasnt as bad.A very valid point about sleeping in a heated room. That made all the difference.
Thanks a lot once again
Regards
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Old 4th December 2012, 21:18   #749
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

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Although it seem far right now, But who all have plans to go to leh the next season?
Car or Bike!?!


I do!

Don't know how I put myself into this, but I have started planning. Also, I can only rely on my old Swift, no SUV's!

and..
Only if I get lots and lots of help from the experts. (which i hope i'll get).
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Old 15th December 2012, 09:58   #750
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

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... in the first week of January.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
There is no problem in getting guest houses or taxis in winter season.
Nothing and nobody can get me a guest house room at Leh at present. The only hotel open appears to be the Grand Dragon (thanks, but I can't afford their rates). In a dilemma about whether we'll actually go as scheduled, or not. It would be a big disappointment if we don't.
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