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Old 12th February 2012, 15:22   #1726
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806
A Question: I see the swift doing well all through the trip, did it go to all the places where the Mahindra went.

I am contemplating if i can take my Civic or Baleno that far and if the GC will play some havoc on the terrain, but if the Swift can make it, surely can Baleno/Civic?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar

No. Swift has small wheel base, but the longer wheel base (and not just GC) of the Civic and Baleno will make it difficult for them to do the same trails that the Swifts and Alto did.
Doing it in a civic will b very very painful for you and the car..I have a civic so I can imagine its capabilities in such a situation

It may b possible in a baleno but again not all places...you may be able to do kla nubra and pangong

As rightly pointed out by hvk its the wheel base that will create trouble...majorly for the civic and also the beleno...that's where the alto and swift has the upper edge
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Old 12th February 2012, 15:28   #1727
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Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
Doing it in a civic will b very very painful for you and the car..I have a civic so I can imagine its capabilities in such a situation

It may b possible in a baleno but again not all places...you may be able to do kla nubra and pangong

As rightly pointed out by hvk its the wheel base that will create trouble...majorly for the civic and also the beleno...that's where the alto and swift has the upper edge
Probably he can take the Zojila Pass, rough it out and reach Leh, KLa and Pangong Tso. Baleno would be better if he so decides since maruti, he might get some help in break downs. Civic - though with a heavy risk taking atitude through that route might be possible, but in the event of a breakdown be prepared to take it to Delhi somehow. Owning a Civic, both me and KSM-Vtec never took it up there. Its just not worth the trouble, if something happens.
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Old 12th February 2012, 15:35   #1728
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Originally Posted by laluks

Probably he can take the Zojila Pass, rough it out and reach Leh, KLa and Pangong Tso. Baleno would be better if he so decides since maruti, he might get some help in break downs. Civic - though with a heavy risk taking atitude through that route might be possible, but in the event of a breakdown be prepared to take it to Delhi somehow. Owning a Civic, both me and KSM-Vtec never took it up there. Its just not worth the trouble, if something happens.
+1 on that...and the civic was never designed to do this kind of stuff. More importantly it does its job really well.
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Old 12th February 2012, 15:44   #1729
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While we continue to discuss the pros and cons on which car is most suitable for a Ladakh drive, I have a few points to make:

1. Forget carrying the full complement of 4-5 passengers in sedans. Restrict number of people in small cars to 2 and mid-size sedans to 3. Helps have better GC and more load-carrying ability

2. Please remember that you need to carry so much of extra baggage on a Ladakh trip that it is best you cut down on number of passengers.

3. I have gone in my small Matiz with 3 & 4 passengers on different occasions, and I had to offload my passengers to adjust for the load and ensure that the car could clear steep ascents & offroading terrain. So passengers should be ready to get down & walk or worse, push! I am sure KSM-vTEC will have lots of say on this topic in the coming day of the drive.

4. K&N filters (air filters) have been known to help increase power - which gets reduced due to lower oxygen levels.

5. Always carry your car's ECU error code listing so that you can diagnose (and set right) any possible bugs that can happen on the way.
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Old 12th February 2012, 19:54   #1730
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Winter in Ladakh?

Is that possible?
Can you drive in Leh?
Survive freezing temperatures at (-) 30 C?
Can you drive a Scorpio on the frozen Pangong Lake?
What are you saying - even the River Indus is a sheet of white ice?

Obviously, the answers to all the Qs is a loud YES!
Of course, you CANNOT drive TO Leh, but YOU CAN drive IN Leh!

The drive-to season is end-May to end-Oct every year, but the drive-in season is through the year even as the roads get closed down in all the entry points into Ladakh.

Which are these points which are closed during winter?
Entry from Kashmir Valley? Zoji la between Sonmarg & Dras is closed
Entry from Manali side? Rohtang Pass between Manali & Keylong is closed
Entry from Kaza side? Kunzum la between Kaza & Keylong is closed
Entry from Chamba side? Sach Pass between Chamba & Keylong is closed

Ladakh becomes a only-fly zone, meaning you can fly into Leh through the year. And roads inside Ladakh ARE open in many sectors.

rkbharat, in case you are reading this, please do tell us a little more, since you have driven in Ladakh during winter?
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Old 12th February 2012, 20:33   #1731
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aalokg View Post
BTW, can you please post a video of the Zojilla Pass if you have it ?

Regards,
Aalok
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I have a great video from my last trip....will try and pull it out soon
Video from my 2009 trip in the Gypsy at Zoji la pass...

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Old 12th February 2012, 21:44   #1732
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Witness ultimate test of endurance... the bicyclists are the most determined...takes them 15 days+ t cover the 500-odd kms and these daring souls carry all that they need with them, no support vehicles for them. Bravo, guys! Most of them are foreigners, Indians are still not that yet there!
We had come across a group of perhaps 8-10 bicyclists (all of them Indians) who were pedalling up from Manali to Leh, and who camped put in the open ground behind the Padma Lodge at Jispa in June 2011. They had a support group of about 6 people in two cars (a Tempo Traveller and a Bolero Camper), who set up camp and cooked and served these cyclists - and wound up camp the next day to drive on.

Camp at night
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-jispa-7.jpg

Camp being wound up in the morning
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-jispa-4.jpg

From what I figured, they ride between 8/9 AM till 3/4 PM, with a break for lunch at a pre-determined point where the cars wait for them. It's a 7-8-day trip (depending on the fitness of the members of the group), covering 60-100 km each day. The usual stops are Sissoo, Jispa, Patseo, Sarchu, Pang, Debring & Upshi. In case of punctures / breakdowns / extreme fatigue / AMS, one of the cars is deputed to recover the person and his bicycle; some cyclists even give up cycling and ride in one of the cars after Sarchu! The vehicles bring the bicycles back while the riders often fly back from Leh (have you ever spotted cyclists headed towards Manali? )

The costs I heard last year were around 12,000-15,000 INR per cyclist for the bicycles plus all support.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 12th February 2012 at 21:47.
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Old 12th February 2012, 21:48   #1733
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
We had come across a group of perhaps 8-10 bicyclists (all of them Indians) who were pedalling up from Manali to Leh, and who camped put in the open ground behind the Padma Lodge at Jispa. They had a support group of about 6 people in two cars (a Tempo Traveller and a Bolero Camper), who set up camp and cooked and served these cyclists - and wound up camp the next day to drive on.


From what I figured, they ride between 8/9 AM till 3/4 PM, with a break for lunch at a pre-determined point where the cars wait for them. It's a 7-8-day trip (depending on the fitness of the members of the group), covering 60-100 km each day. The usual stops are Sissoo, Jispa, Patseo, Sarchu, Pang, Debring & Upshi. In case of punctures / breakdowns / extreme fatigue / AMS, one of the cars is deputed to recover the person and his bicycle; some cyclists even give up cycling and ride in one of the cars after Sarchu! The vehicles bring the bicycles back while the riders often fly back from Leh (have you ever spotted cyclists headed towards Manali? )

The costs I heard last year were around 12,000-15,000 INR per cyclist for the bicycles plus all support.
Well, none of the foreigners we saw cycling had any support - they were mostly alone, a few exceptions being 2-3 bicyclists together - and carried their own backpacks. A couple of whom we interrogated also confirmed that they were all alone. In the Kaza sector, you may remember Jeep Captain had put up a video of one Italian bicyclist who they spent talking to for a long time.

Last year, I saw a FB advertisement of an Indian bicycling expedition over 15 days from Manali to Leh where each bicylist was being charged Rs 39,000 for all costs - food, stay & support.
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Old 12th February 2012, 21:56   #1734
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Well, none of the foreigners we saw cycling had any support - they were mostly alone, a few exceptions being 2-3 bicyclists together - and carried their own backpacks.
There were those too - the ones who had pannier bags on their cycles. This group was headed to K'La.
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-hunder2leh-33k100.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Last year, I saw a FB advertisement of an Indian bicycling expedition over 15 days from Manali to Leh where each bicylist was being charged Rs 39,000 for all costs - food, stay & support.
39k!! You don't spend that much driving alone in a Scorpio to cover Manali-Leh!
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Old 12th February 2012, 22:16   #1735
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SACH PASS

What is this Sach Pass thingy?

Why would we drive back on the same onward road back to Keylong via Pang & Sarchu to return home via the Sach Pass?

Can you rate it vis-à-vis the Zoji la or the Rohtang Pass?

Can my small car do it?

Why would I call a taxi operator in Chamba repeatedly to enquire about this road at least 3-4 times?

These are obviously some of the Qs for which we hope to find some answers in the coming episodes of this TL..

Our friends Glenn, sj_koova & Justin – you may recall that we intercepted our friends driving from Bangalore at Chitkul on Aug 14 – had come through Sach Pass from Chamba in their rugged Scorpio and said Never again! Not even you!

Let us hear what Wikipedia has to say about Sach Pass:
Saach Pass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Saach Pass is a (4420 m/14500 ft) high mountain pass in Chamba District, Himachal Pradesh, India on the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. It is 127 km (79 mi) far from the District Headquarters. It connects the Chamba valley with the Pangi valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India.The pass is open from June to mid October. The road is narrow and unmetalled. It is the gateway to the Pangi Valley. It is the shortest route from Chamba to the Killar (170 km). Other routes are Chamba-Manali-Killar(680 KM) and Chamba-Jammu-Doda-Gulabgarh-Killar(570 KM). Which are very long routes if compared to the Chamba-Sach Pass-Killar route.”

Google Images has lots of photos, each one of them even more forbidding than the one before.

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-sachpass1.jpg
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-sachpass2.jpg


There is a thread about a drive through the Sach Pass:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...lar-route.html (Chamba-Sach Pass-Killar route)
And a legend like Yogesh Sarkar terms it as “Sach Pass Conquered

A newspaper report way back in the year 2007 said some "NICE" things about the construction of the Sach Pass (it was completed only recently):

Road to connectivity: Construction work on the road link from Chamba to Killar via Sach Pass is in full swing

The construction work on one of the most treacherous roads of Himachal Pradesh, the 170 km long Chamba-Killar state highway, passing through the 14,500-feet Saach Pass, is going on a war footing. The construction work between Bhagotu and Chandrabhaga Bridge at Sukrali is in full swing these days. Chief engineer of the public works department (north zone) R.S. Kanwar says that the jeepable road between Bhagotu-Killar is one of the most hazardous road stretches of the hilly state because of the hard rock strata and sharp gradients.
The construction work on this road had begun way back in the year 1962 and Rs 50crore has been spent on the construction of this road. Last year, the bus service was started between Barragarh and Bhagotu on July 10 but it continued only for a few days as a sudden snowfall on Saach Pass forced the authorities to suspend it. This year, the road was opened by the PWD for vehicular traffic on June 26, after clearing the heavy snow from both sides from Bhagotu towards Saach Pass and from Satrundi to Saach Pass. Again the bus service between Chamba and Bhagotu was introduced from June 30.On transit shipment basis, two light vehicles (maxi cabs) of the HRTC carry the bus passengers from Bhagotu to Killar through the 30 km jeepable stretch between Bhagotu and Killar.
The Chamba-Killar state highway has been a dream of the people of Chamba district since it is the lone road connectivity to Killar, which is the headquarters of tribal belt of Pangi from the district headquarters of Chamba. The tribal people are looking forward to see that their long-awaited desire of motorable road is converted into a reality as this road has assumed greater significance over the years. The alternative road connectivity to Killar is either from Manali-Keylong-Udaypur or from Pathankot via Jammu, Kishtwar and Gulabgarh, which falls under Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir that is a terrorist affected belt. However, these two alternate roads often remain closed for the flow of vehicular traffic.
The 21 km stretch between Bhagotu and Chanderbhaga bridge at Shukrali has been covered under Bharat Nirman Yojna and an outlay of Rs 15crore has been made for the cutting, formation and retaining structures for this road under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna. As many as 20 contractors including one lady contractor Shring Lama have been awarded contracts for numerous works on this road stretch. The construction works come to a grinding halt after heavy snowfall. Moreover, the entire Pangi valley in Chamba district has an extremely difficult terrain coupled with indifferent climatic conditions.
The Pangi valley has a population of about 21,000 people, spread over an area of 1,601 square kilometers with 54 inhabited villages. So far, the motorable road length of 140 km has been completed within the valley, apart from the jeepable stretch of 57 kilometers. Earlier, the tribal people were required to undergo an ordeal of 800 km long journey to reach Killar from Chamba via Mandi, Kullu, Manali, Keylong, Udaipur and it took at least four days to reach Killar. Unfortunately, this road is also blocked for the past four months. The road link from Chamba to Killar via Sach Pass would indeed be one of the remarkable features of road connectivity in the history of the means of communication. This is known as Alwas-Killar road and it is part of the Ahju khara-Mukh-Chamba-Tissa- Alwas-Killar road. The road from Chamba to Killar meanders through Tissa, Barragarh, Kalaban, Satrundi, Saach Pass and Bhagotu.


The photos I am showing below of the Sach Pass route from Chamba to Keylong were taken by sj_koova (Saji Joseph) and Justin Skaria when they went that way 15 days before ur planned dates.


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Why am I showing someone else’s photos of their drive over the Sach Pass? Is it because we could not make it that we are wistful about our friend Glenn/Saji’s successful drive over it? Or maybe no one photographed it from our side?

Some of the photos of the Sach Pass are pretty dismal – you can be forgiven for not wanting to attempt such an arduous journey especially when person & vehicle have already been battered so much – why risk one more difficult Pass?

When you all thought that the Ladakh adventure is all over…….what is all this again?
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Old 12th February 2012, 23:30   #1736
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Some videos of Zoji La from our drive in 2009. We drove from Srinagar towards Leh. The Scorpio is our beloved Road Runner driven by Glenn. What a drive that was!











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Old 13th February 2012, 01:09   #1737
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'Interrogated'

HVK, is that an aftereffect of the interaction with Inspector Gouri?

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A couple of whom we interrogated also confirmed that they were all alone.
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Old 13th February 2012, 01:20   #1738
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one more video at Zojila pass from my 2009 trip

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Old 13th February 2012, 06:56   #1739
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Some videos of Zoji La from our drive in 2009. We drove from Srinagar towards Leh. The Scorpio is our beloved Road Runner driven by Glenn. What a drive that was!
Those were great videos in totally bright, dry condition.


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one more video at Zojila pass from my 2009 trip
.....and these were quite the opposite - foggy, drizzly & dark.

As you would have noted from the videos, the ascents & descents can be very steep, especially from the Sonmarg/Kashmir Valley side. It is a sheer drop on one side and the "road" is either very dry & strewn with rubble - or slushy - that even the slightest use of the brake means you could skid, so you have to just let the car roll down and not use either the accelerator or brake much. I guess all descents are on second gear only.

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'Interrogated'

HVK, is that an aftereffect of the interaction with Inspector Gouri?
Well, khoj, we civilians are fast learners, never mind that those who teach cannot drive BTW, she is "Captain"
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Old 13th February 2012, 15:43   #1740
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ROAD THROUGH SACH PASS


Just to prove that we also took some photographs on the road to Sach Pass


HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-sachpass1.jpg
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-sachpass2.jpg
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-sachpass3.jpg
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-sachpass4.jpg

Chilled Glaciers, steep ascents, dangerous avalanches, falling boulders, treacherous water crossings, cascading waterfalls, verdant green valleys, unholy ghosts, precarious roads, broken team......that is the story of Sach Pass

Each photograph tells you a story - Each one of us has a story to tell too

Definitely lots of answers.......on determined small cars, broken foot steps, wild flowers, dark nights, Phantom Waterfalls, tyres & steps, SUVs & SUVs, shock & awe......

Last edited by hvkumar : 13th February 2012 at 15:45.
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